Aaron Judge will follow up on his historic MVP campaign with a greater degree of responsibility with the New York Yankees in 2023.
After Judge finished piling up awards for his all-time 2022 season, the 30-year-old outfielder was granted the ultimate honor after committing to New York on a $360 million extension in December. The Yankees named Judge the organization’s 16th captain and the first since franchise icon Derek Jeter. While Judge succeeded last season, the same can’t be said for the Yankees, leaving him in a position to guide New York to greener pastures in 2023.
But Judge has a fairly simple approach to how intends to do just that.
“I’ll be doing what I’ve been doing the past six or seven years,” Judge told reporters Monday at Spring Training, per SNY video. “Try to lead by example. Be a voice for this team on and off the field and keep pushing this team to the ultimate goal of bringing a championship back to New York. That’s why I’m here and one of the main reasons why I wanted to come back and wear pinstripes is we got a lot of unfinished business here.”
Judge certainly did his part last season, batting .311 with a history-making 62 home runs and 131 RBIs in 157 games played. However, the Yankees encountered déjà vu in October when the Houston Astros eliminated them in the American League Championship Series for the third time in the last six years.
Perhaps Judge can help flip the switch and put aside the postseason agony this upcoming season.
“Stuff doesn’t change for me,” Judge said. “It got me in this position and I just gotta keep focusing on that and keep pushing forward.”