1st half Aaron Judge: MVP standout, most AL votes for the all-star game, potential new face of baseball.
2nd half Aaron Judge: Basically Adam Dunn but with a lot more walks.
What in the world happened to him? All you have to do is watch him play. Aaron Judge’s kryptonite has been the slider. More specifically it’s the slider low and away. This will always be a problem for Judge as his natural size will always cause problems for him low in the zone, but he needs to learn to control his swings and lay off the low pitches.
Judge’s O-swing%, which is the % of swings at pitches out of the zone, is at 26.5%, which is actually almost 5% lower than the league average of 29.8%, which by these standards means Judge has above average plate discipline. Judge’s issue lies when he actually does swing. The league average for contact on pitches out of the zone is 62.9%, where Judge sits at a paltry 44.9%. Anyone who watches Judge can tell you this is his issue, but when you put it in numbers it shows how much he’s truly been struggling.
One good thing from Judge’s second half is his walk rate has actually increased since the break, which is saying a lot. Before the break his BB% was 16.7% and after the break it sits at an insane 19.8%. Another good sign for Judge is that over his last 4 games he’s 5-15 with 3 BBs and 3 XBH.
Judge’s first half was one for the ages, and while it was almost impossible for him to repeat, it was still great to see. While he’s showing signs of improvement, he’s still got a lot of work to do to get back to where he was.