A non-insignificant amount of people jumped aboard the Aaron Judge is a bust train last season when the Yankee right fielder failed to impress in his first taste of big league action. The strikeouts piled up and Judge came into spring training needing to force his way onto the Opening Day roster instead of being shipped back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Judge earned himself the right field starting job and proceeded to take the baseball world by storm. Home run after home run, towering shot after towering shot, Judge’s at-bats became must-see television. His tear before the All-Star break put Mark McGwire’s rookie record in jeopardy. During his time off, Judge won himself the Home Run Derby in incredible fashion.
Going down early to his opponent who managed to put up an incredible total? No matter for the big baseball boy. He beat it. Easily. He rocketed balls of the back glass of Marlins Park. He defied the laws of physics by hitting the roof of the stadium multiple times, a feat that NASA engineered to be impossible.
He launched a ball 495 feet in Yankee Stadium. He broke Statcast in Safeco Field. The big baseball boy was out for blood on every baseball, and he made an incredible number of them pay. Judge proceeded with no regard for the feelings of the pitchers he embarrassed with his big baseball boy talent.
Judge is going to run away with the American League Rookie of the Year award. If I had a vote, he’d win MVP too. What he did this year was absolutely amazing, and his feats of strength were a huge reason why the Yankees made it to Game 7 of the ALCS. It feels like we may very well be talking for years about how the big baseball boy became the face of MLB as a rookie on a team that was supposed to be rebuilding.