Have a seat, it’s a long ride through a major league baseball season, as Yankee fans are reminded on August 9th watching Aaron Judge continue his league leading 26 game strike-out streak.
Let’s remember we’re talking about a .294 hitter with 35 homers and an OPS of 1.037 – on August 10th.
It appeared a few days ago that Judge realized what was causing his prolonged slump, and that he believed adjustments would soon be made.
“The last couple of weeks, I got off my approach, and when you get off your approach here in the major leagues, people will expose you,” Judge told the New York Post. In his case, Judge was exposed as vulnerable to fastballs up and above the zone, but most of all, he has been exposed as particularly vulnerable to the slider down and away Prior to the All Star Break, Judge was seeing sliders 22% of the time as opposed to 28% percent after the break. Judge has seen 119 sliders in the second half, has swung at 56 and missed 36. He has no hits and 20 outs against sliders.
In the second half, Judge has seen smarter and better pitching. He has responded with declining numbers in his ground ball and line drive rates, as well as in an increased fly ball rate. As far as strike-outs, let’s just say the current streak is the longest in the majors at 26. He may be the league’s first 200 strike-out hitter to finish with an average above the .262 mark. The rookie has enough raw power in his back pocket however, to quell the concerns the Yankees’ brain trust may have about his near historic consecutive strike out streak this season.
So have a seat, grab a beverage, because Judge is having a historic season. He is still must-see TV because in any given at bat this rookie has the ability to electrify the stadium with a display of power so impressive that Statcast has been challenged to record it. Then All Rise and pay tribute to a rookie working his way through the highs and lows of his first major league season on the biggest stage in the sport.