Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Yankees' most critical 95 plate appearances, and the future of humanity

Of course, we're talking about the cup of Sanka that was poured between August and September, which featured the behemoth who is either, a) the future of the Yankees or, b) the most overly hyped ice cream sandwich-eating machine since Jesus (Montero, of course.) We are talking about Aaron "the Real Aaron" Judge, all 275 pounds. (Not to be confused with Aaron "the Wrong Aaron"  Hicks, all .222.)

For the record... Judge plate-appeared 95 times in 2016 - belted 4 HRs, hit .179, and fanned 42 times. Forty-two swooshers. At the end, he seemed predisposed to it - he marched up, took his medicine, then marched home to the bat rack. The YESmen praised his calm demeanor. It was almost embarrassing. Mercifully, he tweaked a whatever and vanished. Time ceased, the Yankees withered, Big Papi retired, and here we are, still asking an essential question:

Is Aaron "The Real Aaron" Judge a future Yankee great, or will we burn the next eight months watching a guy who should be playing tight end?

Dunno. But I do know this: The future, dear Brutus, is written in the stats. So let's go...

For the record... In his brief MLB incarnation, Judge drew 9 walks, nine, compiling a measly on base percentage of .263. He tried to steal one base. He failed. He looked smooth in the field - robbed a HR without having to jump. His four dingers were moon shots. One landed in center field. Four HRs in 100 at bats translates to 20 over the season, not far below the 2016 Yankee Indian Point Power Report Home Run Leader Board, (won by a paltry 22 from Carlos Beltran.)

For the record... We have reason to think Judge will improve. Two years ago, after a solid half-season at Double A Trenton, Judge moved up to Scranton and was over-matched by the scrap-heapers of Triple A. In 260 International League plate appearances that year, he hit .224 with 8 HRs (and fanned 74 times.) Last winter, at this time, we wondered if he'd be another Scranton burnout. But by June, he was raking enough to force a promotion to the show.

For the record... As a Yankee, Judge hit slightly better against RHs - (all 4 HRs off them.) And when he was ahead in the count, he became a terror - hitting .320. (On 2-0 counts, he hit .500. On 2-1 counts, he hit 1.000 - in really small samples.) With two strikes, though, he was lost - .129. With the pitcher ahead, he hit .103. Awful numbers. But they would seem to be related to his confidence.

For the record...  The first time Judge faced an MLB starter, he hit a dismal .190. The second time around in the lineup, he improved to .222. And the third time - ahh, three's the charm - Aaron fukking Judge hit .600. (A super-small sample: 3 for 5.) And yes, the starter in his third time around would be weary. But it could be - gulp - that Judge learns.

Listen: That's the key to artificial intelligence: Once machines learn to learn, it's over. They'll grow smarter exponentially, and we will be exterminated like the vermin that we have become.

If Aaron Judge can learn, hey, we've got something. If not, cue the ice cream truck. We've got the Second Coming of Jesus. Montero, that is.

4 comments:

KD said...

That's one YUGE strike zone the kid needs to cover...

John M said...

Ice cream? We get ice cream?

Anonymous said...

GREAT STAT BREAKDOWN......I BELIEVE HE CAN BECOME A CEREBRAL HITTER, BUT PATIENCE IS THE KEY.......PATIENCE FROM JUDGE HIMSELF, (HE NEEDS TO BE MORE SELECTIVE, AND BE HAPPY WITH DRAWING WALKS), AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, PATIENCE FROM THE YANKEE BRASS THAT MUST COMMIT 500 AT BATS TO HIM.

Eugene Stoner Logic said...

Please get a new picture. Something, anything. I don't care if it's a whaddyacallit - those things...you know, the peekatchoo things - but for Mosakes, get a new Modamn picture for blog posts Or nothing at all. Pokemen, that's them.

I got an idear. Just use a still of ARod next to Pete Rose on the ban-of-vision panel from last night. At least it would be baseball related.