Aaron Judge Moving To Centerfield This Season As Yankees Outfield Takes Shape

Aaron Judge Moving To Centerfield This Season As Yankees Outfield Takes Shape

The New York Yankees made one of the biggest splashes this offseason by acquiring four-time Silver Slugger winner and 2019 World Series Champion Juan Soto via trade with the San Diego Padres.

 

Pairing a top-five player in the league in Soto with another top-five player in star outfielder and 2022 AL MVP Aaron Judge, should make for a devastating batting combo. 

Judge Willing To Play More Centerfield 

The challenge for teams with an abundance of talent is convincing individual stars to make sacrifices in order to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a World Series ring. It seems Judge is willing to do just that as he’s made it known this offseason that he’s open to switching over to centerfield to give the team more depth at the position, with recently-acquired Trent Grisham being the only natural centerfielder on the roster.

 

Judge, 31, has predominantly played right field throughout his seven years with the Yankees, while blossoming into a five-time All-Star selection, three-time All-MLB selection, three-time Silver Slugger award winner (2017, 2021, 2022), 2017 AL Rookie of the Year winner and single-season AL home run leader. 

 

 

Juan Soto Is A Defensive Liability

Yankees general manager Aaron Boone stated that Judge playing centerfield more frequently will allow the Yankees to rest their superstar more by also utilizing him as a designated hitter.   The Yankees can also get creative and slot Grisham at center while returning Judge to right field when Soto takes the day off. Giancarlo Stanton and his 402 career bro bombs will be worked into the DH position somewhere. 

 

Despite Soto’s hitting prowess, he is one of the worst defensive outfielders in the league. That calls for the former MVP in Judge to have to excel in his role as centerfielder for a team that was one of MLB’s worst fielding teams in 2023. The Bronx Bombers committed the sixth most errors in baseball (96). 

 

With Soto projected to be mostly slated as the right fielder (Judge’s natural position), Judge will be heavily slotted at center or even left field this upcoming season alongside Grisham and former Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo, who will probably get most of the reps in leftfield. Can Verdugo finally secure a position that has been an unstable one for the Yankees?  Playing left field at Yankee Stadium is harder than his previous Fenway Park stomping grounds where he has a +21 DRS in left field. It’s much easier to hide poor range in Fenway. 

 

Trent Grisham is The BX-Factor In Juan Soto Trade To Yankees

Yankees World Series Drought Continues

The Yankees have not won a World Series since 2009. A drought the legendary organization hasn’t experienced since a brief low point in the 1980s. 

 

If the Yankees want a chance to contend, they will have to severely improve defensively in the outfield as a unit. Adding MLBbro Marcus Stroman to the rotation definitely makes it more formidable. 

 

Can the new-look Yankees put it all together and make a postseason run? Getting the outfield situated is the first step towards finding out that answer.

Mookie Betts & Trayce Thompson Provide LA Dodgers With The Athletic Edge Entering NL Division Series Against San Diego Padres

Mookie Betts & Trayce Thompson Provide LA Dodgers With The Athletic Edge Entering NL Division Series Against San Diego Padres

Josh Bell and Trent Grisham combined for three home runs, five RBI and scored seven runs to beat the Mets in their Wild Card series matchup.  Now they will load up for the rematch the west coast has been waiting for against Mookie Betts, Dave Roberts, Trayce Thompson and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It’s playoff time and the bros are out in full swing, playing for big stakes.

 

 

San Diego has been waiting for this matchup since 2020, when they got swept 3-0 by Los Angeles in the “Bubble” World Series.

That series win not only propelled the Dodgers to their first World Series win since 1988 and gave Betts, Price and manager Dave Roberts their second championship rings, it showed the Padres could finally stand toe-to-toe with some of the Majors’ top teams, if they could find a few missing a few pieces.

Fast forward to 2021, when San Diego entered as big favorites but ultimately failed to make the playoffs after an injury to Fernando Tatis Jr. and the Dodgers ran into a buzzsaw in the N.L.C.S. against the Brave. Both teams were left searching to reach another level.

That set the stage for 2022, which began with Dave Roberts guaranteeing a World Series win for his Dodgers.

