Alex Rodriguez had a fond farewell last night, as the New York Yankees were able to rise victorious in one of this era’s most intriguing players grand finale. Today, the new era of Yankees baseball began when Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin were recalled from Scranton Wilkes-Barre.
For those of you who watched, their careers started with a bang.
Austin and Judge were the first Yankees to debut consecutively in the lineup since May 17th, 1969. That fine day, centerfielder Jim Lyttle hit in front of fellow rookie, catcher John Ellis. They would go a combined 2-for-6 on the day, with Ellis hitting an inside the park home run. Austin and Judge would match — and then surpass — them, and all it took was their first two at bats.
Austin came to the plate in the bottom of the second with two outs after Gary Sanchez — whose debut last week triggered the official start of the Yankees youth movement — grounded out. He fell behind in the count, and after evening it at 2-2, Austin sent one over the right field wall. This has become something Austin has become known for, as half of his career high 17 home runs in the minors this season have gone to the opposite field.
Not to be outdone, Aaron Judge followed Austin with a moonshot. Already making his presence felt with a nice play tracking down a deep fly ball in right field in the first, Judge drove the 1-2 pitch 446-feet to deep centerfield. This has become Judge’s calling card, not simply hitting home runs, but crushing them.
Back-to-back home runs for the Yankees rookies.
Clubhouse announcement on Judge: "He's the first player to homer in his first at-bat as a Yankee since Tyler Austin a couple of minutes ago"— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) August 13, 2016
Both Austin and Judge are amid eagerly anticipated, and long awaited big league debuts. Austin of course, was the 13th round draft pick of the New York Yankees way back in 2010. After a breakout 2012 in which he slashed .322/.400/.559 with 17 home runs, 80 RBI and 23 stolen bases, Austin flew up the Yankees prospect charts. His ensuing seasons never lived up to that breakout campaign, leading him to be released last September. The Yankees brought him back, and he made the most of his opportunity, finally earning his big league debut.
For Judge, Yankees fans have wanted to see him attack that short right field porch since the day he was drafted. Selected in the first round of the Yankees big 2013 draft, Judge quickly became known as the next Giancarlo Stanton. A big spring training last season, and then a couple of big homers this year in Tampa and it was not long until Judge was MLB bound. He captured the June Player of the Month for the International League before an injury derailed his promotion. A big free-swinger, Judge improved his swing mid-season and was hitting a respectable .270 with 19 home runs with the RailRiders.
John will have his full rookie reports posted later today. Until then, sit back and wait to see what the newest Baby Bombers do in their encore performance!