The New York Yankees had no interest in letting Aaron Judge leave in free agency.
After his historic 2022 season that saw him hit 62 home runs, Judge was set for a significant payday.
He got that monster contract from the Yankees and was named team captain.
Many people wondered what he would do for an encore in 2023.
Well, it looks to be quite similar to what we saw in 2022.
Judge stepped up to the plate on Opening Day and launched a home run in his first at-bat.
He now joins an elite list of players that have hit a 60-home run season followed by homering on Opening Day.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, it is Judge and three other baseball legends.
Aaron Judge had the 9th 60-HR season in MLB history in 2022.
Among those 9 players, 4 of them homered on Opening Day the following season:
2023 Aaron Judge
2002 Barry Bonds (2)
1999 Mark McGwire
1962 Roger Maris. pic.twitter.com/o4M9CvXqAi
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 30, 2023
Judge is one of the great power hitters of this generation.
Despite having some poor injury luck to start his career, Judge has been elite over the past two seasons.
For the Yankees to have success this year, they will need Judge to carry them again.
It is a stretch to ask him for another 60-homer season, but 50+ is well within range.
The Yankees did not add much to their offense in the offseason, so it will be Judge or bust again in 2023.
You can expect opposing teams to try and pitch around Judge this season.
If he is patient at the plate, he might end up leading the league in walks again.
Ultimately, Judge will be a Yankee for life after signing his nine-year deal.
All that is left for him to do is bring a World Series trophy to New York.NEXT: Aaron Judge Picked Up Right Where He Left Off