Yankees' Aaron Judge isn't planning on changing his approach at the plate

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Corey Hersch
·2 min read
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Aaron Judge smiles on base in spring training
Aaron Judge smiles on base in spring training

In the first inning of Monday’s game against the Phillies, Aaron Judge fell behind in the count 1-2 to Chase Anderson, before the right-hander got Judge looking with fastball.

Anderson would say he made a perfect pitch, at the knees and on the outside corner. But the Yankee slugger felt it was off the plate as he walked back to the dugout dejectedly.

Judge, who led the American League in both walks and strikeouts during his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2017, finds himself in this position often. Due to his 6-foot-7 frame, his knees are simply higher up than on most hitters, and therefore will take pitches for strikes that cross the plate below his strike zone.

It’s something Judge has come to accept, but don’t expect him to change his approach at the plate anytime soon.

“One thing that I pride myself on is plate discipline and swinging at the right pitches,” Judge said. “That's something I've drilled in since the minor leagues. I don't want to swing at bad pitches. Guys like me, Giancarlo [Stanton], [Gary] Sanchez, they don't want to come in the zone to us. They're going to try to nibble and they want us to swing at those pitches.”

For his career, Judge has struck out in a whopping 31.3 percent of his plate appearances, but he’s also drawn a walk in 15.6 percent of his plate appearances. Combine that with an ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark any time he steps to the plate, and you’ve got someone with a pretty good idea of what he wants to do in a given at bat.

With that in mind, Judge – who went 1-for-3 with a single in Monday’s game – isn’t going to let the umpires dictate his approach.

“For me, if they call it, they call it,” Judge said. “I've thought about it. I've thought about maybe swinging at those or doing something different. But it takes me out of my approach and my plan. I'm here to get on base and drive pitches in the zone, so stuff like that happens.”