Only God Can Judge Judge

jon abbey

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Judge's Ks are a little bit different in that he seems to work almost every AB to a full count, and his walk percentage is off the charts, 18.7% last year and an even 20% so far this year. He led the AL in walks last year, and is leading the league early on again this year.
 

jon abbey

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If you're just going for 'menacing at the plate', I can't argue much because a lot of that is just perception. But Sheffield seemed to pull almost everything, Judge uses the whole field, I don't think they're especially similar hitters. Stanton is probably a lot closer, and actually Andujar is the one who really reminds me of Sheffield, although he is just starting to show it in real games this past week.
 

tims4wins

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Oh Judge and Sheffield aren't comparable at all as hitters. But in my lifetime Sheffield is the guy who scared me the most when he came to the plate, and I'm not sure that will ever change. And to think he was 35 when he joined the Yankees.

Edit: a lot of it probably has to do with timing. In 2004 I cared a hell of a lot more than I do in 2018. It was life and death to us.
 

jon abbey

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This is one for the career resume:


"Aaron Judge's 117.0 mph homer is the hardest batted ball Craig Kimbrel has allowed since #Statcast's intro in 2015... by nearly 5 full mph. The previous hardest was 112.1 mph to Manny Machado. And that was a groundout."
 

jon abbey

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So we all know Judge had a fantastic 2017, but he had some holes in his game that kept him from being MVP. He didn't do well in late-game clutch situations (this was by far the biggest issue cited for why people chose Altuve over him, and rightfully so), he didn't do well against breaking balls, and he had terrible numbers against the Sox.

Well, 1/4 of the way through 2018, he has quietly turned all three of those around in remarkable fashion:

"Baseball Reference keeps a stat called “late and clutch,” and last year in 100 plate appearances in that situation, Judge slashed .215/.380/.380 with three homers and eight RBIs. In 26 plate appearances this year, he was .381/.500/.714 with two homers and nine RBIs.

Last year against Boston, Judge hit .151 (11-for-73) with two homers, five RBIs, 30 strikeouts and a .556 OPS. This season he also has 11 hits vs. the Red Sox, but in just 21 at-bats (.524 average) to go along with two homers, six RBIs and just four strikeouts against six walks and a 1.487 OPS."

https://nypost.com/2018/05/12/dodgers-need-a-yankees-style-turnaround-sooner-than-later/

Aaron Judge against breaking balls, 2017 vs. 2018
Breaking balls: sliders + curveballs, classified by Statcast™
Batting average
2017: .205 (MLB rank: Tied for 134th of 201 hitters, minimum 100 at-bats vs. breaking balls)
2018: .364 (MLB rank: Tied for 8th of 152 hitters, minimum 30 at-bats vs. breaking balls)
Slugging percentage
2017: .425 (MLB rank: Tied for 75th of 201)
2018: .659 (MLB rank: 10th of 152)
Weighted on-base average (wOBA)
2017: .315 (MLB rank: Tied for 59th of 201)
2018: .476 (MLB rank: 4th of 152)

https://www.mlb.com/yankees/news/aaron-judge-crushing-breaking-balls/c-276686972
 

TheYaz67

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Another one for the career resume - an MLB record 8 strikeouts in one day, in 9 at bats (during a doubleheader against the Tigers)....

As an article regarding the feat summed up nicely, it was "a long day at the office".
 

hbk72777

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Another one for the career resume - an MLB record 8 strikeouts in one day, in 9 at bats (during a doubleheader against the Tigers)....

As an article regarding the feat summed up nicely, it was "a long day at the office".

Whatever fossil wrote that drivel doesn't realize that it's a different game
 

terrynever

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Whatever fossil wrote that drivel doesn't realize that it's a different game
Fans do judge strikeouts differently than in the old days, even a fossil like myself. Judge is such a great all-around player, he gets a pass from me for his prodigious strikeout capability. He makes plays in right almost every night that nobody but Mookie makes.
 

