Yankees’ Aaron Judge drops his preferred top 3 batters in lineup

mlb: new york yankees at toronto blue jays, aaron judge
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are poised to showcase one of the most formidable batting lineups in baseball for the 2024 regular season. The addition of Juan Soto significantly boosts their offensive capabilities, creating a lineup with exceptional potential at the top.

Manager Boone’s Lineup Considerations

Aaron Boone, the Yankees’ manager, has given some insight into his anticipated lineup, especially at the top of the order. During the ALL RISE Foundation Gala this Thursday, Boone engaged superstar Aaron Judge in a discussion about his preferred lineup configuration. Judge expressed his flexibility, emphasizing the inclusion of DJ LeMahieu, Soto, and himself as key components, regardless of the specific order.

Judge, who had a remarkable season despite dealing with a toe injury, remains a critical figure in the Yankees’ offense. In 2022, he was crowned the MVP, achieving a .311/.425/.686 batting line and setting an MLB record with 62 homers. His performance in 2023 was also impressive, demonstrating his continued importance to the team.

Top of the Lineup Dynamics

Judge’s preference for LeMahieu as the primary leadoff hitter could be pivotal for the Yankees. Although LeMahieu, now 35, struggled in the early part of 2023, he found his form after the All-Star break, following a change in the hitting coach. If LeMahieu can maintain this post-break performance, his role as the leadoff hitter could provide a robust foundation for the Yankees’ offense, setting the stage for Judge and Soto.

Juan Soto, who played all 162 games last season, brings additional firepower to the Yankees’ batting order. His .275/.410/.519 batting line, along with 35 homers and 109 RBIs, exemplifies his offensive prowess. The combination of Soto and Judge in the lineup creates a daunting challenge for opposing pitchers, giving the Yankees a considerable edge.

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Anticipated Offensive Surge for the Yankees

With these strategic batting order considerations, the Yankees are expected to make a significant leap forward offensively. After struggling last season due to injuries and inconsistencies, the revamped lineup, featuring the likes of Judge, Soto, and LeMahieu, positions the Yankees for a strong offensive showing in 2024. This lineup promises not only intimidation but also the flexibility to adapt as the season progresses, potentially leading to one of the most dynamic offenses in baseball.