In 10 games during spring training, New York Yankees sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have totaled six homers. While that number doesn’t raise any eyebrows, it’s an indication that once again, both players will be active in the category during the 2019 season.
Stanton earned 38 homers in 158 games last season, while Judge hit 27 in 112 games. Both players were plagued with strikeouts, which has been the expectation given their aggressive nature at the plate. Small tweaks have seen Judge reduce that number significantly, though, focusing on his batting stance and swinging with more stability.
New York Yankees: Aaron Judge has changed his stance –
Judge previously lifted his forward foot to provide more power, which de-activated the rotation of his waist and power it provides. By planting his front foot and using his core to produce power, he’s lowered his strikeout rate from every 2.7 at-bats to every 3.6 at-bats.
While spring stats aren’t indicative of any major changes, they provide a small sample size to predict potential variations, especially when they’re visible. One of Judge’s flaws has undoubtedly been his inability to simply make contact. Hitting home runs is his strength, but striking out at an elevated rate doesn’t help his numbers pop. Giving him that additional factor – high contact rate, not only increases his home run totals, but also his base hits.
Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton could light up the MLB in 2019:
The Yankees’ youth product could be in for a huge 2019 season, and he could set records with Stanton if the former Marlin can maintain his confidence at the plate. Entering a vicious New York market with a belittling atmosphere at Yankee Stadium can hurt any player, especially one that has never featured on a winning team before.
I believe Stanton will be even more productive in the coming season, simply due to the confidence factor and the familiarity with the style of play the Yankees preach. Home run-centric baseball seems to be the approach the Bombers have taken towards scoring runs, and if both Judge and Stanton can reach their potential, the sky is the limit.
To put into perspective the influence both of these players have on the Yankees’ home run totals, let’s use their top seasons to portray their dominance.
In Stanton’s best season he recorded 59 homers, Judge, 52. Adding those together you get 111, a bit less than 50% of the 267 homers the Yankees earned in 2018 – they ranked 1st in the MLB. Miami ranked last in the league with 128. The two outfielders nearly hit Miami’s total home runs last season. That’s how influential these players are at the plate.
In what’s expected to be an exciting season for the Yanks, we could see these two batters reach heights never seen before in modern-day baseball.