It looks like one Home Run Derby title is enough for Aaron Judge.
The sophomore outfielder told the New York Post’s George King on Tuesday that he’s planning to skip this summer’s All-Star hitting event at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
“There is no need to do it,’’ Judge told the Post.
Judge was the star and champion of last season’s Home Run Derby at Marlins Park in Miami, as he hit nearly four miles worth of home runs en route to a win over Twins’ slugger Miguel Sano in the final round.
Prior to the 2017 All-Star break, Judge hit .329 with a whopping 30 homers. But after the break, Judge regressed drastically (.195 average, 14 homers, 31 RBI in first 60 games back). Although Judge hasn’t publicly admitted that the Derby played a role in a left shoulder injury that required offseason surgery, it’s fair to assume that the event did some damage.
“The Home Run Derby was a cool experience and I enjoyed it all, but I don’t think I need to go out there and do it again,” Judge said in March.
Judge told the Post on Tuesday that “pressure won’t do anything” if Major League Baseball asks him to participate again.
“Even if [MLB officials] reach out, it’s still my decision and what I think is best for me,’’ Judge said. “Like I said, that is the last thing on my mind right now… I am leaning more toward not doing it.”
Judge may still represent the American League at Nationals Park this July, however. The 26-year-old entered Tuesday hitting .286 with 12 homers and 36 RBI.