 

 

As Mookie Betts told us at the All-Star Game, anything less would be selling them short. The big-spending Dodgers added All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman to give them the best one-two-three punch in baseball along with Betts in the leadoff spot and Trae Turner behind him.

Those comments resonated within the locker room as the Dodgers finished with a franchise record 111 wins, mostly without their best starting pitcher and after somewhat of a slow start.

 

Live At The Ballpark| Trayce Thompson

 

Wins began accumulating for the L.A. when they promoted Trayce Thompson, the brother of NBA Champion, Golden State Warriors guard Klay. Thompson sparked the offense when he replaced Betts after he went on the Injured List for a few weeks. He hit over .300 between June and August, finishing the year at .256 with 13 home runs and 41 RBI.

The Padres were without Tatis Jr. to begin the year and it turned out he would not be playing a game in their uniform for a while after he was suspended for PED use right before he made his comeback. For most teams that may spell the end to their seasons, but weeks before San Diego made a blockbuster trade, acquiring Juan Soto and Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals.

Soto is one of the best players in baseball, has already turned down a $440M contract offer and he is only 23, while Bell has earned himself a bag in upcoming free agency.

 

Can MLBbro Josh Bell Find His Hitting Stroke To Help the Padres In the Postseason? | He’s Due For A Mr. October Power Rush

 

Bell ended the season with one of the highest batting averages for any switch hitter and was robbed from an All-Star selection after hitting .358 with seven home runs, seven doubles and 18 RBI in June. Padres outfielder Trent Grisham was the MVP of Wild Card weekend.  If Tatis Jr. was playing, Grisham may have been made the odd man out, but now he is doing what you are supposed to do in October, make a name for yourself.

Games 1 and 2 of the Divisional Series will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

MLBbro Trent Grisham Mashed On The Mets, Leads San Diego Padres To Wild Card Series Win

MLBbro Trent Grisham Mashed On The Mets, Leads San Diego Padres To Wild Card Series Win

The San Diego Padres advance to the Divisional Round after defeating the New York Mets 6-0 in a decisive Game 3 of the Wild Card round. Centerfielder Trent Grisham had himself an impressive series for the Padres. During the three games, the 25-year-old went 4-for-8 with two home runs, three RBI, and five runs scored.

 

In Game 3, he went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. He made a significant impact on offense, and he looked really comfortable out there at the plate. Grisham has extraordinary talent, but he’s been inconsistent at times this season. Grisham hit 17 homers and provided some superb defense, but he hit a career low .184 and had a career-high 15 Ks.

None of that matters now as Grisham was locked in during this three-game series, proving to be the brightest bat amongst a team full of big names and proven game. His web game was still working overtime as well. 

 

 

Fellow teammate and bro, Josh Bell also had a productive series as he collected three hits and a home run during the series. Grisham will play a key role as the Padres take on the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. The organization has been waiting for this talented MLBbro to put it all together. It’s been coming.

 

 

He couldn’t have picked a better time to break out. The Padres have never won a World Series in franchise history, despite having two chances in the past. The team has overcome a ferocious NL West and the loss of superstar Fernado Tatis Jr. to a PED suspension. The Padres could have hurled themselves into a downward spiral after embarrassingly losing their MVP candidate, but instead they pulled off a block buster trade to acquire Josh Bell and Juan Soto and with All-stars such as Manny Machado already in tow, the Padres advanced to their first playoff series win of the last decade and they have an MLBbro to thank for that. 

Names like Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom would make most hitters shutter. Grisham wanted all the smoke.  And if he can continue to stay hot at the plate, the Padres could have a shot at playing in the Championship Series.

Josh Bell Giving The Padres Exactly What They Need As They Make Playoff Push

Josh Bell Giving The Padres Exactly What They Need As They Make Playoff Push

Earlier this month, the San Diego Padres made a move to acquire Josh Bell along with Juan Soto via trade.

It was apparent that Bell needed to be a part of a team that had a shot at making the postseason. And now he is in that position.

The switch hitting slugger has been swinging a hot bat as of late, a big reason why the Padres pursued him.

Before Bell was on the move to the Padres, trade talks were looming and he was well aware, but now that it’s all over he’s glad to be with the team and have Soto with him.

