New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has taken his captaincy seriously.
He reported very early in spring training and he always leads by example.
He works hard and stays away from scandals, letting his play do the talking.
Perhaps more importantly, he is always trying to improve.
You question that after realizing he hit .311/.425/.686 last season with a new American League-record 62 home runs.
Judge has been working on decreasing his ground ball rate.
As a hitter, ground balls are the worst kind of batted balls because there is virtually no power associated to them.
They can’t go out of the park and they rarely turn into extra-bases.
Line drives are much harder to field and fly balls have a chance to go out.
Don’t tell Judge he can’t work on something and improve.
“Only 5 players to be qualified both last season and this season have a larger DECREASE in ground-ball rate from last season to this season than Aaron Judge. HE HIT 62 HOME RUNS LAST YEAR…WAS NOT LACKING IN AIR BATTED BALLS. His 2023 GB rate is 5th-lowest among qualified hitters,” MLB stats expert Sarah Langs tweeted.
only 5 players to be qualified both last season and this season have a larger DECREASE in ground-ball rate from last season to this season than Aaron Judge
HE HIT 62 HOME RUNS LAST YEAR…WAS NOT LACKING IN AIR BATTED BALLS
his 2023 GB rate is 5th-lowest among qualified hitters
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) June 2, 2023
Judge knows that with his kind of raw power, good things will happen if he hits more fly balls and fewer grounders.
He is currently hitting 21.6% line drives, 29.7% ground balls, and 48.6% fly balls.
Last year, the split was 19.3%, 37.3%, 43.5%.
He is a beast, and is making a bid to actually have a better season in 2023 than the one that earned him the MVP award in 2022.
As of Friday afternoon, he is slashing .298/.410/.679 with 18 home runs.
It’s crazy to think his numbers could end up looking better than that.NEXT: Yankees Analyst Hypes Fans Up For Dodgers Series