Aaron Judge is having the season of his life. Having dominated the league in terms of about every hitting metric that’s there, he is the frontrunner for the 2022 American League MVP award.
The New York Yankees have been a second-half trainwreck. With criticism flying from every corner, it’s time for people to accept the reality. In the race for the World Series, the Yankees will only go as far as Judge can carry them.
After 131 games this season, Judge’s slashline reads an incredible .302/.404/.683 with an astonishing, MLB-leading 54 homers with a 203 wRC+ and 9.0 fWAR.
“Aaron Judge’s season as of right now: 131 games, .302/.404/.683, 54 HR. A 203 wRC+ and 9.0 fWAR.” – Lindsey Adler
Aaron Boone’s team hosted the Minnesota Twins on Monday and it turned out to be another stage for Judge to consolidate his MVP claim further.
In front of a Labor Day crowd of 38,446 at Yankee Stadium, Aaron Judge homered for the third straight game to notch his 54th homer this season.
The Yankees went on to win 5-2 and in doing so, picked up their second win on the bounce after a string of miserable results.
Judge’s sixth inning go-ahead homer against the Twins tied him with Alex Rodriguez for the most home runs in a single season by a right-handed Yankees batter.
Aaron Judge vs. Shohei Ohtani debate rages on
Some fans have been making a case for last year’s AL MVP winner Shohei Ohtani to successfully defend his crown.
There is no denying that Ohtani is a once-in-a-lifetime player, but that doesn’t mean that he should be winning the MVP every year.
To say that Ohtani should be the MVP this year even though Judge clearly has the edge – both influence-wise and statistically – reeks of nothing but bias. A few chipped in to remind us of just that.
Ohtani, in comparison to Aaron Judge, has compiled a .270/.360/.537 slashline with 32 homers in 130 games. Of course, the two-way phenom has pitching stats to be proud of, which Judge doesn’t. His current ERA reads 2.58 with a WHIP of 1.044 and an incredible career-best 181 strikeouts in 23 starts.
In terms of influencing the team, Ohtani hasn’t really turned the Angels’ fortunes around. That’s not entirely down to him. The Angels administration and coaching staff have to accept their share of blame.
Now, no one’s expecting Ohtani to propel the Angels to World Series success. But challenging for a play-off spot? That’s a very justified expectation and the Angels have been nowhere close to contending on that front this season.
Those backing Ohtani have often countered by saying that Judge is on a better team surrounded by better hitters. That may have been the case during the first half of the season, but certainly not anymore.
The Yankees have hit 210 home runs this year. Judge has hit 54 of them. That’s slightly more than 1/4th of their entire production (25.71% to be precise).
Aaron Judge is now on pace to end the season with 65 home runs. The current American League record for most homers in a single-season (61) currently belongs to Yankees legend Roger Maris.