Manager hails Aaron Judge for his constant push to improve
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Baseball fans will remember Aaron Judge’s historic 2022 season forever. The AL MVP also led the league in runs batted in (RBI) and came in second in the AL batting race, missing out on a very rare Triple Crown by only one place last season. However, the Yankees‘ right fielder doesn’t look content with his new American League record. Aaron Judge continues to push to make incremental improvements.
According to Yankees managers Aaron Boone, “Last year I feel like he became a different guy on the basepaths, Yeah, he stole some bases, but his baserunning overall was much better.”
The manager was speaking about his No. 99 during an interview on YES Network’s Yankees Hot Stove
Aaron Judge was a finalist for the Gold Glove in the right field. He also played great in the center field. Even though he cost the Yankees the biggest ever deal in their history, he stole 16 bases, which was the second most on the team, and was only caught three times. Pretty good for a 280-pound man like Aaron Judge, who is 6 feet 7 inches tall.
His was one of the best years of his career and all baseball players dream of having such a season. But Aaron Judge is far from being judgmental. He always strives to better himself.
“He’s always looking to be better,” Boone said. “How can I be the best player possible, the best leader possible.”
So, where did Judge improve the most during his season as AL MVP? It didn’t look like his runs came due to his power only. Aaron Judge has always had that, and as a rookie, he hit 52 home runs in 2017.
Boone was very impressed by the way Aaron Judge moved from first base to third base on hits, scored from first base on doubles, and broke up double plays by stealing second base. He is good at running the bases, not just stealing them.
Boone said, “He moved the needle a long way in that direction.”
Aaron Judge is a great baserunner because he is just a little bit faster than average, works very hard, and has great instincts. Last year, he was ranked as the Yankees’ ninth-fastest player by Baseball Savant. His average sprint speed in games was 27.3 feet per second. The average for the league is 27 seconds.
Aaron Judge’s success running the bases didn’t surprise anyone in the Yankees organization, though, because he works hard all season and in the offseason to improve every part of his game. But everyone wants him to hit home runs.
Aaron Judge getting ready for 2023
What can he do in 2023? 62 more home runs?
Boone said, “I don’t know what numbers he has in mind (for 2023) or what his personal expectations are, but I know it’s greatness. He’s not going to settle for what was a historically great season last year.”
Even though spring training doesn’t start for another few weeks, Aaron Judge is already making regular trips to the Yankees’ player development complex.
“Well, I know he has those expectations or more,” Boone said. “He’s down in Tampa getting after it already. Like a lot of great players, Aaron doesn’t settle. He’s like, ‘Where can I use the winter to make incremental improvements in my game?’
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