It’s true that beyond Judge’s April explosion of 10 home runs, 20 RBI and a slash line of .303/.411/.750, he’s not even remotely as established in the game as Stanton despite being just over two years younger.
Stanton has the huge contact, is the reigning Home Run Derby champion and, in spite of his many stints on the disabled list, has always returned just as powerful as he was before. He is indeed, arguably, the game’s most powerful home run hitter.
Then Judge burst onto the scene and the similarities between the two players became just too hard for anyone to miss. Stanton is six feet, six inches tall and weighs in at 245 pounds. Judge is six feet, seven inches tall and weighs 282 pounds.
While Stanton’s numbers weren’t quite what Judge’s were in April, they were close. Not to mention the fact that they are the only players with multiple home runs with exit velocities over 118 mph.
The similarities do not end there either.
Both had troubles, as many power hitters do, with strikeouts early in their careers, which they have now both obviously overcome. Plus, they both are intimidating in their sheer size alone which has led to whispers about performance enhancing drugs in regards to both players.
To be clear, neither one has ever actually been linked to PEDs and that was the one thing in which Stanton could find some camaraderie with Judge, whom he has yet to meet, according to MLB.com.
“Guys like us, me and him, shouldn’t even have to come up with the doubt,” Stanton said, “even though it makes sense because of what happened previously. But he’s had that power his whole life. I’ve had that power my whole life.”
So perhaps Stanton is softening a bit toward his rookie counterpart. They do share some serious common ground in that aspect.