First, Aaron Judge goes outside the Yankees organization to consult with a personal hitting coach instead of dogmatically listening to Dillon Lawson and crew (guru Richard Schenck has long been his advisor, read all about it in Bryan Hoch's 62).
Then Anthony Volpe struggles through 2.5 lost months before pow wowing with Austin Wells, eating chicken parm, and rededicating himself to a new approach. For most of the summer, it worked.
Now, we have one anonymous Yankee who's so fed up with the team's analytics department that he consults his own outside dudes instead. Any guesses who?
In Jon Heyman's latest column about Brian Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner and Co. looking to fix their "disastrous" 82-80 roster, the longtime scribe noted that changes in the team's application of analytics -- and slate of numerical interpreters -- should be top of mind. In fact, there's at least one Yankees star who currently seeks second opinions whenever he's advised on something.
"Much of the auditor’s concentration is analytics as folks, including the stars, suggest the Yankees either rely too heavily on data or simply use the wrong numbers. One star is so displeased with team info he’s said to employ his own personal analytics guy."- Jon Heyman
Yankees star uses own analytics team. It's all good!
It feels almost too obvious to suggest this is also Judge -- and, if he was this displeased with the entire operation, why did he even re-sign long-term? Is the power of the pinstripes that big a draw to him if everything under the surface of the uniform is rotten and years behind?
It would be sort of absurd if someone was both committed to the Yankees long-term and questioned their processes, but ... Judge was fairly vocal at the end of the 2023 season about what he believed to be a poor application of analytics and plenty of misplaced advice in recent years.
"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."- Aaron Judge, Oct. 1
No matter which star we're talking about here, it's more obvious than ever that the analytics team needed to "check their egos at the door" at Steinbrenner's knock-down, drag-out Floridian end-of-season meeting more than anybody else.