Aaron Judge improved greatly in 2022 en route to a near-unanimous MVP honor. However, according to New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, breaking the record for home runs that had stood for 61 years was not evidence of where Judge had improved the most.
Boone thinks the power punch was always there. It’s arguably how Judge broke into MLB with a home run in his first at-bat and set a then-record 52 in his rookie season.
boone said per NJ.com:
“Last year I felt like he became a different guy on the basepaths. Yes, he stole some bases, but his base running was much better overall. He’s moved the needle tremendously in that regard.”
The Yankees’ overall base running was significantly better last year than they were in 2021. That was a big reason they won 99 games and made it to the ALCS.
Despite being significantly taller than most of his peers, Baseball Savant Judge had a sprint of 27.3 feet per second — ninth with the Yankees and right on the MLB average of 27.
According to Fangraphs’ BsR metric (which stands for base running), Judge was a 2.1. That was second for the Yankees behind Aaron Hicks’ 2.5. Hicks is faster and has played less, so it can be argued that the best baserunner may have been Judge.
Aaron Judge also stole 16 bases and only got caught three times. That total was second on the team behind Isaiah Kiner-Falefa (another fast player) with 22 overall.
Can Aaron Judge improve further in 2023?
As Aaron Boone said:
“I don’t know what numbers he has in mind (for 2023) or what his personal expectations are, but I know it’s great. He won’t settle for a historically great season last year.”
However, it will be difficult to top Aaron Judge’s 2022 season. He recorded 11.4 fWAR and 62 home runs. Those numbers alone, plus the .311 batting average and 131 RBI, will be difficult to replicate.
Forecasts have him in for another excellent year – 7.3 fWAR. It’s not as good as 2022, but expecting him to be as good again might be foolish.
https://www.sportskeeda.com/baseball/news-yankees-manager-aaron-boone-believes-star-aaron-judge-got-much-better-2022-one-shocking-area-he-became-different-guy-basepaths?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda “He became a different guy on the basepaths”