Baby Bombers Shine In Debut [VIDEO]
A new era has officially arrived in the Bronx. The day after Alex Rodriguez played his final game as a New York Yankee, two more of the team's stellar young talent made their debut; and they did it with a bang as the Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 on Saturday afternoon.
Rookie's Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge made history as they became the first pair of teammates ever to hit back-to-back home runs in their first career major league at-bats. The only other instance where rookies hit a home run in their first at-bats in the same game was in 1938 when Ernie Koy of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Heinie Mueller of the Philadelphia Phillies both went deep on April 19th. However, they were obviously on opposing teams.
Austin took a Matt Andriese fastball down the right-field line for his first career home run.
"I was ecstatic on deck," Judge said of Austin's opposite field home run. "I was like, 'Oh, man, I've just got to make contact now.'"
Judge then stepped into the batters-box and took an Andriese change-up to deep center field off the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar that sits above Monument Park. The blast was calculated at 446 feet; the longest home run by a Yankee at home in over a year.
"We brought up some big boys," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the game. "Tyler Austin's probably 225, 230 pounds, and he looks small next to Aaron Judge."
Judge, who stands at a towering 6-foot-7, was one of the untouchables in the Yankee farm system since they drafted him with the 32nd overall pick in 2013.
Both of the newbies went 2-for-4 in their debut's as the "core four" of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada were on hand as the franchise celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 1996 championship team. The call up also marked the first time since 1969 that the Yankees had a pair of players make their debut on the same day (Jim Lyttle and John Ellis on May 17th, 1969 against the California Angels).
"It was an incredible experience, and what a great team win," Judge said.
Everything seems to be falling into place for the Yankees. The new crop of young talent have gotten their careers off to a tremendous start with catcher Gary Sanchez making his presence known as he went 4-for-5 in a Yankees win over the Boston Red Sox this past week.
Sanchez, Judge, and Austin will likely be staples for the next few years as the Yankees try to regain the dominance they used to have in the AL East. Greg Bird and James Kaprielian will add to the youth on the Yankees come the start of the 2017 season.
The Yankees youth movement was in full force. After the rookies went back-to-back in the 2nd inning, Aaron Hicks, Starlin Castro, and Didi Gregorius all hit home runs as well, meaning all five of the teams home runs were hit by players 26-years-old or younger. The team has now reached a season-best four games over .500.
The future is now for the Yankees. And boy, does it look bright.