After being hit by a pitch that fractured his wrist in late 2018, Aaron Judge was able to return to the Yankee lineup but wasn’t the same force he was prior to the injury. Since spring training has kicked off though, Judge has now mashed six home runs so far and looks as comfortable as he has ever been in the batter’s box.
With his wrist injury clearly in the rear-view-mirror, Judge turns his fully healthy attention to the 2019 season and has the potential to surpass his career high of 52 home runs in 2017.
Watch Yankee Aaron Judge’s Home Run Against Blue Jays
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Judge’s monster home run was the fact that the Blue Jays had moved a fourth player into the outfield to cut down on Judge’s line drive blasts into the gaps. In an era of shifting defenses, it isn’t uncommon to see the outfield move heavily into one direction or the other.
However, Judge is adept at hitting the ball for power to either side of the field and as a result, the Blue Jays tested out a new idea of simply putting another player in the outfield. Unfortunately for them, Judge showed that if you want to stick an extra outfielder in the field against him, he will simply launch it over their heads with his unmatched raw power at the plate.
Despite seeing his home run total nearly drop in half last season, a healthy Aaron Judge is one of (if not the) major league’s most feared power hitters and should he be able to stay on the field, should almost certainly put up around 50+ home runs.
Aaron Judge sheds concerns about wrist with another spring training home run
While Judge looked to be productive in both the AL Wild Card game and ALDS, his sluggish end to the season rightfully raised concern from fans and the Yankee playoff appearance wasn’t a large enough sample size to determine if Judge was in fact back.
Having by far his best spring training to Date, Judge already has 6 home runs on about half of the at-bats he has seen in previous spring training campaigns. Although spring training stats should always be taken with a grain of salt, it is apparent that Judge is feeling good and seeing the ball as well as he has his entire career.
Prone to fluctuating between red-hot and ice-cold, Judge will look to ride his spring training hot streak into the 2019 season while offering a bit more consistency at the plate. One of the hardest working players in the game, there is little doubt that Judge is in line for a major bounce-back season this year.