It took 16 games, but Aaron Judge finally launched his first home run of the 2018 Grapefruit League season, and it came with former Yankee great and current Marlins co-owner Derek Jeter in attendance.
Judge's solo homer in the top of the seventh inning came on a fastball from Marlins right-hander Sandy Alcantara in Miami's 7-5 win over the Yankees in front of a sold-out crowd at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
"I didn't see where it landed," Judge said of his blast, which traveled well over 400 feet and landed on a second-floor balcony above the Marlins' clubhouse beyond the left-field wall.
"He just missed it," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said with a grin.
Judge's homer came a day after teammate and former Marlin Giancarlo Stanton hit his first home run of Spring Training.
"I just tried to stick to my approach, and I was able to catch one out front," Judge said of the home run pitch from Alcantara, which resulted in his only hit of the game. "I'm just glad I felt good in the box. I was swinging at the right pitches. Especially with the guy on the mound. He was about 100 [mph] and works his pitches well. Just made sure I stayed in my zone."
Judge, the 2017 American League Rookie of the Year Award winner who smacked 52 home runs, said he doesn't feel like he's quite where he was with his timing at this point last season, but he feels he's on the right pace after going 2-for-2 at the plate on Saturday and then homering Sunday.
"It's getting there. It's still a work in progress," Judge said. "We're still two weeks out [from Opening Day], so you never want to peak too early. Still tinkering with some things. I was a little further along in spring last year. Right now, I'm still working on my swing. I'm just trying to be ready for Opening Day. Biggest thing for me is just to get my work in."
Aaron Judge has his first home run of spring training as he got on the board in the 7th inning with a solo shot off Marlins righty Sandy Alcantara to bring the #Yankees within 7-5 against Miami.— ⚾️ (@YankeesMLBNews) 11 de marzo de 2018
Didi Gregorius hit a 2-run HR in the 6th off Alcantata for his second of the spring.