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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: AARON JUDGE OUTFIELDER NEW YORK YANKEES

I think Aaron Judge just hit another home run.  In what can only be described as one of the all-time understatements of the year, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is the new star/toast of the town in Major League Baseball to say the least.  From striking out in almost half of his at-bats during his overmatched debut in 2016 to leading the majors in all the three Triple Crown categories (average, RBI, homers), Judge is making the game his own right now with his titanic blasts (one measure at 495-feet) and staggering exit velocities (five of the ten highest marks to date).  Needless to say, Judge has been the star fantasy baseball MVP to this point and considering he was drafted in the middle rounds in almost all leagues, his value is off-the-charts for his lucky owners.  As far as the silly numbers are concerned, Judge has the following statistics going into Tuesday's games:

.347
22 HR
57 R
49 RBI
5 SB

Yes Judge even steals some bases.  There is nothing Judge can't do right now and again the numbers are downright silly.  So what changed this season  How did Judge go from a K/9 of 44.2 and a .179 average in 27 games last season to THIS?  Well a few things are at work here.  The first of course is that Judge simply went to work in the offseason to cut down on the holes in his swing and become more disciplined.  Judge has spoken about how he is not falling prey to outside pitches that got him to swing and miss at a very high clip a year ago and that alone has helped him cut his K/9 almost in half to 28.3.  Now a 28.3 K/9 is still very high but Judge has been able to ward off a huge average hit by putting up a staggering 15.4 BB/9 which is Joey Votto territory.  Judge also has excelled with two strikes, hitting almost .280 in that scenario which again is a crazy number.  At 6-7 and 275 pounds, Judge is the strongest player in baseball and so that alone has made him a titanic home run hitter.  Throw in the ridiculous .453 OBP and Judge is piling up the runs and RBI as well.

So what can go wrong from here?  Well Judge has a VERY lucky .437 BABIP which is completely unsustainable and will eventually result in an average hit.  Even the most ardent Judge fans realize he is not a .340 hitter or even a .320 one.  If Judge can hit .300, tell us where to sign.

Overall, Aaron Judge is the front-runner for fantasy baseball MVP and also the real-life MVP.  He has had a storybook start to the season and his participation in the Home Run Derby is appointment television.  All in all, Judge is already at the peak of the game.


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