The Yankees didn’t waste any time ushering in a youth movement following Alex Rodriguez‘s release.
Outfielder Aaron Judge, a top prospect, has been recalled from Triple-A Scranton to become the Yankees’ everyday right fielder. Tyler Austin, a corner infielder and outfielder, has also joined the team from Triple-A. Austin has had a bounce-back 2016 in the minors and has regained some of his promise.
Judge, a first round pick in the 2013 draft, is 6-foot-7 and 275 pounds and has great power potential. He’s hit 56 home runs in three minor league seasons and hit .270 with 19 homers and 65 RBI in Triple-A this year. Judge is 24 and looked like a September call-up possibility at the beginning of this season. Yet with Carlos Beltran being traded to Texas and Aaron Hicks continuing to struggle, it is time to give Judge a chance to prove it at the major league level.
Austin was a 13th-round pick in 2010 but after a great 2012 season in which he climbed from rookie ball to Double-A, Austin was listed among the top 100 prospects in baseball heading into 2013. He struggled to live up to that promise over the next three seasons but hit .323 with 13 home runs and 49 RBI in 57 games at Triple-A this year. It’s unclear exactly where the 24-year-old figures into this Yankees team, but he can play a variety of positions and should get plenty of at-bats.
The Yankees are three and a half games out in the AL Wild Card standings heading into Saturday. The playoffs remain a long shot. But these call-ups will give the front office a good look at a few young players as the organization thinks about how to rebuild for the future.