Yankees manager Aaron Boone shrugs off criticism from Aaron Judge's personal hitting coach

Plenty of people are criticizing the New York Yankees, but the one that might be most concerning for the team is a coach who helps their star player Aaron Judge.

Richard Schenck, a personal hitting coach who counts Judge among his clients, replied to an X post on Thursday with a criticism of New York's offensive player development amid a skid of 13 losses in 17 games.

A day later, Yankees manager Aaron Boone responded to Schenk's criticism while speaking with reporters, essentially shrugging off his assessment.

From's Bryan Hoch:

“People are going to say things, and certainly everyone is entitled to their opinion,” Boone said. “Especially when you go through a tough stretch and you wear this uniform, I know people are going to take shots and things like that.

“You can’t get all consumed with all that stuff. We’ve got enough to worry about, making sure we’re buttoned up and putting our best foot forward every day. So that’s the focus.”

Judge also responded, confirming that he meets with Schenck every two weeks. He declined to respond to the criticism of his organization. Also via Hoch:

“It doesn’t involve me, to be honest,” Judge said. “It’s somebody else making a comment. I’m not going to comment for somebody else. … I’ve got no control over what another person does. It’s out of my control. I’ve got nothing for you.”

What's uncomfortable for the Yankees is that Schenck has a point.

Even with their slide, the Yankees still entered Friday 54-35 and in strong position to make the playoffs, provided they get back to playing decent baseball. Most of their success is attributable to a rotation that ranks sixth in MLB in ERA and fourth in innings pitched, a decent bullpen and the two generational talents in their lineup, Judge and Juan Soto.

Both of those sluggers are strong MVP candidates. The rest of their lineup, however, is extraordinarily thin.

OPS+ is a stat that calculates how a player's OPS compares to league average when accounting for the parks and era in which they play. A 100 OPS+ denotes a league-average player, a 125 OPS+ denotes a player 25% better than average and a 75 OPS+ denotes a player 25% worse than usual.

Here is the full list of hitters on the Yankees' active roster with an OPS+ of 100 or better, with more than 50 plate appearances: Aaron Judge, Juan Soto.

BRONX, NY - JULY 02: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees stands in the dugout during the game against the Cincinnati Reds on July 2, 2024 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York.  (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Yankees' offense is incredibly reliant upon Aaron Judge. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Every other player is worse than league average. The next highest player is Alex Verdugo, who is currently slashing .248/.305/.398, which works out to an OPS+ of 97. Giancarlo Stanton (120 OPS+) would help, but he remains on the injured list with a hamstring strain.

So the Yankees' offense is almost exclusively powered by Schenck's client and an already established superstar for whom New York paid a premium to acquire. Schenck probably could have been even harsher.