The New York Yankees are a team stacked with talent up and down their roster. They have players like Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole, Gleyber Torres, and AroldisÂ Chapman who are all some of the best in their position. Leading the pack on the Yankees is the tall and powerful Aaron Judge, who should have been the 2017 MVP. The former ROY winner has had injury issues that still prolong to this day, he is still an elite talent. Even without accounting for the time he missed, he is one of baseball’s most valuable players, and with fans leaving him off top 10s of the best players in the MLB, they’ve awoken the sleeping giant, and the Judge will bring order to his court.
As Valuable As It Gets
Aaron Judge since 2017 has the 6th best fWAR amongst hitters in the MLB, only behind Alex Bregman, Anthony Rendon, Christian Yelich, Mookie Betts, and the legend himself Mike Trout. The kicker is that Aaron Judge has at least 60 fewer games played than everyone above him except for Mike Trout. Even though Judge is injured a lot, in terms of value since 2017, there are only 5 players who have contributed to their team in terms of offense/defense than Judge. Out of those 5, the only 2Â better from an adjusted per 150 games standpoint are Mookie Betts and Mike Trout, however, fWAR isn’t the only stat in baseball, and for other statistical reasons, I’d put Yelich above Judge as 2017 weighs Yelich’s stats down quite a bit. Speaking of other stats, how does Judge do in those?
Numbers Don’t Lie
Since 2017 Aaron Judge has been statistically on a tear. In terms of wOBA and wRC+ Judge is 3rd, in terms of longballs he’s 8th (despite the games missed), SLG% he’s 4th, Defensive Runs Saved he’s 5th, and 3rd in UZR/150.
People will point out a .279 batting average and declare that he needs to have a higher batting average to be better but to that, I say batting average is pointless in terms of player evaluation as Mike Trout in 2019 was 32nd in batting average but was better than literally every single baseball player by a substantial margin in 2019 at hitting the baseball. Use OBP, or SLG, or wOBA, or wRC+, not batting average, because if batting average was so great then Hanser Alberto would be one hell of a hitter because he hit .300 in 2019, but had a below-average wRC+.
Rant over, the main point was the Judge hasÂ gaudy numbers and is nearly top 5 in almost every crucial non-counting stat in terms of offense, and is one of the premier defenders in baseball
I can already hear the people getting ready to type things like:
“But Ryan he struck out at a historic rate in October!”
“He’s not ‘clutch’ like Jeter!”
“But he has no rings with the Yankees!”
When things like that are said, I roll my eyes and defer to numbers that show that in almost every aspect of the word, Judge is absolutely fantastic in October. He has a 144 wRC+, a .535 SLG, and a .375 OBP in October, with a 12.63 At-Bat to Home Run ratio, as he clubbed 8 homers in 101 at-bats. For context, Derek Jeter who’s considered to be the greatest postseason player in Yankees history in the modern era is worse than Judge in October in all of those stats. Aaron Judge absolutely destroys baseballs on the brightest stage, and it’s time that the baseball fans start referring to him as a superstar injury and all.
Yankee fans, let’s brag about our superstar and get him the respect he deserves, with ESPN calling him merely the 15th best player for 2020. If you’re a Judge hater reading this, I want you to know, that your days of putting down the Judge are over, because he’s arguably one of baseball’s 5 best players.