TheYaz67

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Whatever fossil wrote that drivel doesn't realize that it's a different game
Well, yes and no. I think we all understand that statically speaking there is no difference between Judge striking out 8 times and him grounding out 8 times - they are all outs at the end of the day. At the same time, in order to get hits/HRs, one does generally have to put the ball in play/give yourself a chance with the gods of BABIP, which you can't do when you strike out every time, so I think it is fair to characterize it as a "tough day" for any player....
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, I basically think batter strikeouts are close to irrelevant, but 8 in a doubleheader is noteworthy and undeserving of snark in return. In general, focusing on batter strikeouts deserves constant snark, though, especially in Judge's case when he is second in the league in BBs and third in OBP (1st and 2nd in 2017, respectively).
 

bosox79

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Yeah, I basically think batter strikeouts are close to irrelevant, but 8 in a doubleheader is noteworthy and undeserving of snark in return. In general, focusing on batter strikeouts deserves constant snark, though, especially in Judge's case when he is second in the league in BBs and third in OBP (1st and 2nd in 2017, respectively).
I'm sure there is a tipping point somewhere, though I'm not sure where. But that is in general, and not to specific players. Offense is down quite a bit this year and Ks are up. Maybe we are starting to see it? Very few players can be productive striking out as much as Mike Judge.

edit: Aaron Judge even, boy I tell you what.
 

jon abbey

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He hit his 50th career HR at home tonight, the quickest to 50 at home in major league history (134 games, Bob Horner had the previous record at 138 games).
 

uk_sox_fan

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Actually I enjoy watching Judge play - seems to be a genuinely good guy and much easier to stomach as a rival than, say, ARod (though I kinda like ARod in the booth now).

My problem is the trend that made baseball parks smaller and smaller in order to generate more offense and presumably higher attendance. I thought it should have been beneath the Yankees to do that and was disappointed that it wasn’t. Now every time HR accolades are heaped on the Yankees I can’t help but think it’s tainted. Maybe that’s hypocritical of me given what the Wall does for Boston’s doubles totals but at least that decision was made over 100 years ago and was made out of necessity.
 

terrynever

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Actually I enjoy watching Judge play - seems to be a genuinely good guy and much easier to stomach as a rival than, say, ARod (though I kinda like ARod in the booth now).

My problem is the trend that made baseball parks smaller and smaller in order to generate more offense and presumably higher attendance. I thought it should have been beneath the Yankees to do that and was disappointed that it wasn’t. Now every time HR accolades are heaped on the Yankees I can’t help but think it’s tainted. Maybe that’s hypocritical of me given what the Wall does for Boston’s doubles totals but at least that decision was made over 100 years ago and was made out of necessity.
You write like this is a new development. Yanks built a new stadium in 1923 to accommodate Babe Ruth. 296 down the RF line. Of course, it was also 407 to right-center, 461 to dead center, 436 in left-center. Home runs saved the game from the Dead Ball Era.
Polo Grounds was 251 feet down the lines and 475 to center.
Forbes Field shortened the fence in left field for Hank Greenberg and Ralph Kiner, even naming the easy target "Greenberg Gardens" and "Kiner's Korner."
Hank Aaron experienced a slight boost in homers after the Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta.
Go down the historical list of home run leaders and there is either a friendly ballpark or steroids involved in each.
 

jon abbey

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The current NY team is very right-handed and hits the majority of their HRs to LF which is not short in NY. FWIW, home/road OPS splits:

BOS .856/.725
NY .819/.754

So, yes, every time a BOS fan makes fun of YS III being small, I wonder how they ignore this obvious fact.
 

crow216

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The current NY team is very right-handed and hits the majority of their HRs to LF which is not short in NY. FWIW, home/road OPS splits:

BOS .856/.725
NY .819/.754

So, yes, every time a BOS fan makes fun of YS III being small, I wonder how they ignore this obvious fact.
Had the same conversation last night, not to mention that none were shorties last night. 380+ for Birds', 370+ for Andujar, 355 for Judge's oppo.
 

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I haven't seen a chart, but the idea that Judge profits unreasonably from cheap homeruns amuses me. It would be weird if true, considering how hard he hits the ball.
 

Byrdbrain

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Had the same conversation last night, not to mention that none were shorties last night. 380+ for Birds', 370+ for Andujar, 355 for Judge's oppo.
I'm generally in agreement that fans of a team that plays in Fenway have little to say regarding field dimensions but a 355 foot HR to straight away RF is pretty damned short.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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So, yes, every time a BOS fan makes fun of YS III being small, I wonder how they ignore this obvious fact.
Like the 340 foot homerun that Judge hit yesterday that would have been a homerun in zero other ballparks?

Come on. Its a small ballpark. Thats OK. Like my wife tells me, size isn't everything.
 

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52 out of 79 at home in his career. Yes he hits them far pretty often but this is turning into a reasonable sample size.
 

tims4wins

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52 out of 79 at home in his career. Yes he hits them far pretty often but this is turning into a reasonable sample size.
Career home: .321 AVG / .445 OBP / .705 SLG / 1.149 OPS
Career road: .222 AVG / .354 OBP / .456 SLG / .810

Will be interesting to see if this continues long term. He's not useless on the road, but he's not close to the same player as home.
 

jon abbey

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Like the 340 foot homerun that Judge hit yesterday that would have been a homerun in zero other ballparks?

