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Giancarlo Stanton offers advice to Aaron Judge on how to handle all the hype

Giancarlo Stanton has some sage advice for new teammate Aaron Judge on how to handle all the hype: Don’t believe it.

Thursday of course marks Opening Day in Major League Baseball and perhaps no team enters the 2018 season with more of the aforementioned hype than the New York Yankees. What’s more, Judge, 25, is coming off a brilliant 2017 campaign during which the young slugger earned AL Rookie of the Year honors and finished second in AL MVP voting.

While Judge should not necessarily be expected to replicate his stellar rookie season, there bar will be set extremely high for him nevertheless. Stanton, familiar with such pressure, offered up what he would tell his budding superstar teammate on how to deal with it.

“I would say not try to be better than he was last year,” Stanton said, via the New York Post. “Don’t try to compare numbers or compare where you were last year to this [year]. Just trust yourself and trust your preparation. Know you’re gonna do well. You set yourself up to do well and [don’t] worry about the expectations or sophomore slump or whatever you want to call it. It only exists if you put it in your mind.”

Despite a slump after the All-Star break — which he refuses to blame on injury — Judge nevertheless slashed at .270..402/.589 while hitting a rookie-record 56 home runs along with 124 RBI. With the Yankees boasting World Series aspirations, Judge will be relied upon to lead a formidable lineup that not only is already instilling fear in other teams but also has restored the Bronx Bombers to the status of the dreaded Evil Empire.

No pressure, right, Judge?

“It’s still the same,” Judge said. “You’ve still got to prove yourself. There’s high expectations. We’ve got to go out there and play our game, do our thing. Nothing’s changing. We’ve still got to go out there and do our job. … With the team we’ve got, there’s no pressure. Just play our game.”