aaron judge yankees mets
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After having a day off on Thursday, the Yankees will begin a three-game set against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Friday. Outfielder Aaron Judge will be in the lineup, and he’s feeling some kind of way after a huge month of May.

A strained right hip forced Judge to the Injured List at the beginning of the month. He returned to the lineup on May 9th, and he’s been on fire ever since. Despite only racking up 97 plate appearances, Judge slashed .342/.474/.882 with 12 home runs, 25 RBI, and 23 runs scored.

After a historic 2022 campaign in which he broke the American League’s single-season home run record, it wouldn’t have been fair to expect him to hit another 60-plus. But, not thinking about it is impossible because of how similar his start to this season is compared to last year.

This is just unreal. The power numbers are exactly the same! Even the monthly splits are identical. Last season, Judge slugged six homers in April, followed by 12 in May. He did the exact same thing this year. And, just when you thought he couldn’t get any better, he’s taking more walks.

Judge finished with a 15.9% walk rate in 2022. That was his highest in a single season since 2017 (18.7%). So far in 2023, his walk rate is up at 16.6%. And, as if a 1.028 OPS from the start of 2022 wasn’t already elite, the Captain found a way to bump it a little higher this season. It’s currently sitting at 1.089 before facing the Dodgers.

There’s really not much more you can ask for from your star player. It’s also good to see that signing one of the most lucrative contracts in MLB history isn’t putting any added pressure on him. Judge is just going out there and doing his thing. And when I say his “thing”, I mean clobbering baseballs over the fence at a prodigious rate.

Entering Friday’s action, both he and Mets first baseman Pete Alonso lead their respective leagues in home runs. It’ll be fun watching them duke it over the next few months.

You can reach Matt Musico at matt.musico@xlmedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.