Chris Carelli, SNY.tv
Aaron Judge launched a home run in his first MLB at-bat last August and Yankees fans rejoiced in what was believed to be a sign the club was set for a long time in right field. However, raw talent precedes true development.
In Judge's late season cameo, he struck out in 44.2 percent of his 95 plate appearances. The poor performance forced Judge to study and alter his hitting mechanics during the offseason. He added a leg kick and strived to change his approach at the plate. There was enough doubt among the Yankees' braintrust that Judge had to win the right field job out of spring training.
Spring training statistics should be taken with a grain of salt, but for Judge, there was some underlying meaning. In 69 plate appearances he struck out 15 times (21.7 percent), which was a marked improvement from the display last season. Beyond the reduction in strikeouts, Judge was spraying the ball to the opposite field and laying off pitches he flailed at last summer, without sacrificing his home run power. This demonstrated the extra effort he put in during the winter was taking hold.