Come on. Its a small ballpark. Thats OK. Like my wife tells me, size isn't everything.
Didi hit one 295 in Fenway earlier this year, so yeah.

Edit: Sorry, it was last July:

http://thecomeback.com/mlb/didi-gregorius-hit-home-run-statcast-estimated-295-feet.html

Second edit: MLB Park Factors has Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park almost identical when it comes to HRs, 10th and 12th in MLB respectively.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor/_/sort/HRFactor
 

crow216

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Career home: .321 AVG / .445 OBP / .705 SLG / 1.149 OPS
Career road: .222 AVG / .354 OBP / .456 SLG / .810

Will be interesting to see if this continues long term. He's not useless on the road, but he's not close to the same player as home.
Benintendi has the same sort of splits. I wonder if younger players are just more comfortable at home and even out those splits over their careers.
 

tims4wins

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Benintendi has the same sort of splits. I wonder if younger players are just more comfortable at home and even out those splits over their careers.
This is simply not true. When you state something as fact, back it up with numbers.

Home: .290 / .358 / .467 / .825
Road: .264 / .354 / .440 / .794

31 points of OPS difference vs. 339 points of OPS difference for Judge. And Benny has 50% more road home runs in his career than Fenway home runs.
 

terrynever

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Judge stole two bases last night for first time in his career. Legit steals. The big guy runs well. Not sure how long his body will hold up to the grind of long seasons but he is fun to watch right now.
 

crow216

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This is simply not true. When you state something as fact, back it up with numbers.

Home: .290 / .358 / .467 / .825
Road: .264 / .354 / .440 / .794

31 points of OPS difference vs. 339 points of OPS difference for Judge. And Benny has 50% more road home runs in his career than Fenway home runs.
I'm talking about this year.

In 39 at home and 44 on the road

Home: .331 / .390 / .605 / .995
Road: .229 / .333 / .386 / .719

The splits this year are so strong that it overrides his reverse splits from last year. Regardless of this, my point wasn't that Judge hasn't been a way worse hitter on the road this year. It was an acknowledgment that he's more comfortable at home because the extra couple HRs he might have lucked into at home don't account for 300pts in OPS. My comment on Benintendi wasn't a judgment, it was a thought about whether younger players are just better at home as they adjust to and learn new stadiums.

Torres is about 50 OPS pts better at home, Devers is about 100pts better. Andujar is about the same.
 
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bosox79

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Benintendi has the same sort of splits. I wonder if younger players are just more comfortable at home and even out those splits over their careers.
Most players in general hit better at home than on the road.

Re Judge: I don't think the stadium has much to do with him being the fastest to 50 HRs. I think his age plays a huge part though. He came up with his power fully developed.
 

jon abbey

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Joe Pos tackles this precise topic today, I would put the below quote in my sig if I didn't already have better ones there, so instead I will just up the point size:

"Yankee Stadium is not that good a hitter's park. Oh, sure, it unquestionably favors hitters, particularly left-handed home-run hitters, but people often talk about Yankee Stadium like it's some sort of absurd bandbox. But the facts don't back that up, particularly for righties."

https://www.mlb.com/news/aaron-judge-likes-hitting-at-yankee-stadium/c-284467586
 

crow216

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It's weird with Judge. He strikes out more and walks less on the road but by far, the biggest different is his power on the road. His spray charts don't reveal anything except for a few shots to right that arguably could have still left many of the other parks around the league. You hope it evens out because it simply doesn't make any sense.

https://www.fangraphs.com/spraycharts.aspx?playerid=15640&position=OF&type=battedball
 

The Needler

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MLB Park Factors has Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park almost identical when it comes to HRs, 10th and 12th in MLB respectively.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor/_/sort/HRFactor
Yankee Stadium was #1 in 2014, 2016, and 2017.

Joe Pos tackles this precise topic today, I would put the below quote in my sig if I didn't already have better ones there, so instead I will just up the point size:

"Yankee Stadium is not that good a hitter's park. Oh, sure, it unquestionably favors hitters, particularly left-handed home-run hitters, but people often talk about Yankee Stadium like it's some sort of absurd bandbox. But the facts don't back that up, particularly for righties."

https://www.mlb.com/news/aaron-judge-likes-hitting-at-yankee-stadium/c-284467586
I would hardly call that superficial little piece "tackling" the topic. I'd recommend this fangraphs article from last year instead: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-yankee-stadium-effect/

The money paragraph for your sig:


"But the thing is, New Yankee Stadium might actually benefit right-handed power more than left-handed power. Consider that, in the Statcast era, the average home run pulled to left of center field by a right-handed hitter has traveled 405 feet. The average home run hit right of center by a right-handed hitter has traveled 387 feet. Of the 544 home runs hit right of center by right-handed hitters since 2016 that have been tracked by Statcast, 47 have been hit in Yankee Stadium, which leads baseball and outpaces runner-up Coors Field (39). And, folks, we’re just entering the Judge era."
 

crow216

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Yankee Stadium was #1 in 2014, 2016, and 2017.



