Missing more than two months of baseball certainly takes a toll on any given player’s statistics, but if you’re New York Yankees star Aaron Judge, it looks like this –.278 batting average, 27 home runs and 67 RBIs. For any other player, those stats are impressive and would be deemed “productive.”
Now, being that Judge missed nearly nine-weeks of baseball, we can predict he would have had another All-Star caliber season with the potential for more. His primary weakness remained his strikeout rate, as he went down swinging 152 times in 2018 and 208 in ’17. These numbers surely raise a red-flag when it comes to his efficiency at the plate and contact-percentages. Nonetheless, he’s been a phenom at the plate and is one of the Yankees’ top-hitters.
But, what could he be capable of in 2019, if he can remain healthy for the entire season?
Before we delve into what ‘could’ be, let’s see what ‘was’.
Despite Judge’s strikeout issues – every 3.2 at-bats in 2018, his contribution towards average runs per-game was astounding. When the slugger was in the lineup, the Yankees went 73-39 and averaged 5.42 runs-per-game. Without him, they went 27-22 and only averaged 4.86 per-game. That’s a little above half a run per-game, which would indicate that he was responsable for a tenth of all the runs the Yankees scored last-season (while active).
These numbers represent a notable difference in the lineup, and being healthy should improve those numbers considerably.
While predicting his 2019 stats are impossible, we can assume that his home runs total could fall anywhere between 52-42, while his RBIs 100-115. Judge was the runner-up for MVP in 2017, which is a good place to start from when looking at his potential numbers. If we use those as peak numbers and go from there we can formulate an educated guess.
The New York Yankees are building a power batting order:
If the Yanks manage to secure the signature of superstar free agent Manny Machado they would have a power-centralized lineup. Boasting Giancarlo Stanton, Judge, ‘Machado, and Gary Sanchez would indicate an obvious trend. The Bombers relied on the long-ball to win a lot of games last year, which is where they got into trouble against the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS.
Stopping the Yanks from belting shots over the fence is the key to success, as they’re not above-average base-runners. The problem is — how do you stop some of the best hitters in the game from hitting the ball?