By: Tommy Billiteri
All Rise for the Judge!
Widely regarded as one of the largest physical specimen in MLB history, the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge, is having possibly the best rookie season ever.
Judge has already broken the franchise rookie record for homeruns before the all-star break. The young outfielder entered Monday’s home run derby as a co-favorite with defending champion, Giancarlo Stanton of the host Miami Marlins.
However, Judge quickly became the heavy favorite after his fellow ‘Bronx Bomber,’ Gary Sanchez, took out Stanton in the first round of the derby.
In his first round matchup, Judge seemed as though he also might get upset after Justin Bour set the bar high with 22 homeruns. But, Judge lived up to all the hype by hitting 23 homeruns with relative ease.
Then, he advanced through the semifinal and championship rounds without even breaking a sweat. The 25-year-old Yankee defeated both competitors, Cody Bellinger and Miguel Sanó, with two minutes left on the clock in each round.
Even though Judge claimed the 2017 homerun derby championship belt and leads the Majors in homers, he is not only a power hitter. He also is second in the American League in RBI and third in batting average.
Not to mention, Judge’s fantastic rookie campaign has him atop the whole MLB in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.
Judge isn’t just good with the bat, the 6-foot-7-inch, 280-pound slugger has stolen six bases this season and only been caught twice. The young star is a sure-handed right fielder as well, only committing two errors in 668 innings.
Just over halfway through the 2017 MLB season, some would say Judge is the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year and AL MVP. In order to find out if he can capture both of those illustrious awards, fans will have to buckle up and enjoy the show from Mr. Judge.