The Yankees have 2 MVP candidates surging on offense

May 22, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA;  New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto (22) celebrates with center fielder Aaron Judge (99) after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Despite missing the last three games due to left forearm discomfort, Yankees‘ Juan Soto remains a central figure in the MVP discussion this MLB season. Thankfully, imaging has shown positive results, alleviating fears of a serious injury and helping Soto avoid a stint on the injured list.

As he navigates through his contract year, the Yankees’ front office is keen on securing his services for the long term, envisioning him as a cornerstone of the franchise alongside Aaron Judge.

Juan Soto’s Impact on the Yankees and MVP Consideration

In 64 games this season, Soto has posted impressive statistics with a .318/.424/.603 slash line, including 17 home runs and 53 RBIs. His performance extends beyond offense, as he’s shaken off his reputation as a poor defender by maintaining a perfect fielding percentage along with two defensive runs saved and one out above average. Soto’s prowess is particularly notable with runners in scoring position, where he’s hitting an astounding .385/.455/.769.

Aaron Judge’s Historic Performance

While Soto has been exceptional, Aaron Judge is also having a monumental season, enhancing the internal competition for MVP honors within the team.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After a somewhat slow start, Judge has heated up significantly, currently boasting a .305/.436/.703 batting line with 24 home runs and 59 RBIs. His performance over the last 30 days has been particularly staggering, with a .419 batting average, a 1.043 slugging percentage, and 15 home runs in just 93 at-bats. This translates to a nearly 20% home run rate during this stretch—nearly unprecedented numbers.

Defensively, Judge has also excelled as the primary centerfielder, recording a perfect fielding percentage across 487.2 innings and saving two runs defensively. With such dominant stats, Judge appears to be distancing himself in the MVP race, showcasing what might be one of the most dominant stretches in recent baseball history.

As the season progresses, the Yankees are poised with a formidable duo in Soto and Judge, both of whom are performing at MVP-caliber levels. The key for the Yankees will be maintaining the health of their stars, as their combined presence in the lineup significantly boosts the team’s championship aspirations. The challenge for the Yankees now lies in managing their health and optimizing their performance throughout the grueling MLB season.

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