Aaron Judge describes the feeling of receiving the honor of American League Rookie of the Year as a dream come true. This makes Judge the first New York Yankees player to receive the ROY award since Derek Jeter back in 1996.
Unanimous Win for Judge
It was a unanimous win for Aaron Judge by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The announcement was made on Monday on the MLB Network. It was a given that Judge would win the Rookie of the Year after leading the American League with a whopping 52 home runs and helped his team reach the postseason as a wildcard.
Judge definitely deserved this honor as he his AL-leading home run total broke the rookie record set by Mark McGwire in 1987 at 49.
In 2016, nobody would have ever anticipated that Aaron Judge would be nominated for Rookie of the Year, MVP, or even the new face of baseball. That’s because his performance was nothing to boast about, striking out in half of his 84 bats last year in 2016. Not to mention he nearly lost the right field job after having to win it over Aaron Hicks. The good news for both judge and the team is that the Yankees gave him another chance.
In April 9, 2017, Judge was able to hit his first homerun during the match against Orioles. He would eventually continue to win 3 straight consecutive homeruns in each of the team’s next three games. After dishing out one stellar performance after another, the Judge’s Chambers soon opened up at the Yankee Stadium on May 22. On June 11, he hit a record 496-foot blast in the Bronx in a match against the Orioles, which garnered awed faces from teammates Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius. On July 7, Judge broke Joe DiMaggio’s Yankees rookie home run record. Aaron Judge has been soaring high ever since and breaking one record after another.
Today, Judge and the team are reaping the rewards of that second chance after Judge winning the honor of AL Rookie of the Year and having been named a finalist for the American League MVP.
The Yankees Performance with Judge
There wasn’t much to be expected from the New York Yankees when their entered this season. However, with the power of Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez, the two transformed the team into an exciting one to look forward to. The team’s potential skyrocketed with the performance of the two.
While Judge may have 208 strikeouts and had an extended slump after winning the Home Run Derby, he did bounce back and in turn helped the team with a huge September performance, just when the Yankees needed it. He led the AL in homers (15), runs (29), slugging percentage (.889), RBIs (32), and on-base percentage (.463).
Judge Also a Finalist for American League MVP Award
There’s a lot more that Judge can look forward to. He’s been named as one of the finalists for the American League MVP Award together with Jose Altuve (HOU) and Jose Ramirez (CLE). The winner will not be announced until Thursday.
Will Judge also win the MVP award this year? Fans will just have to wait and see. It has only happened twice that a player was named American League MVP and Rookie of the Year. These include Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 and Fred Lynn in 1975.