Yankees’ Aaron Judge responds to boos after 4-strikeout performance

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees suffered a 2-0 defeat to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday afternoon, and despite Juan Soto adding two more hits to his tally, star slugger Aaron Judge continued his disappointing start to the 2024 season.

For the first time in quite a while, Judge has been struggling to make quality contact, and Yankee fans have expressed their dissatisfaction by booing his recent performances.

Syndication: Arizona Republic, aaron judge, yankees
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During the loss, Judge struck out four times in four at-bats, a scenario often referred to as the “golden sombrero,” causing his batting average to drop to .179, his on-base percentage to .323, and his slugging percentage to .359. Although he has hit three home runs and driven in 11 RBIs, maintaining a strikeout rate of 28.1% and a walk rate of 17.7% in line with his career averages, his rate of quality contact has significantly declined.

Yankees’ Aaron Judge Responds to the Fans

Judge acknowledged the fans’ reactions after Saturday’s game, showing understanding for their frustration.

“I’ve heard worse, and I’d probably be doing the same in their situation,” Judge admitted.

After achieving a 64.2% hard-hit rate and a 27.5% barrel rate last season, these figures have dropped to 48.1% and 11.5%, respectively, which are well below his 2023 metrics.

He now ranks in the 12th percentile in whiff rate, the 23rd percentile in sweet spot percentage, and the 22nd percentile with a .218 batting average.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Significantly, some of his key statistics have declined, and he is missing more pitches than usual. Notably, he has struggled against fastballs, batting just .200 and even less, .179, against breaking pitches.

However, when it comes to Judge, it’s a matter of “when” not “if” he will return to form. As he starts to regain confidence and make more consistent contact, the superstar is expected to recover and maintain his high-performance level for the rest of the season. He is currently navigating through his first significant slump in the last three years, which, for most fans, should be seen as a rarity.

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