Coming into the 2017 season, the New York Yankees were supposed to be a rebuilding team. They were expected to go through early growing pains, yet here they are at first place in the American League East.
At 17-9, manager Joe Girardi has found the perfect blend of youth and savvy veterans to generate wins. Players such as Starlin Castro, Matt Holliday and Aaron Hicks have had tremendous impacts for the Yankees. However, no one has been more productive than rookie Aaron Judge.
All Rise for the Rookie Sensation
Playing in his first full season, Judge has exceeded all expectations and then some. Not only does he lead the majors in home runs with 13, he’s also making history. On Wednesday night, Aaron Judge became the youngest player in the MLB to homer 13 times in his team’s first 26 games. A big factor in this amazing stretch, has been the reduced strike out rate.
Last season during his 27 games, Judge struck out on 44.2 percent of his plate appearances. That rate has drastically dropped to 25.9 percent, ultimately leading to more success.
So far Judge has had nine more plate appearances than last year, which has resulted in 14 more hits and nine more home runs. Power hasn’t been the only improvement for the “Giant,” as his batting average has jumped from .179 all the way to .330.
This 26 game stretch has been awfully similar to the run Gary Sanchez had in 2016. With that said, every young player eventually meets the “rookie wall.” When that time comes, will he be able to adjust?
There’s no denying that what this rookie is accomplishing at the plate is incredible. But, it’s unrealistic and unfair to already deem the rookie as the next great Yankee. However, as of right now his destruction of opposing pitchers has become the talk of baseball. Aaron Judge was viewed as one of the integral pieces to a potential dynasty in the future, but he’s showing that he is also the present for the Bronx Bombers.
“From Our Haus to Yours”