The Yankees recent trade for Giancarlo Stanton has developed a top of the league lineup. For one of the Yanks most essential bats, a huge weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
The New York Yankees will arguably have the best starting outfield in 2018.
With Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton patrolling the corners, Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner will take care of the centerfield duties. Stanton, the reigning National League MVP offers a lot for the Yankees, including power and protection.
After a breakout season, the most significant challenge a player faces is being able to duplicate it, to show it wasn’t a fluke. For Judge, much like his physical presence, his 2017 was massive. He led the American League with 52 home runs, only trailing his new teammate for the major league home run crown.
The pressure will be on Judge, like never before, to deliver in 2018; and after arguably the best rookie campaign in history, expectations are high.
In all likelihood, Judge won’t hit 52 home runs again next season. He might not even break 40. His flaws were exposed midway through the year, and with more time to prepare, opposing pitchers won’t cave.
Judge’s bat was so crucial to the Yankees in 2017 that his lack of production couldn’t be made up.
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Although Judge did have Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius behind him, the pair aren’t nearly as productive as Stanton. They combined to hit one less home run then Stanton did on his own. That power threat, that constant fear of knowing that any pitch could be launched into orbit, ended when Judge’s at-bats did. For 2018, it doubles with Stanton in the lineup.
For 2018, it doubles with Stanton in the lineup.
Sanchez has emerged as the top power hitting catcher currently in the game. His numbers are as impressive as Judge’s since The Kraken missed a month of play in ’17, and will provide some nice pop in the lineup wherever Aaron Boone decides to place him. Gregorius had a career year in 2017, setting new career highs in numerous categories. The likelihood of him repeating his electric 2017 camping is slim, especially with a drop in the lineup expected to happen.
Gregorius too, had a career year in ’17, setting new career highs in numerous categories. The likelihood of him repeating his electric camping is slim, especially with a drop in the lineup expected to happen.
The fear of the sophomore slump is certainly there for Judge. He struck out over 200 times in his rookie season, and recently had surgery to repair his hulking shoulder. Judge has obstacles to overcome in 2018, and he knows that. More contact, fewer strikeouts, and to stay healthy.
Giancarlo offers Judge some wiggle room to grow and figure things out. He is now considered a veteran compared to his new youthful teammates.
Stanton can offer valuable knowledge to better the careers of these Baby Bombers. Slumping is part of the game, and Judge is prone to fall into one. But his primary role will still be to obliterate baseballs and to help Judge when he does struggle.