Yankees: Aaron Judge continues to excel in 2018 season

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Aaron Judge
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Aaron Judge /

The 2017 AL ROY, Aaron Judge led the Yankees to great success last season and continues to show excellence at the plate, on the field and in the dugout in ’18.

The 2018 Yankees have a stacked lineup composed of powerful rookies, disciplined vets and clutch hitters. Twenty-six-year-old Aaron Judge exhibits qualities like power, control, strength and leadership in each game he plays.

At the start of last season, Judge gained recognition as a power hitter, mashing 52 home runs, 10 of which occurred in April. However, as the season progressed, he began to expand his potential as a player, recording 127 BB and a 1.049 OBP.

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This season, some of the attention has shifted to other Yankees stars, like Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres. Consequently, Judge has gone under the radar, but his accomplishments thus far are putting him on pace for another great season.

His stats through his first 40 games signify his consistency and patience as a hitter: .311 AVG, .440 OBP, .601 SLG and 1.042 OPS. Additionally, he’s collected 11 HR, 35 BB and 34 RBI. Judge has shown tremendous improvement at the plate, with a much more disciplined approach.

Judge’s mechanical adjustments have allowed him to extend his swing and battle in each at-bat. In 2016, a put-out pitch he swung on and missed is more likely to be a pitch that his 2018 self-takes for a ball or fouls off.

New York Daily News’ Mike Mazzeo reports on Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman’s trust in Judge’s approach:

"“Clearly he’s a man with a plan that knows what he’s doing,” Cashman said of Judge. “So I usually stay out of the way.”"

Judge has come up in big spots this season and has shown resilience and determination in all sorts of situations. On Thursday, he hit a home run off of Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, reinforcing his contributions to the team, even against challenging opponents.

Aside from spectacular offense, Judge’s talent as a defender is invaluable. His arm is an automatic threat to baserunners, and his height allows him to make catches no other player could imagine.

The Yankee slugger is a fan-favorite and highly regarded in MLB. He’s a class-act that plays the game respectfully and is a value to the clubhouse. Any fan who watches Judge’s interviews knows he prioritizes teammates because he values the team above himself.

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Judge’s continual improvements and fantastic attitude as a player have made him a positive influence in baseball. His future in New York is brighter than ever. With the Yankees’ chase for No. 28 underway, Judge looks to continue his contributions and lead his team to a championship.