Yankees cloutsman and possible leadoff hitter Aaron Judge last season crushed an AL-leading 52 home runs as a rookie. Quite a number of those home runs were of the jaw-dropping variety, which stands to reason given his 6-foot-7, 282-pound frame.
Bowing to the will of the people, Judge participated in the 2017 Home Run Derby in Miami, and of course wound up winning the entire thing (while hitting four 500-foot blasts along the way). Given Judge's unfathomable power and the fact that he holds the Derby belt and title, it's easy to wonder whether a Derby dynasty is in our midst.
Well, probably not. Judge recently appeared on teammate CC Sabathia's R2C2 Players' Tribune podcast and was asked whether he'd be back in this year's Derby in D.C. Here's Judge's depressingly succinct response ...
"Yeah, I think I'm one and done at the Derby."
Well, that's disappointing. It's understandable, though. Judge dealt with shoulder issues last season and slumped badly to start the second half. Doubtless, that has something to do with Judge's apparent decision.
While there's not much evidence that participating in the Derby negatively affects a hitter's post-Derby production, it's still a physically taxing thing that occurs during what should be a time of rest and recuperation. If you're trying to power through a shoulder injury at the time, then all of that goes double. As fun as the Derby is for fans, it's not something most hitters want to do for understandable reasons.
Maybe Judge will change his mind because of public clamoring or what have you, but for now it looks like he'll walk away and be able to say he's undefeated in the Home Run Derby.