Cashman not tempering expectations on Judge

General manager can see why others are dreaming big about No. 2 prospect

Cashman not tempering expectations on Judge

TAMPA, Fla. -- Reggie Jackson has provided some Hall of Fame comparisons for No. 2 Yankees prospect Aaron Judge, offering the names of Dave Winfield, Willie McCovey and Willie Stargell. To general manager Brian Cashman, there is nothing wrong with dreaming big.

Jackson told ESPN on Tuesday that he sees the 22-year-old Judge as "the next great Yankee," comparing the 6-foot-7, 255-pound outfielder's athleticism to Winfield while flipping a few more Cooperstown analogies to describe Judge's presence at the plate.

"He's got power like Stargell, McCovey," Jackson said. "Opposite-field power, which is the best power you can have. That allows you to wait on the ball. He has power like a guy from the '60s and '70s."

Jackson has not been alone in offering gushing praise for Judge, who has also drawn comparisons to Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Cashman said that there is little he can do to temper expectations for Judge, who hit 17 homers last year in Class A ball.

Judge's diving catch

"I don't think it's hurtful," Cashman said. "Listen, we all project what someone could be on a maximum case. Whether people want to throw out Giancarlo Stanton or Dave Winfield or McCovey, it doesn't matter at all. You're dreaming on the player's abilities. Some players, you can dream bigger on than others. There's nothing wrong with dreaming big on a guy, especially a guy like that, that's that big."

Winfield hit 465 homers over a 22-year Hall of Fame career that included nine seasons with the Yankees. Cashman said that the Yankees have heard the Winfield comparison circulated elsewhere for Judge, who was the 32nd overall selection in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft and could begin the season with Double-A Trenton.

"I've heard a lot about Winny, from a lot of people, even when he got out of the Draft," Cashman said. "There was another team that really wanted him, where the guy was just like, 'This is going to be another Winny.' That's what you do in the game, for better or for worse. People go to the dream aspect, not to the levels underneath."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.