New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole will be starting the All-Star Game in Seattle on Tuesday, and Aaron Judge said he believes that Cole has grown into his role since coming over to the Yankees in 2020.

“For him, he dove right in and started building the bonds from the very first day,” Aaron Judge said, via Bryan Hoch of “Now a couple of years later, you're starting to see that bond turn into friendships. He's a leader. I'm excited he's over here. He's comfortable, and he's really grown into himself.”

Cole joined the Yankees for the 2020 season after signing a nine-year, $324 million contract with the team. Judge emphasized how tough it is to come into a new team on a big contract like that.

“Anytime you come to a new team and sign a big contract, it's a tough position to be in,” Judge said, via Hoch. “We see it around the league when guys sign with new teams. It's a learning curve; you're trying to get comfortable, you're meeting new teammates. It's a rocky situation.”

Cole agreed with Judge's notion that he is more settled in with the Yankees.

“I'm just more settled,” Cole said, via Hoch. “It's all about getting more familiar with people. I've played with [Judge] now for four years. I've gotten to know [Anthony] Volpe and Big G [Giancarlo Stanton] and a lot of the other people in the organization on a more personal level.”

The Yankees might be out of a playoff spot at the All-Star break, but the team's investment in him is paying off. He currently is 9-2 with a 2.85 ERA in 19 starts this season, according to Hoch.