New York Yankees star Aaron Judge won his third American League Silver Slugger award on Thursday. The announcement was made on Thursday night via MLB Network on a live show.
Judge, who also won in 2017 and 2021, left behind some impressive names in the voting process, such as Kyle Tucker, Randy Arozarena, George Springer, Taylor Ward, Anthony Santander, Adolis García, and Teoscar Hernández. There was no way Judge was losing this award, though. (The Angels’ Mike Trout and the Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez were the other two AL outfielders to be honored.)
Judge had a historically great MLB campaign for the Yankees. He slashed .311/.425/.686 with 62 home runs, 133 runs scored, 131 RBI, and a 207 wRC+. His 11.4 fWAR was 4.0 fWAR higher than the second-ranked position player in MLB, Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres. Yes, there was a “Pete Alonso” of difference between Judge and the field, if you know what we mean.
But we are here to discuss offensive performance exclusively, which is what earned Judge the Silver Slugger award. Only Yordan Alvarez came relatively close to Judge’s 207 wRC+ with a 185 mark, and he had 16 more homers than Kyle Schwarber, the National League leader.
Judge not only broke the American League record for most home runs in a single season, previously held by Roger Maris, but he also flirted with the hitting Triple Crown in the Junior Circuit. The now-free agent won the home run and RBI crowns, but lost the batting title to Luis Arraez.
Having won the AL Hank Aaron Award, too, the only recognition left for Judge to win is the AL MVP. The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani does have a case, but the Yankees’ outfielder should come out on top. Tune in for that announcement on November 17th.
Judge was the only member of the Yankees to win the award this year. Anthony Rizzo was a finalist at the first base position, though he ended up losing to the Rangers’ Nathaniel Lowe.
Infielder DJ LeMahieu was a finalist at two positions: second base and the newly-created utility spot. He ended up empty-handed, though: Jose Altuve of the Astros had another magnificent season and took home the award at the keystone, and Arraez was the winner at utility.
Giancarlo Stanton hit 31 home runs in just 110 games and was a finalist at the designated hitter spot, but Alvarez was much better and deservedly won.
In the end, there were a few Yankees with great offensive seasons, but Judge was the only one who stood above the competition in his position.