LA Lights Up

Rookie displays big power.

By Steve Samek

The American League and National League always seem to go head to head over which league is superior. This season is no exception. Taking the American League by storm is Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge. http://bit.ly/2rfv7tY

To counter punch for the national league it’s the LA Dodgers Cody Bellinger. Bellinger is bringing the power knocking 21 homers after a two-homer night on Monday. http://www.espn.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/80520/real-or-not-cody-bellinger-makes-all-star-push-jose-ramirez-an-all-star-lock

 This continues a string of nine home runs in nine games.  Hes played in just 51 games this season after his April 25 call up.http://www.espn.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/80520/real-or-not-cody-bellinger-makes-all-star-push-jose-ramirez-an-all-star-lock. Bellinger is the fourth player to mash 20 home runs pre-all-star break being younger than 21. The last person to do so was Miguel Cabrera in 2004. http://www.espn.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/80520/real-or-not-cody-bellinger-makes-all-star-push-jose-ramirez-an-all-star-lock.

Bellinger is hitting .269 with 10 doubles and 47 rbi this season. http://m.dodgers.mlb.com/player/641355/cody-bellinger. The 21 home runs are tied for second in the majors behind only Judge and his 23 dingers. Though while Judge is doing well in the all-star balloting, Bellinger is not. He hasn’t ever cracked the top 15 in outfielders. http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/2017-nl-all-star-game-voting/#mK2WsI8ikytlkRbg.97. In fact, in the ESPN article it looks like it would take quite a bit of work to get the man into the all-star game. http://www.espn.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/80520/real-or-not-cody-bellinger-makes-all-star-push-jose-ramirez-an-all-star-lock.

While this would be a shame, I think it is going to happen and Mr. Bellinger will be staying home. Though I feel like the snub will only motivate the kid to do bigger and better things. Like win a rookie of the year award. He has a very early edge if nothing else.

Bellinger is another home-grown product. In 2016, he hit 26 homers in the upper two level of the minors while hitting .271. When he was called up this season he was hitting .343 with five homers and 15 rbi in 18 games for the Oklahoma City Dodgers. http://m.dodgers.mlb.com/player/641355/cody-bellinger?year=2017&stats=career-r-hitting-minors. He was a Double-A all-star for Tulsa and played in the AFL, where he was all-prospect team and an AFL rising star. He also owns two Dodger’s organization all-star nods.

Bellinger won last month’s rookie of the month award on the National League side. He also won the player of the week honor for the week of May 7th,2017. http://m.dodgers.mlb.com/player/641355/cody-bellinger?year=2017&stats=career-r-hitting-minors.

While Bellinger has caught a lot of national attention like Judge has. Bellinger may serve as a symbol of the new culture of baseball. https://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2017/6/20/15840078/cody-bellinger-homers-dingers-taters-salamis-bombs-bonkos-torts-cramalams-the-ol-aerial-tortoise

 The idea of drilling the ball hard, his average exit velocity is almost 93 mph, or failing he has 65 strikeouts proves this. http://m.dodgers.mlb.com/player/641355/cody-bellinger?year=2017&stats=career-r-hitting-mlb.

This is very true with all the advanced metrics of the game and obsession with pitchers that hit triple digits on the gun. Not a bad thing, as who doesn’t love seeing the ball go sailing 500 feet out for easy runs. Who doesn’t love to see dominant pitchers rack up strikeout numbers in the teens. It’s an evolution of the game. If seeing players like Judge and Bellinger come around by the hundreds over the years that would be great. It gets media attention and fans in the stands. I embrace Bellinger and wish him the best of luck this year, Judge too.

As for which is better, time will tell. It’s only been a small sample for Bellinger, and Judge is still less than a full season into his pro career. Open the debate back up in five years for a more fair comparison.

His Honor

Yankees rookie is on many radars.

By Steve Samek.

The New York Yankees a team of money. Known to flash the cash at whatever free agent can come their way. Yet what if I told you the Yanks did it the old-fashion way and have a home-grown talent dominating the game today.

The domination comes in the form of rookie outfielder Aaron Judge. Judge is hitting at a .344 clip with 21 home runs and 47 RBI. All of those are top marks in the American League.  The 21 homers are a league-wide best. Throw in additional top marks for runs scored, walks, total bases and the dominance is real. http://m.yankees.mlb.com/news/article/235942730/aaron-judge-is-named-al-player-of-the-week/.

Judge is coming off a week where he hit .500. Got on base at a .600 while slugging 1.00. The Yanks won five of the six contests and led the American League East.  The impressive week gave Judge the nod as player of the week for the first time in his career.

http://m.yankees.mlb.com/news/article/235942730/aaron-judge-is-named-al-player-of-the-week/

This comes on the heels of Judge being named AL rookie of the month for both April and May. http://m.mlb.com/awards/history-winners/?award_id=ALROM&year=2017

If that doesn’t get your attention his power should. On Sunday June 11,2017 Judge hit 495 feet, clearing the left field bleachers at Yankee Stadium. It was the second longest tracked home run ever, sense 2015 and the longest homer in the majors this year. http://m.yankees.mlb.com/news/article/235942730/aaron-judge-is-named-al-player-of-the-week/.

 The power looks to be real too. By homering 21 times to date, Judge has already amassed a career high in homers. Judge hit 56 homers in the minor leagues, with 39 of them coming in the past two seasons. 27 of those round trippers came at the triple a level. http://m.mlb.com/player/592450/aaron-judge?year=2017&stats=career-r-hitting-minors. Think twice pitchers before throwing the high heat.

Judge was a great player in the minors. Three times he was selected as an Milb.com Yankees organization all-star. In 2014, he received an invitation to play for Scottsdale of the Arizona Fall League for advanced prospects. Judge made the AFL all-prospect team for his play with Scottsdale, while also being an AFL player of the week award. Then in 2015 Judge was selected for the Futures game as a member of the Scranton/WB Railriders. http://m.mlb.com/player/592450/aaron-judge?year=2017&stats=career-r-hitting-minors. The first call to the majors came on August 13,2016 when the Yankees selected his contract.

Judge suited up in 27 games during that final month of 2016. He hit .179, but had 4 home runs and 10 rbi. Though an oblique strain sent him to the 15-day DL. http://m.mlb.com/player/592450/aaron-judge?year=2017&stats=career-r-hitting-mlb. Now the injury looks to be behind him and the numbers are improving.

Judge’s stellar season has gained the attention of fans league wide. Judge has the led in the All-star game vote for the American league outfield. His over a million and 250 thousand and 500 votes is the top mark in the American league for any position. http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/american-league-star-game-voting-a/#5ysDggDukcAhpHQC.97. To capitalize on this success Judge has earned his own cheering section. The section has been dubbed the Judge’s chambers and sits in right field. Fans wear judges robs and receive foam gavels that say “All Rise.” https://www.si.com/mlb/2017/05/22/yankees-aaron-judge-chambers-cheering-section-photos.  True intimidation factor for opposing right fielders. Judge approves of the section too. http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2017/05/what_yankees_aaron_judge_thinks_of_the_judges_cham.html

 

Can’t wait to see this guy in the all-star game. Should he win the triple crown, Judge can easily put a stamp on Rookie of the Year as well. No jury deliberation needed on that one.