By several measures, Yankees star Aaron Judge was the best player in Major League Baseball this season. After Friday’s loss to Tampa Bay, he had a batting average of .294 with 51 home runs in the Major League and 1,059 on base plus a slowdown percentage. His closest hitter in the race was at home, Kyle Schwarber, of Philadelphia, 36.
At 6 feet 7 inches – and 282 pounds – Judge Ho Tallest person in baseball history To have a 50-player season, he did it twice. In fairness, fewer than 150 players of this height made it to the major leagues, and the vast majority of them were bowlers.
After finishing second in the MLS Player of the Year race in 2017, a judge may finally claim the award this year if he can hold off Shuhei Ohtanithe two-way star of the Los Angeles Angels.
It’s unclear how long Judge, 30, will continue to shine in the Yankees’ uniform. In spring training he put a bet on himself, Refusal to extend the contract It would have guaranteed him $213.5 million over seven years. The bet is more likely to pay off, as he is expected to get a bigger bargain in the off-season. Both yankees and jig They said they wanted the relationship to continue, but negotiations were paused until after the World Championships, when the other 29 teams would pursue him as well.
As front desks weigh how much it will take for a judge’s signature to take, they should ask themselves how much it is worth and for how long. He turns 31 next season, about the age at which players traditionally begin to decline. (starsthough, often the exception to this). With the judge, there is an additional complication of its size.
A common belief about the game is that big players fall apart faster than their smaller peers. But it is worth asking: is this true?
“This is a very complicated question,” said Jamie Bovey, a former Los Angeles Dodgers analyst with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and is now CEO and Co-Founder of Motion restart, a sports biomechanics company. “I don’t think there is ease or no.”
First, some context. Baseball players come in all sizes. Jose Altuve, the second man on the Houston Astros to beat the judge in the 2017 ALMVP competition, is listed, perhaps generously, at 5 feet 6 and 166 pounds. Daniel Fogelbach, a batsman intended for the Mets, is 6 feet tall and weighs 270 pounds. Oneil Cruz, a junior junior player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, is 6 feet 7 and weighs just 220 pounds.
Judge is as tall as Cruz, heavier than Vogelbach, and better than both. Judge pictures alongside the Altuve are one of the longest sighting gags in baseball.
Heights and weights in either direction have been given over the years, but according to baseball referenceOnly seven center players are listed at 6-foot-6 or taller and 250 pounds or heavier. They are Adam Dunn, a former hitter known as the “Big Ass,” who collected 462 home runs. Frank Howard, former Washington Senate star, who smashed 382; Judge; And former defense players are Kyle Blanks, Brad Eldred, Stephen Moya and Val Pascucci.
(Fellow judge Giancarlo Stanton, a former best player who has dealt with his fair share of injuries, just missed the cut at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds.)
The reasons why there are so few players in baseball the size of a Judge is debatable.
“Maybe there weren’t a lot of players of that size not only because of the injuries but also because of the performance,” he said. Glenn Flesig, director of research at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala. “Hitting a baseball and throwing the field, this requires perfect or excellent coordination to do these things. The larger your body parts, the greater your potential, but the more difficult it is.”
The judge thought it might be something else.
Judge said the reason there aren’t “100 more than me” in MLB “is because they play basketball or soccer.”
A skilled senior basketball player can join the NBA after one year of college and quickly earn seven figures. He said a soccer player could get into a university that had better facilities than some of the major league teams and could play in the NFL immediately after being drafted. He said baseball, where eligibility is more complex and majors making the majors require years of lower wages in minor leagues, is a “harder draw for some kids, especially my height.”
Regardless of the reasons for the smaller number of MLB’s massive center players, biomechanics experts said these people could theoretically be more susceptible to some types of injuries. Of the top seven players, only three have appeared in more than 300 career games: Dunn (2001), Howard (1895) and Judge (699).
“It’s hard to stay healthy,” said Blanks, who is 6-foot-6 and weighs 265 pounds while playing 278 games over seven seasons. He has dealt with a range of injuries (elbow, shoulder, Achilles tendon, calf) and has suggested his style of play and switching to the court from first base are possible factors. “And I personally wouldn’t argue that it’s harder as a big guy, but that’s because I’m not anyone else but myself.”
Smaller players are sure to get hurt, too. Altoff, for example, has been on the injured list five times since 2018. So isn’t the wear and tear from playing baseball commensurate with a person’s height, weight, and strength? not exactly.
Although Buffy said there is still a lot to study about the movement of the human body, he pointed out Study 2019 published in the American Journal of Human Biology found that the skeletons of taller people weren’t just relatively enlarged versions of shorter people. In taller people, the researchers found a “significant increase” in the percentage of bones of body mass, particularly in the extremities, thus a possible explanation for the relationship between height and fracture risk.
“There are theoretical reasons why a larger person is more likely to have an injury, which is that their bones are comparatively a little bit larger,” he said. He later added, “It is also theoretically possible that the larger person, since they are using the same bat or the same size as someone who is smaller, they put less effort into swinging that bat and making contact with the same size of baseball. There are just competing factors in both directions.” .
Fleisig divided baseball injuries into three groups: traumatic, traumatic movement, and chronic movement.
Regarding trauma injuries — hitting a playground or hitting an outside fence, for example — he said he didn’t see how being larger would increase the chance of injury. Regarding traumatic movement injuries — pulling your hamstrings while running to first base, for example, or tearing an oblique muscle on an ill-fitting swing — those have less to do with your body size and more to do with being in good shape, including warming up and also hydrating, Fleisig said. and nutrition.”
But size, he said, can be a factor in chronic motion injuries, which he sustains from repetitive motion such as throwing from a hill or off the field. While the advantage of longer levers – the forearms, in this case – can be to create more force and therefore more speed in the hand, the disadvantage can be more stress on the ligaments and tendons, which can cause them to tear.
He said, “Bigger people as a group can have stronger muscles, but the strange thing is that your ligaments and tendons do not strengthen proportionally to the muscles.”
Many experts have said that one of the biggest predictors of future injury is past injury, whether those injuries were the result of a lack of training or if they indicated a predisposition to a certain type of disease. Having played 155 games in the junior season, the judge appeared in only 63 percent of the Yankees’ games from 2018 to 2020 with a broken wrist from blow-by-blow, and a strained calf.
Since then, the judge has been in relatively good health. He played in 148 games in 2021 and only missed four of 132 games this season, as of Friday.
The judge believes its size is an asset. When asked if any part of the game was the hardest, he smiled and said, “I should bend a little more for the balls, but that’s it. Volleys are a little easier.” In fact, he used doubts about his height as fuel.
“It kind of motivated me over the years,” he said. “People are like, ‘Oh, you’re 6-7, and you can’t do what this guy is doing 5-10.'” “Why can’t I? He can play shortstop, so why shouldn’t I play shortstop? He can play on the court, so why can’t I play on the field? That’s just an easy thing that people can go to sometimes.”
Judge continued, later referring to amphetamines, a stimulant that was banned in MLB starting in 2005: “The game has changed, and there’s a lot of information about the body, recovering and taking care of your body. This isn’t the 80s where I go out to drink every night and take some veggies and get fired to play. I think that Focusing on the recovery process and learning my body over the years gives me an edge.”