“Then everything goes down and I was definitely happy to be able to share a flight with Juan and talk about it a little bit and tour the stadium, tour San Diego with Juan before we put on the uniform for the first time,” Bell said in an article from The San Diego Union-Tribune. “ It’s definitely nice having a teammate come across with you as you’re shaking hands for the first time and seeing new faces.”

During the team’s recent series against the Kansas City Royals, the Padres won two out of the three games and Bell recorded a hit in all three games.

 

MLBbro Josh Bell Traded To Loaded San Diego Padres | Nats Quietly Secure Two Future MLBbro Stars In Blockbuster

 

He finished the series going 4-for-11 with two RBI.

For San Diego, each game is important given what’s at stake. And Bell is 100% in to help the Padres make this run.

When he first joined the team, he struggled at the plate, but he’s found that success again.

And this could not have happened at a more perfect time.

On paper, offensively, the Padres have one of the best lineups in the league, They already had high production guys such as Manny Machado and Trent Grisham. Adding Bell and Soto potentially puts them on another level.

If Bell can continue to have the success at the plate that he’s had recently, then the Padres should win a good amount of their remaining games.

Now, another factor that’s important is the pitching, but you have to score runs to win games and having Bell is a big plus in that department.

September is going to be an eventful  month for the Padres and Bell will be a player that the league will be keeping under close surveillance.

“Elijah Green Has A Chance To Be A Five-Tool Package At The Major League Level” | Washington Nationals Enamored With Skillset And Upside Of Top Pick

“Elijah Green Has A Chance To Be A Five-Tool Package At The Major League Level” | Washington Nationals Enamored With Skillset And Upside Of Top Pick

The Washington Nationals are just three seasons removed from winning a World Series. That championship team started the season 19-31, and many believed they were surely headed for a fire sale.

But GM Mike Rizzo convinced team ownership to let the season play out, and the team got hot and took it all the way to an improbable Fall Classic win.

But since that fateful October night in Houston, there hasn’t been much to cheer about on the diamond in the nation’s capital.

The team let mainstay Anthony Rendon leave via free agency. They also traded stalwart pitcher Max Scherzer and stud shortstop Trea Turner to the rival Dodgers. The team’s brass decided on a rebuild, centered around star outfielder Juan Soto. After turning down a $450M offer from the Nats, Soto’s future in D.C. is very much up in the air.


Finding gems through the farm system has been something that Washington is pretty good at. The franchise may have drafted another cornerstone player in Elijah Green who will take over as face of the franchise when Soto is eventually traded.

The talented IMG Academy star was taken with the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft, and at 18 he’s already got a major league build at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds. 

 

Green Has Five-Tools:  Speed, Throwing, Fielding, Hitting For Average And Hitting For Power

While at IMG, Green raised eyebrows with his rare skill set; one that allows him to look like a slugger one moment, a talented lead-off hitter the next and then a gold glove defender. The Nats saw potential greatness in the two-sport phenom, whose dad Eric, was a two-time Pro Bowler in the NFL. 

Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Operations, Kris Kline talked about the newest member of the Washington Nats family during a recent zoom interview.

 

“You’re talking about a skill set that is potentially gonna hit in the middle of the order and be impactful.”

Kline continued to heap praise on the player he said has the highest ceiling of anyone in the draft.

“There are very special players in this draft, but their skill sets aren’t the same. You had some really good-looking hitters but maybe they had some deficiencies in other aspects of their game. But Elijah has a chance to be a five -tool package at the major league level. Five tools, and when I say five-tools, I mean five above-average tools at the big league level.”

“He has a chance to be a middle-of-the-order bat, a run producer and a guy with the character and ability that got build your team around. He would be one of those type players.”

 

Green May Be The Face Of The Future If Team Can’t Keep Soto

With superstar slugger Juan Soto declining a 15-year, $440 million extension about 10 days ago, rumors are he’ll be dealt for an enormous haul of prospects and picks. The team mentioned they’d make one more offer to Soto, and then move from there. They’d love nothing more than to keep Soto around and team him with Green in the future, but if the Nationals don’t make an offer conducive to what Soto’s agent Scott Boras deems fair and acceptable, that idea becomes far-fetched.

 

 

Either way, the Nationals have drafted a piece of their future in Green, and something tells me it won’t take him long to make his arrival in the majors.