Analysts list Aaron Judge among top 10 biggest busts in MLB’s first month

Yankees' Aaron Judge reacts after being struck out at Yankee Stadium on April 24, 2024.

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The early season slump of Aaron Judge finds a place in the top 10 disappointments in the first month of the 2024 MLB season alongside pitching injuries, uniform fiasco, bad umpring, and worst start for the Astros and White Sox.

Baseball analyst Jim Bowden, writing for The Athletic, highlighted Aaron Judge’s underwhelming performance as a surprising negative in the young MLB season. Bowden pointed out the stark contrast between Aaron Judge’s struggles and the success of the Yankees’ other marquee acquisition, slugger Juan Soto. The anticipation was that Soto’s presence would create more scoring opportunities for Aaron Judge, potentially transforming his solo homers into multi-run blasts. Unfortunately, this synergy has yet to materialize, leaving his impact far below what fans and analysts had envisioned.

“…Most of us expected Soto would help Judge by providing more traffic on the bases, turning some of Judge’s solo homers into two- or three-run shots,” the analyst said. “That hasn’t happened yet. Judge is hitting .191 with four homers and 13 RBIs. Instead of All Rise, he’s made us All Sit.”

How far is Bowden right on Aaron Judge?

The New York Yankees have ignited the hearts of their fans with a blistering start to the 2024 campaign, amassing 17 victories in their first 26 contests. However, amidst this early-season euphoria, a question mark lingers – the performance of their star outfielder Aaron Judge.

A five-time All-Star, Aaron Judge has yet to find his groove at the plate. Through the first quarter of the season, he’s batting a pedestrian .186 with an on-base percentage of .322 and a slugging percentage of .371. His offensive output of four home runs and 13 RBIs falls short of the lofty expectations placed upon him.

Casting a glance at Aaron Judge’s past two seasons, the decline is undeniable. In 2022, he had a phenomenal year, launching a staggering 62 home runs, driving in 131 RBIs, and boasting an impressive 1.111 OPS. Even with injuries and a lack of offensive support in 2023, Aaron Judge managed to mash 37 home runs and knock in 75 RBIs. While Bowden expressed confidence in Judge’s ability to reverse course, the disappointment surrounding his slow start, especially with Soto now in the lineup, is palpable.

Aaron Judge and CC Sabathia are in front of the Yankees' Bronx outdoor mural on April 24, 2024.

Despite Aaron Judge’s struggles, the Yankees maintain a formidable 17-9 record, largely thanks to Soto’s exceptional performance. As Aaron Judge works to rediscover his hitting form, the team marches on in their quest for the playoffs, fueled by the brilliance of their new star.

Bowden’s top 10 dissapointments

1. The White Sox’s historically bad start
2. The Astros’ horrible month
3. Umpires making headlines because of egregious mistakes, including Aaron Boone’s wrongful ejection by Hunter Wendelstedt
4. The number of pitchers on the IL with elbow/forearm injuries, including that of Yankees ace Gerrit Cole
5. The Oakland A’s deciding to move to a Triple-A park for three years
6. Aaron Judge’s first month with Juan Soto — All Rise became All Sit
7. What in the world has happened to the Nolans Jones of the Rockies?
8. The uniform fiasco, including fabric problem
9. The Nationals’ handling of Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin
10. Late signings, then short spring trainings for Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery and J.D. Martinez

Another expert ranks Aaron Judge’s early struggles as top MLB bust

Aaron Judge had a regular season to remember. He's having an ALDS to forget.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

A recent Bleacher Report article by Brandon Scott, titled “10 Biggest Busts” of MLB’s opening month in 2024, placed Aaron Judge at the unfortunate number-one spot. 

Scott pointed out the struggles of the Yankees‘ much-anticipated left-right hitting duo at the top of the lineup. Aaron Judge, in particular, has faced hurdles in regaining his usual form. While making consistent contact, his overall performance has been inconsistent, reflected in his meager .189 batting average through his first 95 at-bats. To compound matters, he’s racked up 33 strikeouts, ranking him a concerning seventh-highest in the league.