I would hardly call that superficial little piece "tackling" the topic. I'd recommend this fangraphs article from last year instead: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-yankee-stadium-effect/

The money paragraph for your sig:


"But the thing is, New Yankee Stadium might actually benefit right-handed power more than left-handed power. Consider that, in the Statcast era, the average home run pulled to left of center field by a right-handed hitter has traveled 405 feet. The average home run hit right of center by a right-handed hitter has traveled 387 feet. Of the 544 home runs hit right of center by right-handed hitters since 2016 that have been tracked by Statcast, 47 have been hit in Yankee Stadium, which leads baseball and outpaces runner-up Coors Field (39). And, folks, we’re just entering the Judge era."
That doesn't say anything except the Yankees hit a lot of homeruns. You would need to find out how many of those 47 would not have gone out somewhere else.
 

jon abbey

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Plus it's a one year sample and it barely overlaps Judge's career, so not so relevant for this thread.
 

The Needler

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That doesn't say anything except the Yankees hit a lot of homeruns. You would need to find out how many of those 47 would not have gone out somewhere else.
Plus it's a one year sample and it barely overlaps Judge's career, so not so relevant for this thread.
Yankee Stadium being #1 in HR park factors for 3 of the past 4 years is not relevant? You guys are really taking homerism to a new level. Right field in Yankee stadium is a bandbox. The RF line distance required an examption from MLB, and the dimensions to center are the smallest in baseball. These are objective facts.
 

jon abbey

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Yankee Stadium being #1 in HR park factors for 3 of the past 4 years is not relevant? You guys are really taking homerism to a new level. Right field in Yankee stadium is a bandbox. The RF line distance required an examption from MLB, and the dimensions to center are the smallest in baseball. These are objective facts.
The RF line is shorter in Fenway, and it's consistently easier to score runs overall in Fenway, also objective facts. The article you linked was from May 2017, so yeah, not so relevant for a specific Aaron Judge thread.

Everyone knows RF is short in Yankee Stadium, it's just funny to me when Boston fans specifically bitch about that, for obvious reasons as we've gone over a few times here already. Every AL East stadium is fucked up in its own special way, except maybe Camden Yards although that is a bandbox too.
 

The Needler

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Jesus Christ, of course it's relevant. You made a funny little quip that you wanted to make a sig out of a bald claim that the stats don't back up that YS benefits righty hitters. I pointed you to numbers that showed a disproportionate number of opposite field HRs were hit by righties in YS. You also tried to support your theory by hanging your hat on a half season Hr park factor, when the prior many years completely contradicting your theory.

And Fenway's dimensions, set many decades before we were born, have nothing to do with a brand new Yankee stadium. And you might want to consoder the height of the wall in center in Fenway.
 

jon abbey

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And Fenway's dimensions, set many decades before we were born, have nothing to do with a brand new Yankee stadium.
Heh, but that's where they play now, I'm pretty sure. I love that line of argument, though, like somehow the dimensions don't matter because it was built a long time ago.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, both are quirky/ridiculous/your word of choice in different ways, although neither have speakers on the roof that are somehow in play, so we can all be thankful for that at least.
 

The Needler

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crow216

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I didn't mean the distance to straight away center field. I meant the dimensions of the outfield from the right field line to centerfield, as discussed in the article I linked (which you 100% didn't read before responding).
What is your actual point? You're waffling between Yankee Stadium is a park that allows a lot of HRs (everyone agrees) and something else regarding the right field wall. What do the cherry-picked statistics regarding homeruns or wall distance actually matter? Are you saying that Yankee Stadium is better for hitters than Fenway? Because you'd be wrong.

Fenway vs Yankee Stadium Park Factors aren't particularly close. Despite Yankee Stadium consistently leading in homeruns, Fenway has led in doubles, runs, and singles every year since the new stadium opened except 2010.

So yes, the whole planet knows its an easy stadium to hit homeruns compared to many other stadiums. But can we stop with the bullshit on this forum that it somehow is a joke when Fenway is consistently one of the most hitter-friendly parks?

