New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is best known for his offensive prowess, but he showed off his athleticism on defense early in Wednesday night's eventual ALCS Game 1 loss against the Houston Astros.
The Astros had placed two baserunners on early against Yankees starter Jameson Taillon -- Jeremy Peña on a double to left, Yordan Alvarez on a walk -- affording Alex Bregman an RBI opportunity. Bregman did his part, driving a ball to right-center field. It looked like Bregman's ball would split the gap and allow him to record at least a double, if not a triple.
Judge had different ideas, though, and the Yankees right fielder was able to make a nifty diving grab that certainly prevented the Astros from notching the first runs of the night and the series. Take a look:
Statcast calculates "catch probability" based on a number of factors, including the ball's hang time and the distance needed for a fielder to make a play. Keep that in mind, because Bregman's batted ball resulted in a 25 percent catch probability for Judge, according to Katie Sharp.
What's more is that Statcast grades outfield catches on a five-star system, depending on said probability; 25 percent and below represent a "five-star" catch, or the most difficult of the bunch. During the regular season, Judge had 22 opportunities at making a "five-star" catch, and he came up short on all of them. In other words, Judge saved his best catch of the season -- based on this methodology, anyway -- for the first game of the ALCS.
Taillon, by the way, would subsequently coerce a groundout from Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker, bringing the bottom of the first inning to a close and stranding the pair of baserunners.