Yankees’ Aaron Judge throws analytics under the bus

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have always been at the forefront when it comes to the analytics department. Yet, their inability to harness its power optimally has become apparent in recent seasons. While the shortcomings of poor trade acquisitions and free agent signings are evident, ownership is now determined to dig deep and reassess the front office’s strategies.

Aaron Judge’s Insightful Take

It’s not just the fans feeling the pinch. Even the team’s superstar slugger, Aaron Judge, feels something is off, especially with the batting order’s balance. Emerging as the Yankees’ most reliable and consistent hitter, Judge has collaborated with a personal coach to refine his swing.

His impressive stats for the season underscore his importance: In 106 games, he boasts a .267 batting average, a .406 OBP, 37 home runs, 75 RBIs, and a 174 wRC+. Clearly, the Yankees’ offensive capabilities took a hit during the almost 50 games Judge was absent.

Given this context, Judge’s insights into the team’s analytical strategies are crucial. He senses a disconnect in how the analytics are used and is eager to rethink and reshape that approach.

Judge praises the Yankees’ data-driven capabilities, stating:

“On the analytics side, I think the information and the resources the Yankees provide are great,” Judge said. “I think it’s just about how we use them and how we value them is an aspect that we just maybe need to look at again. The Yankees are top-notch in the numbers we get. I think we’re the best in the game at that. I think it’s about funneling those down to the players in the right format.

In essence, while the Yankees might be collecting data at an unmatched pace, the crux of the issue lies in the decision-making and the application of these analytics. The ultimate aim of analytics is to improve player performance, but the Yankees seem to have missed the mark, resulting in a team lacking both consistency and equilibrium.

” … I wouldn’t say [we are] overloaded. I think it’s just looking at the right numbers. I think maybe we might be looking at the wrong ones. We need to value some other ones that people might see as having no value.”

He paints a picture of a holistic baseball team—one that emphasizes small ball, efficient base running, clutch hits, and not just home runs. In Judge’s eyes, playing genuine baseball seems lost in the Yankees’ quest to exploit specific statistics. Although home runs thrill the crowd, the fact remains that the Yankees haven’t graced the World Series stage in over a decade. Something’s missing.

The Yankees’ Road Ahead: Evaluation and Execution

With a third-party evaluation slated for early October, the Yankees aim to identify and rectify their missteps. Aaron Judge is poised to play a pivotal role, bridging communication gaps with the front office. However, turning insights into action is imperative. It boils down to trusting general manager Brian Cashman to recalibrate and not repeat past errors.