The Yankees magic finally ran out as they came up a win short of winning their 41st AL Pennant and first since 2009. Led by a young core and emerging superstars the Baby Bronx Bombers had an unexpectedly great 2017 season. A large part of the Yankees success was due to the breakout year of Aaron Judge. He broke several records, most notable when hit two dingers on September 25th.
My boy strapped up and ding donged his 49th and 50th home run in the same game against Kansas City to break the rookie home run record and piled on two more ending the season with 52 dingers. He performed well in his first postseason hitting another 4 bombs.
Am I surprised by this? Of course not. I called this back in April when I called Aaron Judge the real deal. Am I surprised I was so right about him? Silly question, more on this later, but just know KnightHawk knows all. Reggie Jackson, the great Mr. October, is going to try to low ball me because he hyped up Judge over two years ago saying we can be one of the best power hitters in the Bigs. But that’s easy to do when you’re talking about a dude that’s larger than 75% of players in the NFL. I mean he’s 6 foot 7 and nearly 300-pounds. Nice try, Reg.
Back to my earlier question, to if I am surprised. First, I haven’t been surprised since my father Dennis made it through Hurricane Andrew in his bamboo sail boat. Second, how can I be surprised when I am 90% the reason he was able to accomplish this feat?
Let me start from the top. It all began when Judge contacted me at the end of last season wanting to work with me after he heard of my new innovative approach to hitting. I worked with Judge 7 days a week from 10 PM to 4 AM this off season. Those betas out there are probably asking, why those hours? Simple answer – I base most of my life off the question, “what would Batman do?” If working in the middle of the night works for Batman, then I work in the middle of the night.
Once the season started we cut it down to 4-5 hours 6 days a week, which as you could imagine was against my advice. However, when a player buys in and invest time working with me on hitting slap dicks over the fence I guarantee massive results. But what’s really bothering me is with all the news and attention he is getting, there is not a lot of talk of how he did this. I mean this guy struggled in the minors the last few years and then all of a sudden, he hits 52 dingers. The answer? KnightHawk’s School of Hitting Home Runs. I’ve preached for years that in order to be successful you have to swing so hard that if you miss you fall down. After retiring as the Flagler College’s hitting coach/ relief pitcher/ CBO specialist, I’ve worked with multiple pro ball players using this scientifically proven approach.
My hitting approach has been called one of the most influential innovations since the compass was invented more than 2000 years ago in China. Shout out Han Dynasty. There are only two acceptable outcomes in KnightHawk’s School of Hitting Ding Dongs. You either 1. hit a dinger or 2. strike out trying. None of this ‘single’ or ‘contact’ nonsense. Contact hitters make me nauseous. Except for you Jeter, you can do whatever. Love you.
The approach is really quite easy and simplifies the hitting process – you get in the box, call time, step out, swing your bat into the ground like a sledgehammer. Now you got everyone in the stadium thinking you’re some sort of dude on bath salts, perfect. Step back in, dig a 4-inch deep hole with your back foot, grip the bat very tightly, I usually recommend until your palms bleed. In a lunging motion step inside the bucket (very critical), viciously drop your back shoulder and swing up in exactly 85-degree angle. I can’t stress enough the importance of the 85-degree angle. I know what you’re saying, “KnightHawk, why an 85-degree angle?” While this may seem very complex, the science behind it is very easy. The swing plane of your bat is directly correlated with where the ball will go. You point the handle of the bat up, that’s where the ball will go.
Science, amiright?! Judge’s swing may not appear to be as drastic as my formulated swing I just described, but that is because he mastered the mindset and essence of this approach – hit a home run or strike out trying. You want to talk results? He started the 2017 season going on a 13-homer tear over a 20-game span and casually landed on the cover of the May 15 issue of Sport Illustrated. (He asked me to join him for the interview, but I had a prior engagement with the NPSA.)
You want more results? He is the ONLY player in MLB HISTORY to hit 50 home runs and strike out 200 times in the same season. He passed one of my most prized students, Adam “Big Donkey” Dunn. Although his nickname is “Big Donkey” I call him “The Artist” who is ahead of his time. My boy Dunn was one of the first players I worked with and the production speaks for itself. He strikes out every 3 at-bats. In 2012, he hit 40-homers and collected 200-strikeouts joining one of the most exclusive club in baseball. Over his 14-year career he hit 462 home runs and struck out 2,379 times. It still brings a tear to my eye.
Judge also broke Dunn’s record for striking out in 33 consecutive games. Swag. I want to make one thing very clear, Dunn and Judge are very different. Dunn, who was a big dude, doesn’t hold a candle to the 6’7″, 282-pound behemoth Judge who is built like a goddamn super hero. He is literally the biggest position player in MLB history. Judge owns the longest (495 feet) and hardest-hit (121.1 mph) home runs of 2017.
I’m sure in 100 years from now every player will be using the KnightHawk hitting method. As they say, history tends to repeat itself and the great scientist Georg C. Lichtenberg quoted, “It is strange that only extraordinary men make the discoveries, which later appear so easy and simple.” R.I.P. homie. You my boy Georgie.
Back to my prize student Judge and his record. His 52 home runs are the eighth-most in Yankees history tied with Mickey Mantle’s 1956 season. He joins Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Alex Rodriguez as the only Yankees to hit more than 50 home runs in a season. That’s pretty heroic company.
There is no doubt in my mind that one day Judge will be on top of that list. Beating Mark McGwire’s rookie home run record of 49 set back in 1987 is a great starting point. Even though McGwire was a juiced meathead, he had a tremendous career.
Nevertheless, Big Mac is still a red head and more importantly a prude sober and Judge is now dating Jen Flaum. Which I guess is pretty neat.
Tight, tight. Personally, this puts me at ease. I can now get some sleep at night knowing Miss Flaum is the cause for Judge’s second half slump. Going into the All-Star break, Judge was on track to potentially win the Triple Crown, MVP and had 31 dingers. He then fell into a slump and came into September with only 37 homers. After a concerning call from skipper Joe Girardi, KnightHawk came to the rescue. A few hitting sessions and bicep curls later, homeboy went off and hit 13 taters in the month of September, which is crazy.
In the postseason my boy stayed dedicated to the approach and BROKE ANOTHER RECORD! Judge set the postseason record for most strikeouts with 27Ks in these playoffs. He struck out 47% of the time. That’s just bonkers. ALL I DO IS BREAK RECORDS.
The Yanks had a tremendous season and for the first time since the Core Four I’ve been excited about the squad. Next year we will be back, more experienced and ready to bring another ‘ship to the Bronx baby.
THE YANKEES ARE BACK!!
P.S. Hey Clint Fraizer – call me.