In 22 at-bats, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has hit three, doubles, four homers, and recorded 7 RBIs. Now, he has also struck out six times this spring. If you factor out Judge’s 2018 stats, you can see that he averages a homer every 15 at-bats. Additionally, he struck out every 2.7 at-bats.
By look at Judge’s Grapefruit league numbers, we can see that he is hitting a homer every 5.5 at-bats and striking out every 3.6 at-bats. What does this tell us? He’s seeing the ball extremely well and his injury is clearly not bothering him anymore.
On Tuesday afternoon, Yankees’ Judge hit a two-run homer with ease:
Aaron Judge bashes his fourth home run of 2019 for the Yankees!
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) March 12, 2019
An opposite-field homer from the big man. Just watch his stance – he’s locked in, legs stuck into the ground like tree trunks prepared to swivel and send the ball flying the other direction. This was impressive, a quick twist of the hips and the glorious sound of a perfectly hit ball. His fundamentals look impeccable, and if he can lower his strikeout rate this season, Judge could be a front-runner for MVP.
Reggie Jackson and Ken Singleton made an observation on Judge’s swing:
“Aaron has been working in the cage and behind the scenes, if you will, by trying to take a no-stride swing to not have too much going on with two strikes.”
If you look at his current motion, Judge’s front foot stays firmly in the ground, not moving except for the natural twist. In previous years, his front foot would hop off the ground to deliver more power, but it would throw him off balance and cause him to swing at more pitches. Now, he’s more concentrated and balanced in the box.
This small tweak could be the difference in an MPV caliber season or not. Barring injury, he certainly looks the part this spring. But, as we know, taking spring stats too literally is never a good idea, and predicting he’s going to replicate the same production would be ignorant. Despite those factors, his stance has clearly changed, and hopefully, it’s for the better.