The New York Yankees have had a list of captains that’s a who’s who of baseball greats. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Derek Jeter have all been given the prestigious title of the captain of the Yankees. When Derek Jeter retired after the 2014 season, many wondered who would be the next Yankee great to be awarded the title. Little did Yankees fans know, their next captain would make his debut in 2016 and do it with a bang. He’s larger than life figure in a larger than life place playing for a larger than life team, and his name is Aaron Judge.
This is Aaron Judge’s Team
I saw something pretty humorous yesterday on Twitter, where Jon Hein was saying that if the New York Yankees went out and acquired Nolan Arenado, he would be the face of the Yankees franchise immediately. Let me be clear, Nolan Arenado is a superstar. He’s got all the makeups to be a superstar in New York. However, as long as Aaron Judge is around, no one else will be the face of the franchise. Gerrit Cole is arguably the best pitcher in baseball and has already become a fan favorite, but he is not the face of the Yankees. The laughable quote to me was that Aaron Judge would take a “backseat” to Nolan Arenado if the Yankees acquired him.
I really wonder if Jon Hein understands the Yankees fan-base at all with a comment like that. The Yankees do love their stars, but there’s nothing like a homegrown superstar who embodies everything that the Yankees are. Nolan Arenado is not better than Alex Rodriguez was in 2004. A-Rod was essentially what Mike Trout is now in baseball. If you asked anyone in 2004 who the best player in baseball was, everyone would tell you it was Alex Rodriguez. Yet when he came to New York, A-Rod was never the face of the team. The team belonged to Derek Jeter, just like this Yankees team belongs to Aaron Judge.
Why Judge is the perfect captain?
Aaron Judge is the perfect captain for the Yankees. He’s a leader on and off the field, and much like his predecessor, you are not going to hear anything negative about him off the field. He’s humble, respectful, and not to mention one of the best right fielders in all of baseball. He falls right in-line with Yankees like Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter in the sense that even rival fans can’t say anything bad about the guy.
If Aaron Judge can stay healthy, I think he is due for another MVP caliber season in 2020. Injuries have hampered him the last two seasons, but he still had a combined WAR of 10.9 in just 214 games (Baseball-Reference). Judge will inevitably win a Gold Glove to go along with his Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award, and he will continue to make the jaws drop with 400+ foot bombs to all sides of the park. Judge just signed a one year, $8.5 million deal in his first year of arbitration eligibility, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see a significant extension coming his way in the near future. He will be a lifelong Yankee, and personally, there’s no one else I’d rather see lead this team through this next decade. All Rise Yankee fans for the captain, Aaron Judge.