New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge has quickly become the darling of the Bronx.
How could he not?
The 6-foot-7 slugger has handled the New York market to perfection while mashing home runs at a feverish rate.
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Through his first 47 games, he has hit 17 dingers, which has him on pace to finish the year with 56 long balls. A Yankee hasn’t hit that many home runs in a single season since Alex Rodriguez bombed 54 in 2007.
His strikeouts are down compared to a 2016 debut in which he went down in 42 of his 84 at-bats, his average is up around the .320 mark and his on-base percentage is well over .400.
Heck, he’s even making sterling, diving catches that simply shouldn’t happen given a player of his stature.
Everything is coming up Judge, who should rightfully be in the American League MVP talks during these early parts of the 2017 season.
However — as you know it’s impossible to have the perfect ball player — there is a minuscule negative trend that has developed throughout his big start to the season.
Judge’s splits between playing at home and on the road are quite dramatic, as he has shown a clear affinity for batting at Yankee Stadium:
Stats at Yankee Stadium
.370 batting average
.495 on-base percentage
.852 slugging percentage
12 home runs
Stats away from Yankee Stadium
.279 batting average
.347 on-base percentage
.535 slugging percentage
5 home runs
The gap between Judge’s numbers seems so extreme given the way he is just pounding the ball at home, that goes without saying.
But it appears as though his play on the road has impacted the Yankees’ success. In the Bronx, New York is 17-8, which is the fourth-best home record in the league.
On the road, they are 13-11, which is still an extremely acceptable record while playing in hostile environments.
As nitpicky as it sounds, especially if Judge continues to be thrust in MVP conversations, those numbers on the road — specifically in the power department — will have to experience a little kick.
If not, the argument of playing in a bandbox like Yankee Stadium will constantly be used against him when detractors attempt to downplay his success.