On Tuesday night in the bottom of the 2nd, Aaron Judge did something that exemplified why not only is he the second best player in the game, but he’s smart, he’s aware, and he hustles.
With one out and a runner on first base, Washington catcher Pedro Severino launched a double over and out of the reach of Yankee center fielder Aaron Hicks. It was a long way to go and a difficult play for Hicks, so the runner on first would score easily and Severino would go into second base with enough momentum to keep going to third base should there be a bobble or a bad relay throw.
At this point, Yankee 2nd baseman Gleyber Torres went out into short centerfield to back up Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorius, who was taking the throw from Hicks.
Severino rounded 2nd, but slowed down and did not take a big turn. Lucky for him.
Because Aaron Judge was sneaking in behind him to cover 2nd base for a pick-off throw behind the runner should Severino have gotten too aggressive with his turn.
Yes, Aaron Judge plays right field. He read the play, hustled, ran about 100’ and was ready to get an easy out if it were there. A very Jeter-esque play if I may say so.
Admittedly, it’s somewhat frustrating to be complimenting Judge on this as this is what every right fielder should do every time this scenario occurs. But because it is a rarity, and because it is typical of Judge – a combination of awareness and hustle – it’s worth noting, and giving credit for.
Hell on these pages I’ve noted on numerous occasions the times that Ronald Torreyes forgets to cover the bases he’s responsible for and he’s already in the infield for crying out loud.
All the more reason I’m amused when people suggest the Yankees may be interested in Bryce Harper. Not only would that be an obvious production downgrade, it’d be a downgrade in hustle, brains and team first attitude as well. (See my previous post about Bryce for more on that…)