New York Yankees superstar slugger Aaron Judge is preparing to hit free agency after the 2022 season comes to an end, so it’s not surprising that opposing managers are sending compliments in his direction.
The 30-year-old outfielder is hitting .316 with a 42.2% on-base rate, 60 homers, and 128 RBIs this season. He’s well on his way to winning the Triple Crown and MVP, just one home run shy of time Roger Maris’s record for the most home runs in a single season.
With about 14 games left for Judge to reach the milestone, the expectation is he could surpass the mark any day. However, opposing pitchers are finding it hard to challenge him for fear of landing on the wrong side of history.
During Thursday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, the first of a four-game series, Judge walked three times, just missing a dead centerfield homer late in the game. In fact, Judge has walked in eight consecutive games, improving his on-base rate tremendously over the past week.
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The Yankees’ star is earning glowing reviews from unexpected places:
Boston manager Alex Cora shared a positive review of Judge, indicating he changes the game in more ways than one. Notably, Judge gunned down Tommy Pham trying to extend a single into a double, launching a perfect strike to second base.
“[Judge] didn’t get hits, he got walks, but he changed the game with the throw to second base, and that’s what MVPs do. He’s been like that the whole season for them. And there’s a reason they are where they are, and he’s a huge part of what they are trying to accomplish.”
Aaron is undoubtedly the best player in baseball right now, even if there’s a good argument, Shohei Ohtani should also be in the conversation for the MVP. However, we may never see a season as good as the one Judge is having in our lifetimes — not even division rival coaches can sidestep his excellence.