After yet another solid performance by New York Yankees rookie slugger Aaron Judge, the 25-year-old’s name is now with some elite company.
The name “Aaron Judge” has already become a household name. The 25-year-old is arguably the face of the New York Yankees right now, one of the biggest stories in sports and the way-too-early frontrunner for the American League MVP.
And on Monday night against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the slugger continued his rise. This time, however, he placed himself within the likes of some of the best to ever play the game.
Following a go-ahead two-run shot in the top of the eighth inning off Angels’ reliever Bud Norris to lead New York to their best 61-game start since 2010 (38-23), Judge increased his Major League-leading home run total to 22.
Not only is that the most home runs in the first half by a Yankee hitter since Curtis Granderson hit 23 in 2012 (by the way, Judge still has a month to go), but it also made him just the fifth Yankee to hit 22 or more home runs in the team‘s first 61 games.
Furthermore, his 22 dingers now stand as the third-highest home run total by a rookie in Yankees history behind Joe DiMaggio (29 in 1936), Bobby Murcer (26 in 1969) and Joe Gordon (25 in 1938). Judge is seven away from the franchise record — and on pace for 60 home runs in 2017 — despite stepping to the plate just 254 times.
While the young phenom’s name already sits on lists with Hall Of Famers, perennial All-Stars and more, one shouldn’t expect the pace to continue. Sure, it’s fun to talk about what these numbers are proportioned to 162 games could look like, just sit back and enjoy the show.