Sift through it yourself..
http://www.espn.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2022901-ranking-mlbs-most-hitter-friendly-ballparks-by-the-numbers#slide2
"Without question, the biggest surprise on this list is the inclusion of Yankee Stadium. While "The House that George Built" grades out as a hitter's park in home runs (1.135), runs scored (1.036) and walks (1.045), it falls well short of the mark elsewhere."

"With the shortest corners in baseball—310 feet to the 37-foot-tall Green Monster in left field, 302 feet to Pesky's Pole in right—baseball's oldest stadium, Fenway Park, which opened in 1912, has been one of the game's most hitter-friendly stadiums for nearly as long. Sure, the Green Monster turns fly balls to left field into singles—if an outfielder knows how to play the ball off the wall—but the park's oddly designed outfield, with deep power alleys and walls of various heights, lends itself to routinely high amounts of doubles and triples being hit there."
 

jon abbey

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Teixeira had the lamest three homer game I’ve ever seen, at Fenway, one right down each line.

If we’re going to keep doing this, which I’m not sure is necessary, let’s try to stay calm-ish and rational-ish about it on both sides, thanks.
 

The Needler

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What is your actual point? You're waffling between Yankee Stadium is a park that allows a lot of HRs (everyone agrees) and something else regarding the right field wall. What do the cherry-picked statistics regarding homeruns or wall distance actually matter? Are you saying that Yankee Stadium is better for hitters than Fenway? Because you'd be wrong.
No, I'm not waffling at all. My initial point was that your comrade's adoration of a Pos quote that states that YS's rightfield is not a bandbox that helps righthanded hitters wrt home runs is belied by the actual statistics. And while it would be great if everyone agreed that Yankee Stadium was the most home run friendly park in baseball, it was Jon Abbey who downplayed it by citing a half-seasons worth of stats: "MLB Park Factors has Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park almost identical when it comes to HRs, 10th and 12th in MLB respectively."

Jon: I'm not sure who you're admonishing about being calm and rational, but I'd note that the least calm and rational parts of this discussion have come from you:

Everyone knows RF is short in Yankee Stadium, it's just funny to me when Boston fans specifically bitch about that, for obvious reasons as we've gone over a few times here already. Every AL East stadium is fucked up in its own special way, except maybe Camden Yards although that is a bandbox too.
Amusingly since you made me look it up, Fenway actually has the shortest straight-away CF, so much for your 'objective facts'.

http://thumbnails.visually.netdna-cdn.com/baseballs-many-physical-dimensions_53344ca673751.png
Heh, but that's where they play now, I'm pretty sure. I love that line of argument, though, like somehow the dimensions don't matter because it was built a long time ago.
As to how much Judge's home/road splits this year can be attributed to the short porch at YS, it's probably not that hard to look up how many home runs he's hit to right that were poor contact/non-barreled, or even the distances and compare those to other fields. From the spray charts it appears that between 2 and 6 of his home runs to right look short. I don't know how many of those were on the road, and whether they'd have gone for outs or doubles, but if you assume for these purposes four of those are home runs that would have been caught outside of YS, that's more than a couple hundred points of home OPS right there.

Obviously there's more to it, he's almost certainly more comfortable at home, but the park and its bias impacts not only some home runs, but also how he is pitched (e.g., heat charts I've seen suggest the book is to pitch him away with both fastballs and sliders, but there may a reluctance to do so at YS because of the short porch), and defended.
 

jon abbey

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Judge leads all of MLB in pitches outside the zone mistakenly called strikes on him, I wonder if that plays into the home/road disparity at all.
 

crow216

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Judge leads all of MLB in pitches outside the zone mistakenly called strikes on him, I wonder if that plays into the home/road disparity at all.
Did you ever read this article on Judge's revamped swing the minors? It's a pretty intense and kind of stupid thing he did but man, great read.

"During an arduous spring training leading up to his breakout season, Judge confided in one of his closest friends in baseball, former Yankees prospect Rob Refsnyder. Publicly, Judge held his tongue when coaches expressed their doubts about his swing. Privately, he seethed.

“There are distinct moments where I remember him in the cage with somebody over his shoulder, shaking their head,” Refsnyder said. “Judge was like ‘if you’re not going to fucking help me, get the fuck out of here.’ I was like ‘Damn, now you can’t go back, right? You’ve got to keep going.’”

https://theathletic.com/369532/2018/05/29/if-im-going-to-fail-id-rather-fail-my-way-the-untold-story-behind-the-rise-of-yankees-superstar-aaron-judge/