Aaron Judge stole the show at the Home Run Derby in Miami last week, belting 47 home runs to become the 2017 long-ball champion.
But his dominance may have lasting consequences. Judge is just 1-of-18 with six strikeouts in four games since the All-Star break.
Is it possible that the Home Run Derby may affected his swing in the second half of the season?
“I know players that believe that. Lance Berkman believed that and wouldn’t compete again,” MLB.com’s Richard Justice said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “But I think the data that teams have worked up say it doesn’t do it. Now look, if it affects you mentally, then that affects you. But I think just the numbers say it does not. I think we shouldn’t overcomplicate it. I think it’s a fun thing. Guys have a good time.”
Especially Judge, who smashed his way past Justin Bour (23-22), Cody Bellinger (13-12), and Miguel Sano (11-10) to become champion.
Then again, the Derby can affect players in different ways.
“I remember Cody Bellinger said, ‘It was a great thing to be part of. I was exhausted.’ And he seemed to indicate, ‘I’m not sure I would do it again,’” Justice said. “If Aaron Judge has a tough second half, we will attribute it to the Home run Derby, but I don’t think that’s actually fair to the Home Run Derby.”