Yankees’ Aaron Judge reveals a shift in atmosphere: ‘The energy is different’

Aaron Judge, the star of the Yankees
Amanda Paula
Friday September 8, 2023

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Prior to the Yankees’ loss to the Tigers, Aaron Judge discussed on Yes Network the new mentality and youthful spark.

In a candid interview before the Yankees faced off against the Tigers at Yankee Stadium, Aaron Judge shed light on the fresh perspective and revitalized mentality that the New York Yankees have embraced in the past month. According to Judge, the infusion of young prospects has had a profound impact behind the scenes, invigorating the team’s atmosphere and injecting a new sense of vigor into their gameplay.

Reflecting on his experience with the Houston Astros, Aaron Judge reminisced about the energy that surrounded the emergence of young talents within the team. He noted a palpable shift in dynamics, a livelier atmosphere on the players’ bus, more conversations flowing, and a clubhouse that exuded a relaxed ambiance. In Judge’s eyes, these elements are crucial for enduring the grind of a 162-game season. Being loose, having fun, and maintaining camaraderie, he asserted, are essential for players to compete at their best.

“I even go back to Houston when all of those guys were kind of coming up. The energy I felt, stepping onto the player’s bus, was different. More guys were talking, there was a bit of commotion, and even the clubhouse atmosphere felt a bit more relaxed. That’s what you need when you’re playing 162 games. You’re grinding through a season with its ups and downs, and when you’re loose and you’re [having] fun you’re gonna go out there and compete at your best.”


Emerging stars

This newfound mentality coincided with a pivotal moment for the Yankees. On September 2, the team made several bold moves, waiving Harrison Bader, releasing Josh Donaldson, and shutting down Anthony Rizzo. In response, they called up their top prospects, Jasson Dominguez and Austin Wells, to join Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, and Everson Pereira, forming one of the youngest lineups in the league. Facing off against the formidable Houston Astros, known for their dominance over the Yankees, the pressure was on.

Many fans feared that these roster changes signaled the front office’s surrender for the 2023 season. However, the young prospects responded resoundingly, embarking on a five-game winning streak—the longest such streak for New York during the entire campaign. Beyond the immediate impact, this stretch holds great promise for the future of the franchise.

Austin Wells, catcher of the New York Yankees

Jasson Dominguez, in particular, has captured the hearts of Yankee fans. In his first at-bat against the Astros’ Cy Young-winner, Justin Verlander, Dominguez displayed no fear, launching a home run on just the second pitch of his Major League career. At only 20 years old, he has since added three more homers and five RBIs to his impressive start, boasting a remarkable 1.143 OPS. While maintaining these numbers may prove challenging, Dominguez’s potential as a future superstar is undeniable.

Austin Wells has also left a positive impression on manager Aaron Boone. His instant connection with the pitching staff during the Houston series stood out, showcasing his ability to contribute both behind the plate and at bat. The Yankees are eagerly anticipating Wells’ growth.

Everson Pereira walks in the second inning against the Nationals on Tuesday. Everson Pereira walks in the second inning against the Nationals on Tuesday.
Corey Sipkin / NY POST

Peraza and Pereira, though with more time on the roster, have also made vital contributions. Peraza’s standout performances against both the Astros and Tigers, including two three-hit games and critical RBIs, have earned him Player of the Game recognition. Pereira, despite some struggles at the plate, showcased his defensive prowess and secured the go-ahead run in Game 2 against Houston. Together with Anthony Volpe, who has been consistently impressive throughout the season, these young players are reshaping the Yankees’ outlook.

As the front office prepares to overhaul the roster, the future appears bright for these emerging talents. With Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole as the only seemingly secured spots in the Yankee core, ample opportunities lie ahead for these prospects to establish themselves in the lineup. If the winning streak continues, the praise for the “Baby Bombers” will only intensify. Yankees fans can take comfort in the knowledge that the team has unlocked a promising core for the future this season.

Looking for the future

In an even more hopeful twist, despite a recent embarrassing defeat, the Yankees have the chance to promote another prospect who could make waves in the minor leagues. George Lombard Jr., the Yankees’ 1st-round pick, has been making impressive strides in the Low A Tampa league. With his father currently serving as the Tigers’ bench coach, Lombard’s success adds yet another dimension to the narrative of young talents rising in baseball’s ranks. His strong performance in both complex-league games and Low A Tampa suggests that the future of baseball is in good hands, filled with exciting talents poised to take the sport to new heights.

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