Aaron Judge strongly leaning toward skipping Home Run Derby
TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is strongly leaning toward not taking part in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game.
The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year, who had 52 homers and 114 RBIs in his first full major league season, won the derby last season in Miami.
“A cool experience,” Judge said Thursday. “I enjoyed it all, but I don't think I really needed to go out there and do it again. I won it once. One and done is good for me.”
Judge didn't completely rule out derby participation.
“It's a long way away,” Judge said.
Judge, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder Nov. 20 for loose-body removal and cartilage cleanup, said he is on schedule to be ready for opening day March 29 at Toronto.
“We're right on track,” Judge said. “Shoulder has been feeling good. When I got first got down here, there was still a little soreness left in there, but this past week especially it's pain-free.”
Judge didn't link the derby with second-half offensive struggle and physical issues.
“The derby wasn't even that big of a toll, to be honest,” Judge said. “It's just like taking BP. It really wasn't too taxing. I wasn't trying to swing 110 percent, I was taking a normal 80-, 90-percent swing, trying to make contact.”