Aaron Judge, one of the New York Yankees' top prospects, homered twice in his first weekend in the majors in a polarizing start to his big league career.
Fellow rookie Tyler Austin and Judge became the first teammates in baseball history to hit back-to-back home runs in their first at-bats in Saturday's 8-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Austin's home run was a line drive that just eclipsed the right-field fence, whereas Judge's first homer was a blast projected to travel 446 feet to deep center field.
"It was exciting," Judge said on Saturday, according to MLB.com's Nick Suss. "Tyler went out there and he got down 0-2 really quick, but he battled and had a great at-bat and was able to hit one out. I was ecstatic on deck and I was like, 'I've just got to make contact now.' What a day. That's all I can really say."
Judge followed Saturday's debut with another home run, this one 362 feet to right field, in a 12-3 loss on Sunday to become the second Yankee since 1980 to homer in his first two games in the majors.
"I don't think we expect a homer every day. I think that would be a record," manager Joe Girardi said on Sunday, according to Suss. "It seems like every time he hits the ball in the air people get excited."
Judge, 24, towers at 6-foot-7, 275 pounds, and was one of the prospects called up to fill the void of Alex Rodriguez, who was unconditionally released from his playing contract after Friday's game.
He had missed nearly a month with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with a knee injury, but has a .366/.458/.780 batting line with five home runs and 13 RBIs in the 12 games across both levels since he's returned.
"He's a young player and you want to make sure he's making adjustments," Girardi said, according to the New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron, "and, so far, he's looked really, really good."