The frustration has even reached the usually supportive Yankee fanbase, with Scott detailing a previously unthinkable occurrence – boos directed at Judge during a game. This transpired on April 20th against the Tampa Bay Rays, where Aaron Judge went a dismal 0-for-4 with a strikeout in each of his at-bats, drawing audible disapproval from the New York crowd.

Strikeouts have been a recurring theme for Aaron Judge this season. Scott highlighted a concerning rise in his swing-and-miss rate, particularly against offspeed pitches. This stat currently sits at a career-high 57.1%, a significant jump from both 2023 (47%) and even the pandemic-shortened 2020 season (62.9%). Additionally, he’s struggling against breaking balls from left-handed pitchers, swinging, and missing 50% of the time.

The need for Aaron Judge to rediscover his form goes beyond the Yankees’ immediate needs, as Scott emphasizes. Juan Soto’s exceptional debut month for the team underscores the importance of Aaron Judge returning to his top form. A potent one-two punch at the top of the lineup is crucial for the Yankees’ championship aspirations.

With Aaron Judge’s struggles at the plate continuing in stark contrast to Soto’s brilliance, the spotlight remains firmly on the newly acquired slugger. Soto’s impressive performance not only bolsters the Yankees’ championship aspirations but also positions him for a strong MVP campaign as the season progresses. Analysts across the board are echoing Bowden’s observations, highlighting Aaron Judge’s slow start while marveling at Soto’s early MVP-caliber performance.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “Analysts list Aaron Judge among top 10 biggest busts in MLB’s first month

  1. It’s time for the Yankees to have Judge undergo a thorough physical, particularly an eye test, and I’m NOT being sarcastic.

    Judge is obviously NOT picking up the spin on sliders or curves very well. He literally just turned 32, so this can’t be age-related decline yet, so the Yankees should stop dawdling about this & have Judge undergo a thorough physical examine, especially an eye examine.

    After all, this is the same Moronic “Leadership” that waited TWO PLUS MONTHS! before Brainless Brian Cashman & Co. Woke the F-Up Last Year and FINALLY had Rizzo examined after a HORRENDOUS drop off in his production!

    Judge is displaying a similarly Alarming Drop Off in Production, and he’s not just Striking Out at about a 35% clip, he’s Missing 94 mph fastballs over the heart of the plate that he used to plant in the bleachers.

    Yo, NITWIT Cashman, has it occurred to your pea-sized brain to have Judge undergo an eye examine?

    And if Judge insists his vision is okay, that’s NOT a valid excuse to NOT take this Perfectly Sensible Precaution, because there’s ABSOLUTELY NO DOWNSIDE to his taking an eye examine. So, pull a Nike and “Just Do It,” damnit! And don’t wait TWO PLUS MONTHS to confirm or rule out this possibility.

    Wouldn’t it be great to find out that all Judge needed to start mashing again was corrective contacts or glasses? And how INFURIATING would it be to learn that in, say, August or September, instead of April?

    Besides, there’s no denying that Judge is NOT seeing the ball well; he may not even be aware of a problem if it’s a relatively minor vision issue, yet severe enough to affect his ability to pick up the spin & path on breaking balls.

    If a vision issue can be ruled out, then they should have Judge’s undergo a complete physical. Something is adversely affecting him, so the smart thing to do is rule out any physical issues that the Yankees aren’t aware of, or that the Yankees’ are covering it up, as they typically do with injuries.

    For once in your inept Yankees tenure, Cashman, EXERCISE SOME COMMON SENSE & have Judge examined!

    After all, for the first time in his career, Judge has a superstar hitting in front of him and, instead of mashing at an Historic Clip, he’s flailing at the plate like a little leaguer. There has to be a reason for that, so either confirm or rule out a physical issue because the “Missed Spring Training At Bats” Excuse is looking Pretty Ridiculous after 27 Games.

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