Before we get into Aaron Judge I just want to mention the three things I love about America:
1. Dogs: Look at how great dogs are.
My snuggle pups #poodle #poodles #dogs #dog pic.twitter.com/FVVsb44r53
— Hoodie Joe Randazzo (Bronx Pinstripes writer) (@deflategator) July 15, 2017
2. Baseball: When Brad Pitt played a better Billy Beane than Billy Beane ever could have, he had one of the better lines about this game.
3. Letting people know they’re wrong. (And this is where I circle back to our captain.) Check out my You’re a Bad Person for Insulting Aaron Judge series where I pointed out twice that he’s due. (It really isn’t hard to say Judge is good but I mean, you gotta take your I’m-Right-You’re-Wrong wins where you can.) All of this was written amid a rough time for Judge at the plate and I want everyone to know that.
You can read me say Aaron Judge was elite during his slump here:
“Debunking the “Aaron Judge is boring” myth.”
“You boo Aaron Judge, you lose your parade invitation”
*Now the 4th thing I love about America would be psychotropic substances but I mean, there’s a time and place for everything and maybe this isn’t the time or space for this. But just know that would be 4.
Mushrooms, baseball. pic.twitter.com/GNbOBaqeg9
— Liz Wolfe (@lizzywol) June 13, 2019
Anyway, Gonzo subjects aside, look at this pretty graphic by Fox.
Aaron Judge is heating up for the @Yankees.
… Uh oh. pic.twitter.com/cYY3EJ1yTr
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 29, 2019
So yes. Aaron Judge is not broken. Aaron Judge isn’t washed. No, in fact, there isn’t much to worry about with Judge.
Not only is he the spiritual captain of the New York Yankees, he’s slugged his way to 100 home runs at the third quickest rate. The first is Ryan Howard (325 games), the next is the best catcher in the game, Gary Sanchez (355 games), and the third is, of course, one of the greater individuals to walk this earth since PROBABLY Padre Pio, Aaron Judge (371 games). (You can probably even go as far back as Abraham Lincoln if we’re being completely honest.)
If you want to look where Aaron Judge has ranked during this hot stretch, you can really see just how mammoth of a presence he is at the plate. (Crazy that this needs to be pointed out. Unfortunately, there are those who act like they’ve never seen a slump before) It’s a run we probably haven’t seen from Judge in the regular season since before Jakob Junis did him in last year:
- 6 Home Runs (1st)
- 9 RBI (13th)
- .897 SLG (5th) – (On a side note Mike Ford is 1st in slugging in this time with 1.125)
- 224 wRC+ (10th) – (Another side note: Ford is first during this timespan with a 298 wRC+)
- 64% Hard Hit % (6th)
Bobby Abreu makes an appearance
Not long before Judge went on a tear Joe Girardi did an interview with Mike Francesca where he talked about the season Bobby Abreu suffered from an oblique injury before spring training. For a while, in 2006, Abreu just wasn’t the same.
Now let me know if this story sounds familiar. This is what Abreu did at the beginning of the season while he was still recovering:
4/2 – 5/30
2 HR, 22 RBI, 6 XBH, .228 AVG, .313 OBP, .289 SLG, .602 OPS
Here is what he did once he was a bit removed from the injury:
6/1 – 9/30
14 HR, 79 RBI, 39 XBH, .309 AVG, .396 OBP, .520 SLG, .916 OPS
Patient with power: Remember when the #Yankees got Bobby Abreu?
📲Read here: https://t.co/3J7iJhvHVZ pic.twitter.com/t6psjpdOp9
— Bronx Pinstripes (@BronxPinstripes) July 31, 2019
Bobby Abreu was a good ball player, but think about what Aaron Judge can pull off since he’s in a similar situation. I know there isn’t much time left in the baseball season, but we could see a September 2017 Judge streak. Given that he has more experience now, it would be akin to him being baseball’s Red Hulk – a monster with full control of his faculties that has all the strength of Bruce Banner’s gamma beast.
The term “lost season” was used a lot for Judge by the dregs of the Internet, but now it’s within the realm of possibility that he at least gets close to his home run totals from last year. I would love for Judge to hit 30 but if he gets to 25, hell, with the way he slumped, that would be big. Anything close to his total from last year would be a win in my opinion.
You can’t have an article evaluating a player without seeing their baseball savant chart. So here:
Aaron Judge’s statcast numbers are like a video game. Where he stands in the league compared to everyone else in terms of power is just a joke. It’s Mantle-esque the way he is so natural at mashing baseballs. (No I’ve never seen the Mick play but I’ve read books soooo…) His ability to decimate balls is just unreal and all of us – except for the previously mentioned dregs who don’t get to go to the parade – are so lucky to have him.
These are just a few of the things Judge is elite in currently:
- 20.4% Barrel % (Top 1% in the league)
- 96.7% AVG Exit Velocity (Top 1% in the league and his personal career high)
- .566 xSLG (top 3% in the league)
- 59.1% Hard Hit% (Top 1% in the league)
These numbers were also pretty consistent throughout the year. Baseball is the sport in which everything evens out and we just might see Aaron Judge have no chill between now and Title 28.
So what’s next for the Captain?