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Thursday, August 3, 2017

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

I guess even Superman has a rough stretch.  Tell that to the fantasy baseball owners of New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge whose 1/4 outing on Wednesday dropped his batting average under .300 at .299 amidst a huge slump that first began right after the Home Run Derby.  It was in the Derby where Judge planted himself firmly into the forefront of mainstream baseball, with his titanic home runs in winning the Derby put a stamp on a historic first half performance where he put up the following monster numbers:

.329
30 HR
66 RBI
75 R
6 SB

Outside of steals, Judge was the true definition of fantasy baseball insanity and a one man wrecking crew at the dish.  This from the same kid who struck out in half of his at-bats in hitting just .179 in his 2016 debut that called into question his ability to hit major league pitching.  That was put firmly into the past as Judge literally defined what was possible for a sudden power hitting star.

Then of course the Home Run Derby arrived and as many know, there is a feared jinx for those who participate.  The theory is that swinging for the fences during the exhibition screws up the perfected swing from the first half and then a second half swoon develops.  We saw this starkly in the past in cases such as New York Mets third baseman David Wright and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bobby Abreu.  It was this fear that kept Washington's Bryce Harper from also participating.  Maybe Judge was too locked in for it to affect him was the line of thinking and that was also the hope for his nervous fantasy baseball owners.

Fast forward to present day and Judge has simply been brutal since the Derby.  In 67 at-bats since the second half got underway, Judge is hitting a listless .164 with 4 home runs and 9 RBI.  He also is losing the battle to the strikeout  as Judge has whiffed 29 times in those 67 at-bats.  The average is now under .300 and falling fast and pitchers are exploiting the strike zone of Judge.  So it clearly looks like a combination of rookie fatigue and the Derby altering the feel of his swing that is hurting Judge but all involved profess he will be fine.  If you sold high on Judge by now, well done.  If you are still an owner, you can't even think of selling low as you simply won't get back equal value.  So keep plugging Judge in there and hope the end of the slump arrives soon.  And darn that Derby.


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