Aaron Judge got off to a torrid start at the beginning of the New York Yankees 2020 shortened season. He hit nine home runs in the first fourteen games of the season. He then had a calf strain while playing at Tropicana Field. He was out for over two weeks. When he returned, he never hit another home run for the remainder of the regular season. He went from hitting more home runs than any other baseball player to not hitting any. What was different? Was it lingering pain from the injury, or was it a chance in his batting stance?
Aaron Judge has tinkered with his batting stance several times in his short career. Most of it involved a toe tap. He has also changed from a closed stance to a much more wide stance, and back and forth according to what pitcher he is facing. He also adjusts how he holds his bat base on whether he is facing a left or right-handed pitcher. He is notorious for these changes. It could be these changes cause him to go from hot to stone cold. He had an obvious change to his stance late and 2019, and he improved dramatically.
Now in this offseason, Judge has continued to work out and work on his hitting. He posted a video of him hitting with an apparent new rather extreme toe-tap to his Twitter account. I am certainly not an expert on batting mechanics, but at first glance at what he is working on doesn’t seem to be all that good. I don’t see how falling off the base when swinging is beneficial.
Aaron Judge adding a toe tap to his swing? pic.twitter.com/SeDnLQdlIr
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) November 29, 2020
Of course, he did say that he is working on it. Hopefully, whatever he refines it into will lead to greater success than he exhibited late in the regular season last year. With a bit of a toe tap in the postseason, the slugger hit three home runs in seven games played. But, that is all he did; he struck out ten times and batted a miserable .133. In the 2021 season, the New York Yankees will need Judge to stay healthy, hit for power, and when he doesn’t find a way to get on base and drive in runs.