By now, Yankees fans are well aware of rookie slugger and starting right fielder Aaron Judge‘s incredible start to the 2017 season. In a time when two of the club’s most important players, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius, are sidelined with injuries, a few players have obviously stepped up to shoulder the load.
Most encouraging to the Yankees has to be the maturity in the plate approach of Aaron Judge. In 2016, Judge was called up and started his career with a bang by homering in his first at bat. However, not long after his first game heroics, Judge struggled. In 27 games and 84 at-bats in 2016, he hit 4 home runs, drove in 10 RBI, and struck out 42 times.
Just to dive a bit deeper into just how impressive Judge’s start has been, in just 12 games and 40 at-bats this season, he already has 4 home runs (should be 5), 11 RBI, and has struck out only 13 times. In addition, Judge’s average is nearly 100 points higher than that of last season.
Again, it’s early, but it is certainly encouraging to see Aaron do what he is projected to do. It isn’t only what he’s doing that is so impressive, it’s how he’s doing it. Manager Joe Girardi was very vocal about what they wanted out of Judge: limit the strikeouts and make more consistent contact.
Judge has certainly answered the call to this point, and last night facing White Sox lefty Derek Holland was a prime example.
Education of a hitter: Judge homered off 3-1 curve from Holland. Of 15 pitches from Holland, it was 7th curve. He didn’t just look FB on 3-1
Facing a 3-1 count, rather than sitting dead red and unloading on an assumed fast ball, Judge recognized Holland was leaning heavily on the curve, throwing it 7 times out of the 15 Judge saw. The big guy sat back on the curve and the rest is history:
All rise Yankees fans, because court is in session.
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