This entire season has been the “Aaron Judge Show” for the New York Yankees but they can’t rely solely on him if they want to go all the way.
A rebuilding year? Psh, the New York Yankees are in the midst of a potential playoff race right out of the gate, harboring one of the youngest lineups in the Major Leagues.
Leading the Yankees into this charge is the new Bronx Bomber himself, Aaron Judge. Already in MVP discussions and being praised for his Derek Jeter-esque play, Judge has become the next big thing in the Big Apple.
There’s no doubt the Yankees have all the faith in the world in their 6-foot-7 gem of an outfielder. After all, he’s put together a stellar season both at the plate and on the field.
And with the “MVP” chants echoing across the stadium when Judge steps up to the plate, the face of the Yankees finally been determined. He is truly playing the best on one of the best teams this season.
But the second the Yankees start praising Judge solely for his individual accomplishments, they’ll start to turn from contenders to pretenders.
Judge is a phenomenal outfielder and an incredible power hitter. He has basically done it all for the New York Yankees. Sooner or later, relying on one player to win the game for them will come back to bite them.
He is batting .331 on the season, has slugged a league-high 24 home runs and driven in 54 runs while scoring 61. He leads the team in average, home runs, RBIs, triples, walks, OBP, slugging percentage and OPS.
Judge is carrying the team on his back, sparking rallies and picking up the Yankees with much-needed home runs to take the lead or tie the game.
— MLB (@MLB) June 23, 2017
He has yet to officially slow down from his out-of-this-world start and his hitting has been infectious. I’m all for relying on Judge in big moments but he can’t be the only one the Yankees look to. If he is, the Yankees will find themselves quickly slipping in the American League East.
Need a prime example? During the Yankees recent seven-game skid out West, Aaron Judge was 6-for-27 (.222) with one home run and 12 strikeouts, including three three-strikeout games.
The Yankees rely so heavily on one of Aaron Judge’s bombs, they simply aren’t stepping up when he has an off day. That is a hard thing for a rookie to carry on his shoulders.
Judge is an incredibly important part of the team but he shouldn’t be the whole team. There are nine players in the lineup for a reason. If they simply rely on Judge to come through all the time and he doesn’t, the Yankees will be floundering.
It’s a team game and while Judge is an incredible talent, he has off days too. The Yankees need contributions from all over, not just one major player.
“But he’s playing like an MVP,” fans will argue. True, but look at Mike Trout and Josh Donaldson. Not even their MVP seasons could keep their respective teams afloat in the playoffs, if they even made it there.
The Yankees started the season off well but have since stumbled alongside Judge. As pitchers begin to figure out how to slow down Judge, the lineup has to become stronger.
These are not the New York Judges. They cannot a one-person offense, especially when they have so many more potential threats from one to nine.
While the “Aaron Judge Show” is stellar to watch, the Yankees are so much more than that. As soon as they start to play as a team, then they’ll be true contenders for title no. 28.