Yankees: Aaron Judge continues to rewrite the record books
There’s going to come the point in Aaron Judge’s career when we will no longer be surprised each time he sets a new all-time mark. For the Yankees second-year slugger, another one of Mark McGwire’s records has fallen by the wayside.
Prior to the start of the new season, the talk of Yankees right fielder, Aaron Judge, succumbing to some sort of regression was widespread. And to a limited extent, duplicating or exceeding 52 homers and 114 RBI wasn’t expected.
However, on Monday night against the Miami Marlins, Judge kept chugging along, this time smashing his fourth home run of the year as the Yanks rolled to a 12-1 victory.
The towering opposite field fourth-inning home run was his 60th long ball in just 197 career games, making Judge the fastest man to ever reach such a mark. Mark McGwire, whom Judge surpassed, hit his 60th home run in 202 contests between 1987-88.
Set to turn 26 on April 26, Judge is off to an electric start. Tied with Dee Gordon of the Mariners and Marcell Ozuna of the Cardinals for the longest hit streak in the majors this season at 12 games, Judge is slashing .400/.534/.711 with 14 runs, two doubles, four home runs, 11 RBI and a 13:12 K:BB ratio during the streak.
In terms of where Judge’s 60 home runs stand with the all-time home run king, Barry Bonds had already smashed 117 dingers when he entered his age-26 season.
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For those that disregard Bonds’ numbers, Hammerin’ Hank Aaron was way past both men at 26, collecting 179 moon shots.
Still just 15 games into an incredibly long 162-game season, Judge has put to rest any questions as to whether or not he’s the real deal.
Should the “face of baseball” limit the kind of six-week post All-Star break slump that robbed him of the 2017 AL MVP Award, there’s no reason Judge can’t deliver what he promised in his recent Pepsi commercial and slug 70, maybe even 80 home runs (a line from the ad).
Driving in 115-plus runs would definitely keep the Yankees in contention for a Postseason berth, even if the Red Sox refuse to lose (only time will tell how for real Boston is).
Of course, this is all dependent on Judge keeping his swing and miss totals well below last season’s 208. Putting more balls in play while continuing to reach base via the walk, could very well result in a .300 batting average with an OBP of .435-plus.
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But long before we get to Judge’s season-ending totals, there’s one more record he could break this week. Should Judge hit safely during his next two games, he will have broken Carlos Beltran’s team-record 18-game hit streak at Yankee Stadium.
To go even one further, should Judge get his record up to 20 games in the Bronx, he would surpass Jose Bautista for the longest hitting streak in the stadium’s nine-year history.