Judge is his name, going deep is his game
In 2018, the New York Yankees set a single-season record for home runs by a team by going deep 267 times.
Now, Bronx Bomber Aaron Judge and his outfield mate Brett Gardner say they can do it again. And there’s no reason to believe they can’t.
Judge, for one, will be leading the assault. After hitting 52 dingers in his rookie campaign of 2017, the 26-year-old Californian was supposed to team with new cohort Giancarlo Stanton in ’18 to form a fearsome 1-2 punch that some thought could produce triple-digit homers between them. But a broken wrist suffered when he was hit by a pitch in late July caused Judge to miss two months, thus limiting him to 27 homers in 112 games.
Now healthy again, the man nicknamed “All Rise” is feeling good about himself and his team. The Yanks had 12 players in double figures in home runs last year and Judge, Stanton (38), infielders Gleyber Torres (24), Didi Gregorius (27) and Miguel Andujar (27) and outfielder Aaron Hicks (27) all topped 20. Given that lineup (minus Gregorius, who will start the season on the disabled list), Judge figures to get a lot of good pitches to hit, and with him playing half his games in the bandbox of Yankee Stadium, just about anything is possible. Some have mentioned MVP and even team captaincy in his near future.
One who expects big things is the man known as “Mr. October,” who patrolled Judge’s position of right field in the Bronx 40 years ago.
“His competition, for me, is in the monuments,” Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson has said. “… If you look at some of the things he has done, he compares to (Babe) Ruth and (Lou) Gehrig. He’s put up crazy numbers.”
Judge and the Yankees can be seen in action Thursday, March 28, when they open their 2019 regular season at Camden Yards against the Baltimore Orioles in a game airing on ESPN.
Full name: Aaron James Judge
Birth date: April 26, 1992
Birthplace: Linden, Calif.
Height/weight: 6 feet, 7 inches/282 pounds
Teams: New York Yankees (2016-present)
Position: right fielder
Honors and achievements: Two-time All-Star; 2017 Rookie of the Year; Silver Slugger Award (2017); American League home run leader (2017); record holder for most home runs (52) and walks (127) in a rookie campaign