According to Judge during his latest BP session, he predicts he’ll do just that by following up his fully-healthy 2021 with another absolute beast of a campaign.
This past season, Judge quieted the extension talks within his own buzzing head, and — as quietly as a superstar in New York City can do something of this nature — bashed 39 home runs and posted a 149 OPS+ in a campaign rocked midway through by a positive COVID test. Worth 6.0 WAR in 550 at-bats, Judge really was that good.
He also wasn’t satisfied.
Spotted rocking a Golden State Warriors shirt (they’re, uh, also on a mission this year), Judge took a break this week from a BP session to let his partner know he’s planning on hitting 50 again this season.
It’s a mark he hasn’t hit since his rookie year in 2017, but no doubt feels ready to challenge.
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge thinks he’s hitting 50 homers this year.
Perhaps this is, uh, a good time for the Yankees to lock in their price on a Judge extension? Considering their whole offseason plan and immediate future seems to hinge on it, you might want to put pen to paper while the total dollars still begin with a “two.”
Judge is entering his third consecutive season of “not speaking” or hearing anything relevant regarding a contract extension yet. Unfortunately, 2022 is the final season before he’s untethered and that becomes a serious problem.
If he’s rocketing 50 bombs above and beyond the short porch, and then Hal Steinbrenner has to rationally assess some financial terms and slide the paper across the table to him, then things could get ugly.
A healthy and motivated Judge is exactly what both the slugger and the Yankees need after a strangely-disappointing 2021 campaign … which most people probably didn’t even notice was a stunningly good campaign for the right fielder.
If Judge can beat his personal best homer total of 52 (actually 53, but incompetent umps stepped in and people don’t forget), that could go an extremely long way towards this core finally hitting its ceiling together.
Ideally, Judge is also secured for the long-haul before he’s even halfway to 50 bombs.