Aaron Judge passing on Home Run Derby: ‘There is no need to do it’
New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has all but shut down any possibility of him defending last year’s Home Run Derby title at the 2018 All-Star Game at Nationals Park in July. His reason? What’s the point?
“There is no need to do it,” Judge told the New York Post at Globe Life Park ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Texas Rangers.
Major League Baseball obviously would love to add Judge’s star power to the roster of Home Run Derby participants. Judge, however, clearly is inclined to pass up on the opportunity.
“Pressure won’t do anything,’’ Judge said of any potential efforts by the MLB.
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 last year in Miami.
Judge slugged 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.
Judge refused to blame his post-All-Star slump on the Derby, nor did he reference participating in the showcase as causing arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in November. Although Judge has mentioned he began experiencing pain in his shoulder at the All-Star break or shortly afterward.
Judge also stated in spring training he was “leaning” on passing on the Home Run Derby in D.C.
“One and done, Home Run Derby champion,” Judge said in March. “It was a cool experience. I enjoyed it all, but I don’t think I really need to go out there and do it again.”
Suffice to say, Judge’s comments this week certainly appear to confirm as much.