Yankees’ prospects have one great mentor on their side

yankees, aaron judge
Jun 3, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This Friday night kicks off a crucial series for the New York Yankees as they square off against the Houston Astros. The team made some significant roster moves, waiving Josh Donaldson and Harrison Bader to make way for emerging talent. This strategic shuffle is part of the Yankees’ plan to continue offering valuable playing time to their budding prospects.

Early this week, the Yankees announced that Jasson Dominguez and Austin Wells would be called up to the majors. This move gives them a platform for further development and a potential launch pad to make a real impact in the 2024 season.

Dominguez, in particular, has begun his Triple-A career on fire, sporting a .419 batting average and a .514 OBP, along with 10 RBIs. His stats also boast a 16.2% walk rate, an 8.1% strikeout rate, and an impressive 178 wRC+ over a mere nine-game span.

Aaron Judge: The Perfect Mentor Amidst a Challenging 2023 Season

Fortunately for the new recruits, a seasoned veteran is already in the Yankees’ clubhouse, ready to offer mentorship. Aaron Judge, who inked a colossal nine-year, $360 million contract this past off-season, is eager to see the rookies in action, even as the 2023 season falters. Injuries have sidelined Judge for a good chunk of this year, limiting him to just 79 games thus far.

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Nonetheless, Judge remains a powerhouse, hitting .263 and maintaining a .392 OBP, along with a team-leading 29 home runs, 56 RBIs, and a 171 wRC+. He’s undeniably the best player on the team—no room for debate here—which makes him the ideal guide for promising talents like Dominguez, who is set to share the outfield with Judge soon.

“I’m excited,” Judge said. “I’ll get a chance to see him get experience up here. I’m happy for him. He’s put in a lot of work. I know he’s young, but [there’s] no better time to see what he’s got. Get a taste of what it’s like in the big leagues, so going into next year he knows what to prepare for.

Building Confidence: Judge’s Strategy for Welcoming New Talent

Judge is no stranger to mentoring young players; just look at his role in helping Anthony Volpe. He already has a game plan for making the new prospects feel at home.

“I’ll ask them what they’re comfortable with, see how much they talk, how much they don’t talk. I think the biggest thing is just getting familiar with them, comfortable with them. If they’re out there comfortable, they’re going to go out there and make the plays.”

This seasoned pro knows the baseball game is as much mental as it is physical. The more confident and relaxed you are, the better your skills shine. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen the flip side with players like Joey Gallo, who grappled with mental challenges while adapting to the intense Bronx atmosphere.

Dominguez: A Young Talent with Big-League Confidence

There’s one thing we can state with assurance: Jasson Dominguez is not lacking in the confidence department. He’s well-equipped for a smooth transition to the majors, where he’s expected to showcase his exceptional plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills.