Aaron Judge says he may be ‘one and done’ with Home Run Derby
New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hinted that his big splash at the Home Run Derby last year, winning it at Marlins Park, may be his first and only appearance in the annual All-Star event.
Aaron Judge reiterated that he’s “leaning toward not doing” the Home Run Derby again. He first mentioned that to CC Sabathia and Ryan Ruocco on their podcast. Judge said he won it once and is ready to move on.
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) March 8, 2018
“I think I am one and done,’’ the reigning Derby champion said this week during an appearance on the above-mentioned podcast from The Players’ Tribune.
The craziest thing for @TheJudge44 following his rookie season?
Seeing people around NYC with that #99 on their back.
You don't want to miss this #R2C2 with the @Yankees star outfielder: https://t.co/r963Cn6oQ5 pic.twitter.com/VvGQJiFfvz
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) March 8, 2018
The reasoning behind Judge’s lack of enthusiasm for competing in another Home Run Derby is how the slugger went into protracted slump following his winning display of power in Miami.
Judge hit 30 homers and batted .329 in 84 games before the All-Star break last season. Afterward? In the first 60 games following the Derby, Judge batted .195 with only 14 home runs. Granted, Judge would go on to slug 22 home runs overall following the All-Star break for a rookie-record 52 round-trippers. But the stats do suggest it’s possible Judge may have been worn out due to his participation in the Home Run Derby, a not-uncommon argument forwarded to those who participate in the showcase.
Judge himself has refused to blame taking part in the Home Run Derby as the cause for his post-break slump. The same goes for an injury that ultimately necessitated arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in November. Although it’s interesting how Judge mentioned earlier in spring training the pain in his shoulder started to become bothersome about the time of the All-Star break, or shortly afterward.
With all that in mind, Judge’s decision to perhaps skip the Home Run Derby going forward makes perfect sense. Although it’s probably something Major League Baseball won’t be thrilled to hear.