Legends On Deck

Boone Bats Aaron Judge Lead Off – Really?

The New York Yankees have a few sluggers in their lineup, anyone of which are capable of hitting 40 or more home runs, but which one would you think should be a lead off hitter? Well if your paying any attention to what skipper Aaron Boone is thinking, he may prefer the 2017 Rookie of the Year winner, who also hit 52 home runs last season. That’s right, he chooses Aaron Judge, and I say why?

In a new baseball world where Sabermetrics has taken over the old feeling of just making up a line-up based on who a manager felt would be best suited to be on the field in any given game, now Boone feels that a guy who is capable of slugging 50 or more home runs and driving in over 100+ should be the teams lead off hitter, well I don’t agree.

In my book, a typical lead-off hitter is one that can get on base and have enough speed to make things happen. Lead-off hitters normally are not the guys that will drive in a ton of runs, but score them instead.  A lead-off hitter will set the table for the rest of the team. But Boone thinks best that taking a guy that led the AL in 2017 in runs (128), homers (52), walks (127) and ranked second in RBIs (114) and slugging percentage (.627) should be the one. He may have an argument with the number alone, but doesn’t mean its a great idea.

He actually tried the new revamped line-up during Friday’s spring game against the Boston Red Sox in Tampa and the results were no runs on five hits. Ironically Judge actually got a hit, but it was just a single that came in the bottom of the sixth with Judge leading off the inning.

The line-up that Boone put together was so odd that I hope he rethinks this crazy idea.

1. Judge
2. Stanton
3. Bird
4. Sanchez
5. Hicks
6. Gregorius
7. Drury
8. Walker
9. Gardner

Why would Boone put Judge and Giancarlo Stanton batting first and second in the lineup, two hitters that most likely will be the best run producers on the team. Wouldn’t a team want this two great hitters in the middle of the line-up where they can drive in the runs. The Yankees do have enough hitters to make things happen in 2018, but it all starts will Judge and Stanton in the middle of the lineup, even if it meant Judge batting third and Stanton batting fourth. If the Yankees are stuck with not knowing who should bat first, a better fit would be Didi Gregorius or Brett Gardner.

In my opinion, putting Judge batting lead-off will diminish what he is truly capable of.  If he were to lead off, can he still hit monster home runs?, Yes. Can he still be a force with scoring runs or walking?, Yes. But what the Yankees will lose is a dominate hitter when men are on base early in the game. You don’t want one of your big bashers to lead-off a game, it just makes no sense. And I hope Boone comes to his senses and puts the best line-up on the field and stop playing with ideas that will not breed success. Boone only has one shot with a team that should be a pick to make it to the World Series. It’s not just about the numbers, it about putting the guys in the right order that utilizes everyone’s strength and for that reason, Judge should not be the Yankees lead off hitter, let alone Stanton batting second.

One Comment

  1. Joe Noa

    March 24, 2018 at 1:56 PM

    Frankly, working the Sunday Night games for ESPN scrambled Aaron Boone’s brain. This lineup coming from a guy who would go on national TV and imitate baying stances. But he wasn’t hired for his baseball strategic prowess, but more for his analytics and saberme tricks. Good luck with that!

%d bloggers like this: