First in batting average. Second in hits. Fifth in stolen bases. Fifth in on base percentage.
No, I’m not talking about Aaron Judge.
Jose Altuve the five-foot-six- second basemen of the Houston Astros is breaking records. But I’m not here to tell you why Altuve should be the MVP, because that’s the obvious choice.
Aaron Judge should be the 2017 AL MVP. A .283 average doesn’t pop neither does his record-breaking 200 strikeouts. But, he did carry a batting average north of .300 until August 1st, has an OBP of .419, 122 walks, 109 RBI, 125 runs scored, and I need not to mention his 50 home runs (most ever by a rookie). For every flaw Judge has, it seems as though he has two skills that cancel those flaws in this case with the strikeouts- OBP and BB’s.
For the Yankees, September has seemed like April. They have 16 wins and 7 losses, riding on the recent hot comeback of Aaron Judge. In April, Judge hit for a .303 batting average with 10 home runs. Similarly, in September, he’s hit a .307 BA with 13 home runs. He’s had 4 multi-home run games THIS MONTH. To put that in perspective, the MLB home run leader, Giancarlo Stanton, has 7 THIS SEASON.
Definition– when you go strictly by the definition- Most Valuable Player- Judge has been just that. The most valuable. When the Judge is hot, the Yankees are too. During Aaron’s ice cold streak (July 14-August 31), the Yankees went 26-20 which is good, but were losing many tight and crucial games. Judge hit .179 in that span with 7 home runs.
During Judge’s reign from April to June and then September, the Yankees were 61-49 with a team batting average of .267. They have gone through 8 win streaks of three or more games. 7 of which, four or more.
Recovery– Judge’s awful mid-July to August slump was all over the news. Nobody knew if Aaron Judge was legit, or just a one hit wonder. He was returning to 2016 form-chasing pitches out of the zone and trying to pull the ball too much. Once Judge started going opposite field again, the success was back. 33 of his 50 home runs this season are not to left field.
Breaking records- The only thing Yankees fans can talk about are his 50 home runs. Not just any 50-the most a rookie has ever hit in a season. Ever. He passed Mark Mgwire’s 49 on September 25, 2017, with 8 games left in the season.
Most importantly, Judge made the playoffs available for the Yanks. The Yankees were give the opportunity to buy at the trade deadline the season and they acquired Sonny Gray- an important piece to their playoff hunt. Todd Frazier, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, were three more guys the Yankees were able to acquired because of how Judge played in the first half.
Aaron gave the Yankees hope for the first time in years. Aaron’s been hot and so have the Yanks as they look to bring this heat right into October.