Given he won't be attempting to defend his Home Run Derby crown, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is looking to relax and take in the All-Star Game festivities in his second go around.
The 26-year-old Yankees slugger, one of the top three leading vote-getters among American League outfielders, will bat sixth and start in left field for the AL in Tuesday's All-Star Game.
Though he said "it's been a while" since he last batted sixth -- Sept. 10, 2017, was the last time -- he said he was glad he was starting for the second year a row.
"I'm just happy I made the lineup," Judge said, according to Newsday's Erik Boland. "I'm just happy I'm in that starting lineup when I started looking around the room at who we've got. I'm surprised I'm batting sixth. I kind of saw myself batting eight or nine."
A year ago, Judge batted third and went hitless in three at-bats for the American League team, striking out against Max Scherzer in the first inning, grounding out against Carlos Martinez in the third and lining out against Alex Wood in the fifth.
He'll face Scherzer, the National League starting pitcher, again on Tuesday, and hopes for a different result.
"My plan didn't work last year when I faced him," Judge told SNY with a smile, "so I got to switch it up. ... It's always fun competing against Max. He's a competitor, he's a bulldog out there. I love watching him pitch."
Judge ended the first half with a .276/.392/.544 batting line with 25 home runs and 60 RBIs for the Yankees and said he hopes to use the trip to Washington, D.C., to talk with several other AL stars, notably fellow starting outfielders Mike Trout and Mookie Betts.
"Getting a chance to pick their brains, talk with them, you always look forward to doing stuff like that," Judge told SNY.
A year ago, Judge outlasted the Twins' Miguel Sano in the Home Run Derby to win the crown. But this time, he won't be competing and will instead enjoy the experience as a bystander.
"I get to sit back and relax and watch the guys do their thing," he told SNY.