There really is nothing better than the 2022 season for New York Yankees MVP Aaron Judge. He hit 62 home runs, breaking a long-standing American League record, while leading the MLB in on-base percentage (.425), slugging percentage (.686) and OPS (1,111).
However, Judge is never happy.
The Yankees captain just won the first MVP award of his career and has multiple Silver Sluggers and All-Star appearances to his name, but the postseason is where Judge’s struggles have been spotlighted.
Judge’s two-strike approach hasn’t been the best, so he decided to call a friend, National League MVP Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals, for some advice this offseason.
the new york post office revealed that Judge spoke to Goldschmidt after noticing his two-strike approach to the plate, where he has a smaller step than usual and appears to be focused only on contact.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
“Said [Goldschmidt]”I watched you up close and I watched your videos, tell me about your approach,” Judge told The Post. “He’s got a smaller, smaller step and waits there. That’s something I want to mix. So I asked him, ‘How do you do that? What is your thought process in this situation or that?’”
But while some like to use this contact-based approach with two strikes, being one of the best hitters in the game requires that this just be a situation-based approach.
YANKEES’ JUDGE AARON CITES A ‘LARGER END GOAL’ FOR SKIPPING THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
Judge can still mash with two strikes, and if the situation were beneficial in trying to do that, he would likely continue chasing pitches as he normally would. However, let’s say there’s a runner on second or third base with less than two out and what’s needed right now is contact, Judge can shorten everything.
While the regular season could reveal this approach, Judge wants to be able to use it in the postseason, where he has struggled throughout his career, including this latest trip in 2022.
Judge struck out 15 times in nine games, hitting 5-for-36 between the two series with the Cleveland Guardians and Houston Astros. As an offensive centerpiece, that’s not what you want to see.
“Ultimately, that’s why we do all the work in spring training to get ready for the postseason and win games in the postseason,” Judge explained to The Post. “So that’s what I’m going to use spring training for: to master this hopefully.” [shorter stride in various two-strike situations] and then I use the season to pick moments where I need to figure this out: push a guy, move a guy, get on base. The entire regular season is practice for the actual scene.”
YANKEES’ AARON JUDGE WON’T RULE OUT OF REPEATING HOME RUN RECORD IN 2023: ‘YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT CAN HAPPEN’
What could this approach be like? Hitting coach Dillon Lawson noted that Judge took a slightly wider stance in the batter’s box and gave up his leg kick. Instead, his foot will stay planted on the ground on the pitcher’s throw, allowing him to be a bit more defensive.
It’s no secret that Judge’s success in 2023 will determine the path the Yankees take this upcoming season. He returned with a nine-year, $360 million contract, and was named the 16th captain in franchise history after signing the new deal.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Judge may get to see some real replays of the game with that two-strike step on Saturday when the Yankees kick off their Grapefruit League schedule with a game against the reigning National League champion Philadelphia Phillies.