Aaron Judge had a rookie season to remember for the New York Yankees, and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America has taken notice.
Aaron Judge’s 2017 season for the New York Yankees will be remembered for quite some time. That statement rings even truer now, as the 25-year-old will walk away with the 2017 American League Rookie Of The Year award.
Led the league in Rs, BBs, HRs.
52 HRs = Most ever by a rookie
127 BBs = Most ever by a rookie
Winning the HR Derby = 1st time ever by a rookie
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) November 13, 2017
Judge, who is also an AL MVP finalist, was a unanimous choice over Andrew Benintendi of the Boston Red Sox and Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles after he led the league with 128 runs scored, 52 home runs and 127 walks while ranking second with 114 RBI’s.
New York drafted Judge in the first round (32nd pick) of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft from California State University Fresno and after developing into a bona fide power hitter, he put on a power clinic in his first season — quite literally.
According to MLB.com’s Statcast, the 6-foot-7 slugger had a 94.9 mph average exit velocity on balls in play, the highest among all Major League hitters. That helped him established a single-season rookie record surpassing Mark McGwire (49 in 1987).
From the day the regular season ended, one could tell the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year Award race would be a race for second place. Judge was named AL Rookie of the Month four times (April, May, June, and September) and AL Player of the Month twice (June and September).
He also joined Ted Williams (1939) as the only players in Major League history with at least 100 runs, 100 RBI’s and 100 walks in their rookie campaigns, making this contest a slam-dunk in favor of Judge.