He had a very good individual season in 2021, but the team couldn’t achieve its goals beyond advancing to the Wild Card Game.
He knows people expect a lot more from the Yankees, and he looks ready to lead them into a quest for October.
Obviously, spring training is just getting started, but with several reports about unreported offseason injuries and freak car accidents, it’s refreshing to see him mash balls into the sun already, even it it’s just batting practice.
MLB.com’s beat writer for the Yankees Bryan Hoch posted a video of Judge hitting one out of the park in batting practice.
Here is the video:
Aaron Judge visits the scoreboard. pic.twitter.com/Jzw6G7qw8j
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 14, 2022
Nobody has ever doubted Judge’s power: he hit 52 home runs in 2017, his rookie season, and he has produced impressive power numbers whenever injuries have let him stay on the field.
He Will Be Playing For His Next Contract
That’s precisely what worries fans and the Yankees’ front office: injuries.
Judge has missed significant time with physical issues in three of his five full seasons in the majors so far.
Fortunately, that wasn’t the case in 2021, as he played 148 games and slashed .287/.373/.544 with 39 dingers, 89 runs scored, and 98 RBI.
Judge is certainly eager to have a successful season, since 2022 is the last year of arbitration eligibility and he is ready to enter free agency next year.
That is, if the Yankees don’t extend him first.
In any case, he should have enough motivation to post excellent numbers across the board as he negotiates his next contract.
There has been talk about making him captain of the Yankees should he elect to stay for the long-term.
We shall see.