The Yankees’ Captain is doing something extraordinary

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays, aaron judge
Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

While the New York Yankees might be experiencing a cold streak, their superstar slugger Aaron Judge is on fire, positioning himself at the forefront of the MVP race with stellar performances.

Judge’s Unstoppable Performance

Despite a challenging start to the regular season, Judge has excelled, surpassing expectations with his current statistics. Over 82 games, he boasts a batting line of .310/.431/.701, including 30 homers, 79 RBIs, and an impressive 211 wRC+. His on-base percentage and slugging rate currently surpass his MVP-winning 2022 season stats, where he hit 62 homers and collected 131 RBIs. On track for 60 home runs this season, Judge could potentially surpass his previous career high and set a new MLB record.

Jun 9, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A Record-Breaking June

In June alone, Judge has gone nuclear, hitting .395/.500/.852, including 10 homers, 34 RBIs, and a 1.352 OPS. His performance this month is unprecedented, and his consistent output has kept the Yankees competitive despite their recent series losses.

Judge excels in all statistical categories, ranking in the 100th percentile in xwOBA, xSLG, average exit velocity, barrel percentage, and hard-hit percentage. He also ranks exceptionally high in xBA, launch-angle sweet spot, and chase rate, reaffirming his status as the best hitter in baseball this year.

Yankees’ Prospects and Trade Deadline Strategies

With Juan Soto alongside him, Judge’s continued excellence could propel the Yankees deep into the postseason. As the trade deadline approaches in late July, General Manager Brian Cashman is expected to be very active, seeking to bolster the roster for a playoff push. The team currently faces challenges with DJ LeMahieu’s performance, Gleyber Torres’s inconsistency, and a bullpen lacking robust, healthy arms.

Jun 25, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto (22) follows through on a solo home run against the New York Mets during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Anticipated Moves by Cashman

Cashman is likely to seek additional relief pitchers, at least one, and potentially an above-average infielder to address current deficiencies. The ideal scenario would involve acquiring a quality third baseman, which would allow LeMahieu to transition into a utility role rather than maintaining his position as an everyday starter.

Looking Ahead

There’s much work to be done, but the Yankees are focused on overcoming their current hurdles before the All-Star break in mid-July, which will provide a much-needed week for rest and recovery. As the season progresses, the strategic additions and adjustments at the trade deadline will be critical for the Yankees to enhance their chances of a successful postseason run.

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