photo credit:AP/Frank Franklin II
In his rookie season last year, Aaron Judge took the baseball world by storm. By the end of April, Judge had already racked up 10 home runs and 20 RBIs in 21 games. At the end of the first half of the season Judge smashed 30 home runs, while hitting .329.
Judge’s offensive prowess earned him an invite to the All-Star Game. He was invited to participate in the Home Run Derby, though he briefly considered declining the offer.
In the end, Judge finally agreed to enter, and he won. Judge became the talk of the All-Star Game as he hit mammoth home runs all over Marlins Park, former home field of new teammate Giancarlo Stanton.
Slumping in the Second Half
Judge had won the Home Run Derby, but it seemed like things stopped going right for him soon after. He hit .230 in July, and .185 in August.
This led some to speculate that Judge may have injured his left shoulder on one of his Home Run Derby Swings. Some felt that this was confirmed when Judge underwent surgery after the completion of the 2017 season.
Luckily, the old Judge seemed to re-emerge in September as he hit 15 home runs and drove in 32 RBIs in 29 games. He broke Mark McGwire’s record for most Home Runs as a rookie, a record that had stood for 30 years.
Recently, Judge suggested that he’s likely “one and done” with regards to future Home Run Derbies. Although Judge didn’t elaborate on his reasons for no longer participating in the Home Run Derby again, he’s stated that he’s much more concerned with winning a World Series than with attaining personal accolades.
When you look at Judge’s 2017 splits, skipping future Home Run Derbies makes sense. The only blips on his remarkable season came in the six weeks after All-Star Weekend. A healthy Judge without the six-week slump could mean that he adds another 10 home runs per season.
Opening Day is only two days away now. There’s no reason to think that Aaron Judge won’t rise to the occasion. Sorry, I had to.