'Afternoon Drive' At Yankees Camp: Aaron Judge Says He's Still Proving Himself

Carlin, Maggie & Bart
March 13, 2018 - 10:23 am
Aaron Judge smiles before a spring training game on March 2, 2018, at George M. Steinbrenner Field.



TAMPA, Fla. (WFAN) -- Aaron Judge led the American League in home runs last season, was the AL Rookie of the Year and is one of the biggest young stars in baseball. But he says he's approaching spring training as though he still has to win a job.

"No job's ever given to anybody," the slugger told WFAN's "The Afternoon Drive" on Monday. "I don't feel established. I've still got to go out and prove myself, because there's always someone behind me trying to take my job."

As he hit jaw-dropping homers at a stunning rate last season, Judge was thrust into the spotlight. While all the attention and requests that come along with stardom can be overwhelming, Judge has taken it all in stride.

"To who much is given, much is required," he said. "It's part of it. You just can't have the good without the bad. So you've got to adjust. That's the game of baseball." 

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While he was an instant star on the major league level, not everything has come easily for Judge, most notably the deep slump he found himself in during July and August.

"The biggest thing for me was just slowing the game back down," Judge said. "Slowing it down, getting back to the basics, working on mechanics, stuff like that. It's really just working on my routine."

This season, the addition of Giancarlo Stanton means that either Judge or the former Marlin, both right fielders, could see time in left field. Stanton has started at left in some spring training games. Meanwhile, Judge has been working at the position on the back fields at the Yankees' spring training complex, as well as in a simulated minor league game.

"The biggest thing is getting used to the spin in left field," he said. "I'm used to how the ball's going to spin in right field, and it's completely different in left. So just getting that repetition, seeing it, getting used to it. I've been getting a lot of work in. Me and Stanton, we've been going back and forth on these back fields."

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Judge said his favorite part of last season was getting a taste of playoff baseball in the Bronx.

"There's nothing like it -- that stadium, the fans," he said. "That stadium was alive. I get chills thinking about it right now how they were in it every single pitch. They had our back. Didn't matter if we were down, up. They were as loud as they could be every single pitch, and that was just so much fun."

If all goes well for Judge and his teammates, he'll get to experience that feeling many more times this fall.

In addition to Judge, "The Afternoon Drive" with Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott spent Monday at Steinbrenner Field talking to several Yankees, including Stanton, general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone. Check out those interviews below: