That year, he won the American League Rookie of the Year award and should have won the MVP award too, a voting in which he came second after Houston Astros’ star Jose Altuve.
He slashed .284/.422/.627 with 52 home runs and 114 RBI, earning praise from the whole league as one of the Yankees’ up-and-coming stars.
Injuries and some slumps have prevented him from reaching that level again in recent years, although he has been excellent in every season.
But this time, in 2022, it seems like he is a man on a mission.
Before Wednesday’s matinee against the Toronto Blue Jays, he was slashing .290/.356/.626 with a league-leading 10 home runs.
10 home runs in a little over a month of play is awfully impressive.
A Blistering Pace
You wouldn’t believe the pace in which he is currently at.
“Aaron Judge entered play this afternoon on pace for 56 homers and 123 RBIs. That’d be one heck of a year,” MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch tweeted today.
Aaron Judge entered play this afternoon on pace for 56 homers and 123 RBIs. That'd be one heck of a year.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 11, 2022
Those numbers, although unlikely, are definitely attainable, especially for a guy who is playing for his next contract.
Both of those stats would surpass what he did in his rookie year, universally recognized as Judge’s best year in the majors.
Is he capable of remaining consistent enough and avoiding major injuries to have a shot at 56 home runs?
Only time will tell, but he just rejected $213 million to play out the season and have a shot at a bigger paycheck.
So far, that decision is looking like a clever one.
Judge, as a free agent, can command a boatload of money if he keeps performing like this.