Aaron Judge put on a show in the Home Run Derby on Monday, hitting 47 home runs that traveled nearly four miles. Four of those bombs traveled 500+ feet.
Oh, and he won the derby, by the way.
“I thought it was awesome. The world just got a chance to see who Aaron Judge is,” former big leaguer and current Fox Sports Midwest MLB analyst Rick Ankiel said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It was absolutely incredible. He was hitting balls to every part of the park.”
Judge, 25, has been perhaps the best player in baseball this season. He leads the majors in home runs (30) and OBP (.448), he’s second in the AL in RBIs (66) and he’s third in the AL in batting average (.329).
He has become, in just a few months, one of the faces of baseball.
“I think there’s always going to be the face of baseball, whether you’re Mike Trout or you’re Bryce Harper,” Ankiel said. “Certainly you look at Aaron Judge and you say, ‘He’s so unique, he’s so big, he has all these things.’ Great kid, humble kid, comes from a great story – to me, I think he absolutely has a chance to be the face of baseball, if he’s not already becoming (it). I think last night really propelled him into that even more.”
Judge, needless to say, is very much in the AL MVP race, especially with Trout on the shelf. The reigning MVP has missed 39 games since injuring his thumb in May. He is slated to return to the Angels’ lineup Friday against Tampa Bay.
Judge, who is vying for the Triple Crown, would be the first Yankee to win MVP since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.
“He can cover a lot of the strike zone,” Ankiel said of Judge. “He’s a hitter. He’s not just up there swinging. He’s not just a banger where he gets one pitch in one zone and now he gets a home run. He can hit the ball to all fields. I really think that Matt Holliday going to New York was a big help for him because Matt Holliday is a similar hitter, a very good hitter who can hit with runners in scoring position, he knows how to slow it down and go the other way, and I see the same things from Aaron Judge. I think you look at that, you look at his size and how strong he is, that’s what makes him so dangerous. There’s just so many parts to his game.”