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It's Genuinely Incredible To Witness How Good Aaron Judge Is At Baseball

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I think sometimes as sports fans we take for granted the kind of special talent we get to see with our own eyes on a daily basis. For example, I never got to watch Mickey Mantle play, but for those alive at the time it had to be an incredible experience you never forget. Same goes for people who were old enough to appreciate MJ in the 80s and 90s. I'm very jealous of those people. Our versions of that are guys like LeBron and Messi. For me personally though, I'll be able to tell people decades from now that I lived in the time of Aaron Judge. That man is special. 

To better understand how ridiculous Judge is, you need to realize how invisible he was in April (by his standards). Through May 4th, Judge found himself hitting .209/.340/.403 with six homers and 19 RBI. 35 games had gone by and he'd shown virtually no signs of his MVP self. That caused a good amount of people to genuinely worry about what was going on. I was never really concerned, but there was plenty of talk online about how long this would go on for. Was his foot issue that dates back to last summer going to hamper his abilities forever? Was the move to the 3 hole the root of this? Was he dealing with another injury, possible the oblique thing he dealt with in the spring that caused him to miss some time? Some motherfucker wanted to explore the way of sending him down to the minor leagues. Not entirely sure if they were being serious, but in the event they were I hope they're in jail. 

Then Judge got ejected on May 4th against the Tigers. Ever since then, something snapped. Like in The Iron Giant when the giant robot's dent on his head fixes itself and he goes into full attack mode. What has transpired over the last three weeks shows you just how good this dude is.

In his last 18 games this is his slash line: .433/.570/.1.067. Yeah that's a 1.067 slugging percentage. A 1.636 OPS for those scoring at home. This is God Mode stuff. Maybe the most locked in we've ever seen the big fella. 

Just for reference, at the end of April Judge's batting run value was somewhere in the 50s. Now his Savant page resembles the same color of the place pitchers go to when he steps into the box — hell. 

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Some of his bombs recently have been BOMBS. Pretty much everything he comes into contact with has been annihilated. 

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And if you were wondering how the duo of Judge and Soto were fairing together? Well, Soto has never really tapered off, so now that Judge is doing Judge things they're fucking unstoppable. Let me tell ya, it's a lot of fun to watch. 

We're just about 1/3 of the way through the regular season, so there's obviously a lot left to be played, but the Yankees are 35-17 as I type this. They currently possess the highest team OPS and lowest team ERA in the whole league. Oh, and Gerrit Cole is still about a month away from returning. The reigning Cy Young winner will join a rotation that has flat out dominated so far, thanks in part to the emergence of a young monster Luis Gil. 

Gil is electric on the mound, with eye-opening strikeout stuff. We got a taste of this in 2021 and 2022 before he blew out his arm, but now with Cole and Blake in his ear you're seeing a much more polished product. 

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He possesses the lowest opponent's batting average among all pitchers. He leads the whole league in fewest hits per 9 (4.392) and the next closest is Cease who trails by nearly an entire hit. He's on track to not only be an All Star, but potentially the AL Rookie of the Year.

 Scariest thing is he has flaws to work on. The control can get away from him at times and his slider needs to better. But man on man is his fastball/changeup combo deadly. 

There's a different vibe with this Yankees team. They grind out pitchers like in the old days. There's never really a deficit they can't overcome, if they trail at all in the first place. They're balanced throughout the lineup with lefties and righties, along with power and contact. They finally have a team that isn't sole reliant on Aaron Judge's performance. Soto carried them throughout April while Judge worked his way out of his slump. Now that they're both going the team is virtually unstoppable. There will be a looming question to be answered in late June about what to do with the rotation, but at this moment it's a great problem to have. The bullpen will need a piece or two at the deadline, but right now that's the only area I'd think about improving. This team is a joy to watch and really fucking good. Just stay healthy and dominate. 

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