What a year and what an off-season for Aaron Judge.
He won the MVP.
And the Yankees re-signed him.
And at the official signing ceremony, he was named Captain of the Yankees.
SIXTY-TWO! BASEBALL HISTORY! @TheJudge44 is the American League home run King! pic.twitter.com/QKrcuOvZMU
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 5, 2022
Judge a GOAT Yankee
Now Aaron Judge slots back into the path of becoming one of the Greatest Yankees of all time. The current generation’s Derek Jeter. Mickey Mantle. Joe DiMaggio. Babe Ruth. Lou Gehrig. That kind of superstar. GOAT. Generational Talent.
Two homerun titles (52 as a rookie), breaks Roger Maris‘s ‘clean’ record for most homers in a season with 62, shoulda won the MVP and WS title in 2017.
And will be 31 this coming season with a new 9-year contract.
Coming Off Historic Season
Judge is coming off the AMAZING season of 62 HR’s and a .311 batting average –nearly winning the batting title (and triple crown) in a year of historically low averages. Judge led the Major Leagues in HR’s, RBI’s, OBP, Slugging, OPS, OPS+, Runs Scored, and Total Bases, and led the American League in walks.
Judge had a WAR of 10.6.
NUMBER 62 TO SET THE NEW AMERICAN LEAGUE RECORD!
Just think of it: three Yankee right fielders!
THIS is Judgement Day! Case Closed! pic.twitter.com/gNR5A5T1Dm
— John Sterling Calls (@JSterlingCalls) October 5, 2022
Still Robbed on the Gold Glove
And Judge is a phenomenal defensive outfielder as well, with a rocket arm. Last year he moved from his normal right field to play center field for the Yankees for a good part of the season as Aaron Hicks was not performing well.
Yet Judge didn’t get a Gold Glove again — in fact he wasn’t even nominated. Manager Aaron Boone said he felt playing both center and right hurt Judge, as Rawlings awards the Gold Glove per outfield position these days — and Judge didn’t have enough time in either center or right. What nonsense!
Judge is one of the great defensive outfielders in the game for the last 6 years and no Gold Glove to show for it.
For 2023, Judge moves back to right field as the Yanks have Harrison Bader — considered the best defensive centerfielder in the game — for center now.
Should Have Been His 2nd MVP
Judge was robbed of the MVP in 2017, when he slashed 52-114-.284 (.422). His stats were better than Jose Altuve‘s in most categories, and his value the same (both NY and Houston won their division titles) — but Altuve was voted the MVP. The situation was made worse when we learned later on that Altuve cheated that season — as he and other members of the Astros were receiving notice of pitches in advance.
A recent tweet by BaseballHistoryNut asked “Which player got robbed of an MVP?” and Aaron Judge‘s name FILLED the replies.
Which player got robbed of an MVP?
— BaseballHistoryNut (@nut_history) December 30, 2022
Needs a World Series Title As Well
The other thing that eludes Judge is a title. That has escaped due to the Houston Astros cheating in 2017 and 2019 — two years when the Yankees appeared headed to a World Series title. And the odds are worse than ever as MLB now has 12 teams making the playoffs, meaning even a big market team like NY that almost guarantees itself a playoff position — is facing 12-1 odds as in baseball, a good team can beat a great team in a short series.
Judge has come to the plate over 600 times in 3 of his 6 seasons, with pulled hamstring robbing him of 150 at bats in 2019, minor injuries doing the same in 2018, and COVID reducing the 2020 season to 101 at bats.
Still Judge has 220 homers through his first 6 seasons. Per 162 games, he is averaging 49-110-.284 (.394).
If he keeps up that pace he will hit 500 homers in 6 years. He probably won’t keep up that pace, but with a 9-year contract, if he stays healthy, he still should make it to 500 homers.
Judge also has a lifetime WAR of 37 — averaging 8.2 WAR per 162 games. WAR is cumulative, so Aaron Judge is on pace to move into the top 5 Yanks of All Time in WAR in the next few years. Currently:
- Babe Ruth 143.2
- Lou Gehrig 113.6
- Mickey Mantle 110.2
- Joe DiMaggio 79.2 WAR
- Derek Jeter 71.3 WAR
- Yogi Berra 59.6 WAR
Judge is solidifying his place as one of the Greatest Yankees of All Time. A joy to root for as well as he is a well spoken, team leader.
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