NEW YORK – Following another loss on Saturday afternoon, the New York Yankees fell to 40-32 and have now lost 9 of their last 11 games. This has been, by far, the worst the Yankees have played all season, but with all that has gone wrong, one player continues to shine: Aaron Judge.
After Saturday’s 1-for-4 performance, Judge is now hitting .333 in the month of June — driving in 20 runs and homering 8 times. Judge provided the lone run for the Yankees on Saturday when he homered off of Rangers’ starting pitcher, Austin Bibens-Dirkx. Bibens-Dirkx threw Judge a fastball on the inner half of the plate that was turned on for a solo shot to deep, left center field.
Judge’s season has been nothing short of spectacular. Based on his batting average in the zone chart breakdown, it does not matter where you throw him the ball, he is going to put it in play. Judge is hitting nearly .300 in every part of the strike zone except for the top right portion, which he is hitting only .167. Pitchers have a tendency to pitch Judge down and outside of the strike zone, where he is hitting only .143. Of the 1,311 pitches that Judge has seen this season, 411 of those pitches have been thrown down and away – that is nearly 34%.
The difference between the Judge of 2016 and the Judge of 2017 is his ability to lay off pitches outside the strike zone. Last season, Judge struck out in half of his at-bats because he swung at most of the pitches that fell down and away. The big right fielder’s patience has forced pitchers to give him pitches to hit, making him a Triple Crown candidate this season.
Without Judge, the Yankees would be in a lot of trouble. Despite their current skid, the Bronx Bombers trail the Boston Red Sox by only a half game in the division.