Thursday, June 15, 2017


(June 11, 2017 - Source: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images North America)
The jury may be undecided on this one. I watch the Home Run Derby every year, but it has been awhile since I have been as interested in it as I am this year. The last Home Run Derby that I really was excited about it was in 2011 when Robinson Cano won it and out-slugged Adrian Gonzalez in the final round. Since then, it hasn't been as interesting......until now.

Photo: Getty Images
The idea of Aaron Judge in the Derby this year is exciting not only for Yankee fans, but for baseball in general. It's hard for baseball fans of any team to ignore, Judge is an exciting player. He's so exciting that putting him in the Derby adds more star power and higher television ratings. That thought process alone basically guarantees him a spot. It's good for baseball.

But is it good for the Yankees? It's back to that never ending debate....the Home Run Derby can be bad for hitters' swings. It's too risky, especially for a rookie on a team in first place with a very possible playoff run in sight. I'm torn for the first time.

One person who isn't torn though, is Joe Girardi who says he has no issues with Judge participating in it. "You watch him doing his work in BP, there are a lot of homers going to right and there are a lot of homers going to center. It's just not pull, pull, pull, pull, pull. Sometimes you worry about the physical nature of (a Home Run Derby) ... them getting hurt. Sometimes you worry about them doing something they don't do in the course of a game. But you watch (Judge in) BP, his first round he's hitting balls out of right field. Some guys are working line drives or groundballs. He's hitting them out. So that's why (I'm OK with it), because to me it would be a normal BP" read more HERE.

(June 8, 2017 - Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America)
Girardi does make a good point, Judge is not a pull hitter and can hit to all fields and the ball won't be thrown like in a game scenario, but it is still a scary thought. The baseball season is long and the Yankees schedule in the second half is going to be brutal with only six off days. It is going to be harder to find Judge some rest time and fatigue can contribute to injuries.

Even Judge sounds unsure about the Derby now. Back in April he sounded ready to play. "The Home Run Derby is awesome. It's a fun event to watch and I'd probably do it if they asked me." But now he sounds uneasy, "I haven't even thought about it, I'll wait to the day (I'm invited), I guess" read more HERE. Maybe he is more focused on the team rather than an individual competition this is still a month away but that is a quick change of heart.

Photo: Getty Images
I guess I don't know where I stand on this yet. It would be cool to watch Judge take on Giancarlo Stanton and maybe even win it all. Girardi may not be concerned, but we still talk about these concerns every year. It's just hard to imagine missing Judge for any length of time right now due to an injury, we've already had enough of those. If Judge does play I will definitely be watching, crossing my fingers and hoping for a win.

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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