If a day ends in “y”, that means New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has hit a home run. At least, that’s what it’s felt like so far during the 2017 MLB regular season.
The 25-year-old rookie has made some major improvements in his plate discipline since his first taste of big league action — that’s rather apparent when seeing his strikeout rate drop from 44.2% in 95 plate appearances last year to a much more manageable 26.0% through his first 104 plate appearances this year.
He started showing these improvements during Spring Training, and it’s carried over into the regular season in the form of a seemingly endless amount of dingers.
Entering Thursday’s action, Judge’s 13 homers lead all of baseball, and it seems like he makes history every time he launches a ball over the wall. The Yankees are likely jacked up about this for the obvious reasons, but New York has also taken advantage by going 11-0 this season whenever their slugger goes deep.
So, we know this kind of start doesn’t happen very often, but how can we properly put it in perspective? This particular tweet should help with that.
As a frame of reference, that season from Barry Bonds is the one where he went bonkers and broke the single-season homer record with 73 dingers.
This is not to say Judge is on his way to reaching this level of ridiculousness– he’s still young and pitchers will undoubtedly begin adjusting as the season wears on — but it helps to show us just how great he’s been in a relatively short period of time.
At 6’7″ and 282 pounds, he’s got the power of hitting a baseball out of any park around the league. However, he gets the luxury of playing his home games at Yankee Stadium, which was the best place for homers last season and so far this season, according to ESPN Park Factors.
Judge’s .489 ISO, .508 wOBA and 239 wRC+ will presumably come down to more normal levels at some point in the future. However, the power is certainly for real, and an improvement in plate discipline has allowed him to get off to the kind of start we haven’t seen in quite some time.
That’s not a bad way to start a big league career.
About Matt Musico
Matt Musico currently manages Chin Music Baseball, contributes to The Sports Daily and is also an editor for numberFire. In the past, he has also written for FanDuel Insider and Bleacher Report. He’s a lover of all baseball, especially the Mets.