2. Keep Aaron Judge as Leadoff Hitter
Who’s the Yankees’ leadoff hitter right now? Andrew Benintendi isn’t healthy. Neither is DJ LeMahieu. Does anybody else suit the role who we’re not thinking of?
Aaron Judge was the team’s leadoff hitter for most of September and got on base a ton. Without a doubt, that was a direct result of him chasing home run No. 62, which explains his insane .500+ on-base percentage batting in the top spot.
It won’t be the same story in the postseason, but doesn’t Judge hitting first give the Yankees the best chance to win? He’ll get the most at-bats of anybody on the team. He’ll more likely than not set the tone by putting traffic on the bases. Opposing pitchers will be in a bind facing him right out of the gate. Can’t pitch around the first batter of the game! Also can’t give him meatballs! Total mind f—.
OK. Maybe you’d prefer Judge batting second or third to drive in runs. Understandable. But his numbers this year detail how of a world class, all-around hitter he’s been. He leads the Yankees in average and OBP, which is exactly what teams need in their leadoff guy. When LeMahieu was hitting for average and working walks automatically, it changed the entire complexion of the Yankees’ lineup.
We just have a slight role shift here with the times changing. DJLM is ailing. Benny won’t be back until the ALCS (at the earliest). Judge is the next guy who fits the profile. And it also might make the Yankees a better team.