Yankee fans are worried and they have every right to be. The AL East lead that the Yankees had just before the All-Star break has disappeared and now they are staring at a 5 game deficit. The wonder-kid of the first half, Aaron Judge has disappeared also with everyone wondering why.
At the end of last season, Baseball America had Judge as the 6th top prospect in the Yankee system (with two other outfielders ahead of him), but Judge burst upon the scene with magical homeruns in the first half and capped it with monstrous Home Run Derby showing. The thought of another hulking right fielder with tremendous power, Yankee fans were starting to dream of having another Babe almost exactly a hundred years later.
We all know how brutal it’s been for him since the break, .169 average with 58 strikeouts in 124 at-bats and an embarrassing ongoing daily strikeout streak to worsen the misery. I wonder if we could be seeing another Kevin Maas scenario, Maas (also tall at 6’3″) broke on the scene in 1990, came in second for the A.L. ROY and hit 44 homeruns in a season and a half. Unfortunately the league caught up with him quickly and he only hit another 21 homeruns the rest of his career.
The Yankee organization and Yankee fans have got to be wondering who’s the real Aaron Judge? Many are thinking his mechanics are off, some are thinking the league is already exploiting the holes in his swing that were noticed in the minors. Although things may actually get worse, it’s still way to early to judge.