New York Yankees: Aaron Judge Reaches Impressive Rookie Heights
The only thing greater than the height of the 6-foot-7 New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is his powerful swing. On Saturday, Judge joined in on the Yankees’ slugfest against the Orioles with his 10th home run of the season in the seventh inning.
His two-run moonshot into right-center field tied a major league record for home runs hit by a rookie in April, along with Jose Abreu in 2014 and Trevor Story last season. His youth puts the 25-year-old in company with Mickey Mantle as the second Yankee to hit 10 home runs in the first 22 games of his rookie season.
Not to mention, Judge became the first Yankee, behind Alex Rodriguez (14) and Graig Nettles (11) to hit at least 10 homers in the first two months of the season. He is right behind Eric Thames (11) and Ryan Zimmerman (11) for the most in baseball.
One game earlier, Judge opened up the Yankees’ series against the Orioles with the first two-homer game of his career on April 28. His second recorded as the hardest hit homer in the Statcast era at 119.38 MPH.
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As audacious as it may sound, Judge is on pace to hit 74 home runs this season, which would thoroughly smash the previous rookie record. When Mark McGwire broke into the majors in 1987, he set the record by hitting 49 home runs as a rookie.
While his home runs are receiving all the attention, Judge is much more than a one-trick pony. He brags a .301/.292/.767 slash line, 20 RBI and three extra-base hits, one of which actually left the park, but a missed call by the umpires ruled it a triple.
Judge is just one piece in the offensive production line that is the Yankees lineup. Winning 14 of their last 17 games, the Yankees own the best record in the American League at 15-7. Furthermore, they lead the league in homers (36), RBIs (114) and runs (124).
Now, as the Yankees wrap up their series against the Orioles, Judge will have the opportunity to not only hit his 11th homer of the season, but set above any other rookie slugger in baseball history