Bronx legend feels plate discipline helps 2024 Yankees outshine his WS champs

Yankees legend Jorge Posada
Michael Bennington
Thursday June 13, 2024

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Jorge Posada, the esteemed former New York Yankees catcher and member of the iconic “Core Four,” recently offered his thoughts on the current team’s success during an interview with YES Network’s Jack Curry. According to him, the 2024 squad’s plate discipline eclipses his World Series Champions.

Posada, who won 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009 rings, pointed out that the current Yankees lineup frequently forces starting pitchers out of games after around 80 pitches. He suggested that if his teams had employed a similar approach, they would have been even more challenging for pitchers, as this method incrementally wears them down.

“Nowadays, they get a pitcher out [of the game] in 80 pitches,” Posada said of the Yankees’ current lineup. “So I think we would have been a lot tougher on pitchers if we would have done the things that they’re doing now… It just wears down on the pitcher.”

To back his belief, Posada highlighted the impressive plate discipline of Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, emphasizing its role in their power-hitting capabilities.

Juan Soto celebrates with Aaron Judge after hitting his second home run in the game vs. the Mariners at Yankee Stadium on May 22, 2024.

Posada hails Yankees’ Judge and Soto for their plate patience

When Curry asked about the link between Judge and Soto’s patience at the plate and their home run output, Posada confirmed its significance. He elaborated that while the effects of their discipline might not be obvious in the initial at-bats of a series, over a three or four-game stretch, pitchers are compelled to throw strikes. This strategy, the Yankees legend noted, gradually exhausts the opposing pitchers.

“You might not see it in the first at-bat, second at-bat of the series… but out of a three-game, four-game series… the pitchers have got to come to the plate at some point,” he said.

Judge currently tops MLB with 55 walks in 239 at-bats, while Soto is tied for second with 47 walks in 242 at-bats. Reflecting on his own career, Posada, who never surpassed 107 walks in a single season, conceded that his World Series-winning Yankees teams would have been even more offensively potent if they had exhibited the same level of plate discipline as the 2024 Yankees.

According to reports, Aaron Judge helped Juan Soto feel at home in New York, and this might be one of the reasons Soto has been shining with the Yankees.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 Yankees have drawn more walks than any other team in the league, with 259 through 68 games, narrowly surpassing the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Toronto Blue Jays rank second among American League teams with 226 walks.

Posada’s insights highlight the critical role of plate discipline in the modern game and how the Yankees’ current approach is contributing to their overall success by wearing down opposing pitchers.

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