KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Hal Steinbrenner revealed that the Yankees would undergo a deep dive this offseason, he specifically mentioned taking “a look at the analytics side of what we do.”
Aaron Judge has some thoughts on that as the Yankees enter a vital offseason.
“I think on the analytics side, the information and resources the Yankees provide are great,” the Yankees captain said before the season ended with a 5-2 loss to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
“I think it’s just about how we use them and how we value them is an aspect that maybe we need to look at again. I think the Yankees are top-notch in the numbers we get. All that, it’s great. I think we’re the best in the game at that. But I think it’s now about funneling those down to the players in the right format.”
Asked if the players were sometimes getting too much information, Judge said he would not describe it as “overloaded.”
“I think it’s just looking at the right numbers,” Judge said. “You get a lot of numbers, but I think maybe we might be looking at the wrong ones. We need to maybe value some other ones that some people might see as having no value, but when you’re playing 162 games and you gotta grind and play through things, I think there’s certain things you can’t put a number on.”
Judge did not want to get into which numbers he was talking about, but it’s possible that one of them was batting average, which has generally been devalued in recent years in favor of OPS.
The Yankees finished the season batting .227 as a team, with Judge (.267) and Gleyber Torres (.273) the only regulars who hit above league average (.249 entering Sunday).
The reigning AL MVP also mentioned the Yankees needing better health — Judge missed two months with a torn ligament in his big right toe after running into the wall at Dodger Stadium — and a “level of urgency” moving forward.
An offseason after signing a nine-year, $360 million contract with the Yankees, Judge plans to meet with Steinbrenner soon and offer his opinions and suggestions on how the organization could improve.
“I think there’s some stuff that happened this year that opened some people’s eyes,” Judge said.
“Hopefully the right people saw it and we’ll get the right people in the room to discuss those things and figure it out.”
Judge sounded unsure of what to expect from the third-party audit that Steinbrenner told the Associated Press last month the organization would undergo this offseason.
“With anything with numbers, you can change them and see them the way you want,” Judge said. “So I don’t know how an independent company … what they’re gonna really give us. But I guess it’s another set of eyes on it and they can give us another opinion.”
Judge has been a vocal supporter of manager Aaron Boone, who has one year left on his contract, and continued to be on the final day of the regular season.
“I think he’s got a good feel for the clubhouse,” Judge said. “The 100-win seasons, the things he’s done. I think he’s just a good communicator. He’s able to hold guys accountable. He sees things he doesn’t like, he’s going to call you in the office and let you know. He’s just been a great manager year in and year out. I’m looking forward to a couple more years with him, that’s for sure.”
As for his confidence in the front office to bring in the right guys, Judge said, “we gotta trust them — those are our guys.”
“Those are the ones that are up there making the big decisions,” Judge said. “We gotta have faith, but as a player, I gotta do what I gotta do here on the field. I gotta get these guys in this room prepared. I gotta get them ready on a daily basis. If we get the right guys, we’ll take care of the rest.”