Yankees’ superstar slugger flying up power hitting leaderboards

MLB: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees, aaron judge
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

After a worrisome start to the season, New York Yankees OF Aaron Judge is once again the best hitter in baseball. MLB.com’s latest hitter power rankings place the slugger in the top spot, largely thanks to an otherworldly month of May.

Aaron Judge came out of the gates slow to start the 2024 campaign

MLB: Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees, aaron judge
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Judge struggled immensely to begin the season, entering play on May 4th, the 32-year-old was carrying a rather unimpressive slash line of .200/.336/.392. Judge’s power had seemingly disappeared, managing just 12 extra-base hits through the first 34 games. His poor performance had many Yankees fans wondering if the toe injury he suffered last season was still affecting him.

First career ejection may have proven a turning point for the Yankees’ Captain

May 4, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA;  New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge (99) and manager Aaron Boone (17) argue with home plate umpire Ryan Blakney (36) in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

May 4th is a date to remember for another reason. In the bottom of the 7th inning in the Yankees’ matchup with the Detroit Tigers, Judge was called out on strikes on a borderline pitch on the outside corner. Judge didn’t like the call and expressed his displeasure in a relatively calm manner. Despite this, Judge was ejected by home plate umpire Ryan Blakney for arguing the call.

The ejection marked the first of Judge’s career. He would later go on to say it was the first ejection of his entire life. Oddly enough, this ejection may have proved to be a major turning point for the Yankee Captain.

Since being ejected, Judge has put up video game-esque numbers, carrying a slash line of .392/.515/.962 in 23 games since May 4th. Judge has also smashed 11 home runs, hit 12 doubles, and totaled 21 RBIs in that same span. The Yankee Captain’s 30 barrels in the month of May is a new MLB record for a single month, surpassing the previous record of 24 barrels set by Shohei Ohtani and Matt Chapman.

Judge is at or near the top of many offensive categories

After that miserable start to the season, Judge has managed to completely erase it, and now finds himself at or near top of many offensive categories:

1.020 OPS. (1st in MLB)

17 HR (2nd in MLB)

.613 SLG% (2nd in MLB)

.407 OBP (4th in MLB)

45 BB (1st in MLB)

18 doubles (2nd in MLB)

35 extra-base hits (1st in MLB)

Juan Soto is also in top five of hitter power rankings

New York Yankees left fielder Juan Soto, Mets
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Teammate Juan Soto also cracked the top five in the power rankings, coming in at fourth. The tandem of Soto and Judge has worked out to perfection in the early going of the season, powering the Yankees offense to an MLB-leading 83 home runs, and a .770 OPS, also the best in MLB. Judge will look to continue his hot hitting in the final game of a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.

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