Aaron Judge’s personal hitting coach takes a jibe at Yankees’ ignorance
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Richard Schenck, the private hitting coach for Yankees power hitter Aaron Judge, exudes confidence, and rightfully so. He successfully transformed Judge from a rookie with a striking 50% strikeout rate into one of the premier hitters and sluggers in the game. However, he is not happy with the Yankees organization, who have never sought his advice.
On “The Bronx Pinstripes Show” podcast, it becomes evident that Schenck doesn’t entertain any room for uncertainty. When asked about his hitting philosophy, centered on the concept of “launch quickness,” he asserts that there are no other effective hitting mechanics. In essence, this philosophy aims to eliminate the brief pause between a hitter’s decision to swing and the actual execution of the swing.
A critic of analytics, an area of focus for the Yankees
He also came down heavily of analytics, which has led to a lot of criticism of the Yankees. He referenced traditional hitting metrics such as batting average, RBIs, on-base percentage, and OPS as the only factors he considers effective. In a somewhat mocking tone, he dismissed the significance of metrics like exit velocity, launch angle, rotation, acceleration, or time to contact – areas the Yankees are focused on – referring to them as irrelevant or insignificant in his view.
Schenck will also highlight his influence on Anthony Rizzo‘s swing, specifically adjusting it to enhance his ability to wait on pitches. This adjustment resulted in the Yankees player hitting 32 home runs in 2022 and maintaining a strong performance until a concussion disrupted his season last year. The Yankees’ first baseman returned to him to find his tune after losing steam in 2023.
Expressing surprise, Schenck mentions his astonishment that no team, including the Yankees, has reached out to him with a call asking, “What’s your approach?” He notes that the New York hitters frequently join Judge to watch and inquire about his methods. Despite James Rowson, the team’s new hitting coach, having a connection with Judge, Schenck confesses to being unaware of Rowson and his coaching style.
Schenck clarified that he had never personally encountered the individual in question nor engaged in any discussions with Judge regarding the Yankees’ new hitting coach. Schenck acknowledged that the person had recently transitioned from the Tigers, but his interactions with Judge were solely within the context of the Yankees. He recalled conversing with Judge about hitting coaches in the past, but the specific individual mentioned, Rowson, wasn’t associated with the Yankees during those discussions. Therefore, Schenck claimed to have no information or familiarity with Rowson.
However, Schenck expressed a reluctance to become a hitting coach within a team’s dugout. Instead, he suggested that if any organization sought his consultation to train their coaches from Single-A to Double-A and Triple-A across MLB teams regularly, he believed that team would become exceptionally strong offensively. He also holds the conviction that he possesses a strategy capable of fortifying a team’s pitching depth, including the Yankees.
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