Heading into the 2018 season, the narrative of whether or not Aaron Judge would endure a sophomore slump after his historic 2017 campaign was a popular one. However, through the Yankees’ first 54 games, Judge has proved he’s not just some one-hit wonder and has established his rookie year as anything but an aberration.
Despite a brutal month of August that saw him slash a dreadful .185/.353/.326, rumored to be caused by an injured left shoulder, Judge still managed to finish last season with 52 home runs along with an outstanding .422 on-base clip. So to say year one of his career was a massive success would be a clear understatement, but the real question is what would he follow it up with? The answer to that question is another MVP caliber season.
Here’s how Judge has measured up in 2018 along with his numbers paced across 162 games.
- 55 Games / 162 Games
- BA: .288 / .288
- OBP: .414 / .414
- SLG: .585 / .585
- OPS+: 167 / 167
- 2B: 13 / 38
- HR: 16 / 47
- RBI: 41 / 121
- SO: 75 / 220
- fWAR: 2.8 / 8.2
Regardless of the strikeouts, which yes are still very high, the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year has made it clear he isn’t a fluke. His .414 OBP currently sits as the 3rd best in the American League, while his 16 home runs and 41 RBI are good enough for 6th and 5th, respectively. Since being slotted in the 2-hole last September, Judge has hit an even .300 with 29 home runs, driving in 70.
“He really has been so consistent for us. I feel like the at-bat quality for him, all the things we talk about it seems like with you guys every day, grinding out at-bats, he just makes it so hard on the pitcher, you can see the pitcher really have to work so hard and pitch carefully to him.” Manager Aaron Boone said of Judge.
Averaging 4.35 pitches per plate appearance (P/PA), Judge ranks 5th best among all of baseball in that category.
“He’s just been one of the best players in the league on a nightly basis for us”
That statement by Boone isn’t even a hyperbole, as Judge’s 2.8 fWAR ranks 8th best in the AL, tied with his teammate Luis Severino, who is also having a stellar follow-up season.