Joe Girardi has named Aaron Judge the Yankees' starting right fielder, while Pete Kozma has made the team as a backup infielder.
Judge hit an impressive .345 with three home runs and six RBIs in 58 at-bats this spring.
The 24-year old struggled in only 84 at-bats with New York last year, finishing the year with a .179 batting average to go along with four home runs and 10 RBIs.
Kozma batted .222 with three RBIs in 36 at-bats during spring training.
The Yankees signed Kozma to a minor league contract following the 2015 season. Last year for Triple-A Scranton, Kozma hit .209 with two home runs and 32 RBIs in 445 at-bats.
Judge was asked to do several things this spring. He had to make adjustments to his swing mechanics. He needed to cut down on the number of strikeouts he succumbed to last season. Judge then had to display those adjustments would not affect his power. Finally, Judge had to show that he could play solid defense in right field. Judge succeeded in each aspect and did so while beating out a tough competitor in Aaron Hicks.
While it took a long time to convince the Yankees hierarchy, Judge was likely the desired right fielder at the outset of the spring. This is a big day for the Yankees. They have made two decisions that demonstrate they are committed to their youth movement, first with Severino and now Judge.
As for Kozma, the Yankees went with the solid defensive infielder who can play shortstop. The team clearly does not want to shift Starlin Castro from his spot at second base, even in an emergency, which eliminated Rob Refsnyder from consideration.