Aaron Judge’s ability to be ‘on time’ was the key to his incredible season

Via Jake Mintz
FOX Sports MLB Writer

Aaron Judge always on time.”

What does it mean?

No, this isn’t a story about the Judge’s punctuality at work, although he does seem like the kind of guy you go to where he’s supposed to.

With Yankees‘The generation slugger is set to break Roger Maris’ single-season American League home record one day, there’s been a lot of talk about what exactly has made him such a great season.

There is no swing change, no story that easily changes the scene; he’s simply a better version of himself than ever. But many of the smart batting minds around baseball assume Judge’s ability is always timely was the biggest driving force behind his epic 2022 campaign.

On Tuesday, ahead of New York’s recent series against Pittsburgh, pirate Coach Andy Haines noted, needless to say, how he was amazed at Judge’s ability to be on time.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora, when asked before Thursday’s game what could make the season worthy of Judge’s MVP, immediately noted how punctual it is The Yankees’ slug always seems to be looking.

And Dillon Lawson, the Yankees hitting coach, used that same phrase multiple times during an interview on Judge earlier this season.

So what does “on time” really mean? And why is Judge so skilled?

For Lawson, it’s pretty straightforward.

“He recognizes pitch,” he explains. “And he’s better at it than all the others in the world.”

According to Lawson, Judge being on time isn’t just about being mentally ready whenever he walks into the box. Judge’s greatest distinguishing skill – besides his immense size and strength – is his innate ability to read and react to pitches earlier and more often than any other baseball player. .

That’s what really means on time: The sooner the referee knows which course is coming and where, the more likely he is to hit his best shot and the more often. If he can do that, he’ll have more opportunities to seriously impact baseball.

And now, in the midst of this horribly hot day, Judge is basically always on time.

“Manny always talks about being on time,” Cora shares. “He said that if you’re on time, you’ll recognize the pitches and you’ll make good decisions. And right now, Judge’s decisions are stellar.”

Yankees’ Aaron Judge is close to reaching Roger Maris .’s AL HR record

Aaron Judge was just steps away from reaching his 61st round of the season and winning the match for the New York Yankees at the end of the ninth round against the Boston Red Sox.

“Turn decision” is a relatively modern, popular term to describe the types of pitches that hitters choose to turn and how they choose to swing on them. Not all hacks are created equal.

Here is an example. The game’s best contact representatives, such as Cleveland‘S Steven Kwan and Minnesota‘S Luis Arraez, generally has superior bat control. They can control the barrel extremely late in the timeline of their shot to adjust to the pitch that is coming.

Kwan and Arraez’s late adjustment, while impressive and fun to watch, is less impactful than Judge’s early recognition. Kwan and Arraez were able to make contact but – partly because of their relatively small frames – there wasn’t enough time in the milliseconds as the ball darted towards the disc to perform a powerful spin.

Understood, children? Early recognition > late adjustment ability.

But how is this season’s Judge different from previous years? If “on time” is a difficult thing to learn and develop, how did the Judge of 60 home running do?

One theory involves a slight change in the Judge’s payload allowing him to make better use of his elite identification skills. Most trainers have some sort of negative movement before throwing, in which their arms and shoulders shift back, loading up their muscles. When precisely timed, that creates a rubber band effect that transfers tons of energy towards the ball.

Judge seems to have simplified that aspect of his swing, essentially preloading his hand earlier than other players. That allows him to focus only on moving forward when the ball is in the air. And because he’s so adept at reading and reacting, he can get his gun barrel and, in turn, his massive power to deal damage on a wide variety of pitches.

While the sports public eagerly awaits the home games at Numbers 61 and 62, Judge remains true to his approach. On Thursdays in New York’s Win 5-4 turns through Boston, Judge walked three times, when the Red Sox’s pitch earned him a precious little point.

But sooner or later, the perfect throw to rip through that crucial explosion will come, and when it does, it’s best to make sure Aaron Judge arrives on time.

Jake Mintz, the bigger half of @CespedesBBQ, is a baseball writer for FOX Sports. He’s an Orioles fan living in New York City, and as such, he leads a lonely existence most of October. If he doesn’t watch baseball, he’s almost certain. cycling. Follow him on Twitter @Jake_Mintz.

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