After the hottest first half in baseball this year, Aaron Judge became something of a house-hold name. But after the break, well, things went south pretty quickly:
First Half: .329/.448/.691; 30 homers
Second Half: .179/.346/.344; 7 homers
Judge still has a very bright future ahead of him – of course – but, hey, everybody struggles, right? Right.
The difference between good players and great players, however, is that even when great players are struggling, they find other ways to contribute and produce. For some guys, that means extra-aggressive base running. For others, it’s more patience at the plate. And for many, it’s doing whatever extra you can on defense to help out.
Aaron Judge isn’t much of a baserunner and he’s already quite patient at the plate. So to stay “great” while he’s struggling here in the second half, he busted out some good ole fashioned baseball smarts last night against the rival Red Sox.
Watch as Judge fakes a catch in right field to force the runner at first base to pause just long enough to get thrown out at second:
That’s one hell of a move, and precisely the sort of “extra stuff” a guy can do when his whole game isn’t working. Well, done, Judge. Maybe you will be great.