In a season of absolute dominance by the man wearing No. 99 for the New York Yankees, Aaron Judge is on pace for the fabled record of 61 in a single season. Currently sitting at 60 home runs, he is only two away from breaking Roger Maris’ record. However, he’s now also in the hunt for the first offensive Triple Crown in the MLB since 2012.
Miggy’s Triple Crown
A Triple Crown season in the MLB doesn’t come by very often in today’s game. On the offensive side, to attain such an achievement, it requires a player to lead their respective league in the three main categories. Headlining these requirements are leads in batting average, runs batted in (RBIs), and of course home runs.
Miguel Cabrera was the last player to do it with his incredible 2012 campaign which scored him an MVP award for his performance. With a batting average of .330, a home run total of 44 and 139 RBIs, he ran away with the lead in all three categories.
Image courtesy of Brad Mangin/ Getty Images
Can Judge Do It?
Through 146 games, Aaron Judge leads the AL with the insane total of 59 home runs, 127 RBIs and is second to Luis Arraez of Minnesota Twins with a .316 batting average. Currently, Arraez is batting only one point higher than the likes of Judge, keeping the door open for potential history. Judge has been swinging a very hot bat for the past few weeks, hitting .491 with a 1.018 slugging percentage over the past 15 games. He is essentially having an unprecedented season for anyone in American League history.
Setting Himself Apart From the Rest
No one in the history of the American League has chased the single-season home run record and the Triple Crown in the same year. It’s truly impressive what he has been able to accomplish so far this season. Judge has become a much more complete hitter over the course of the past few seasons.
His batting average and on-base percentage has seen a steady incline over the course of the past two seasons. Essentially meaning that he is learning how to get on base more often every year. In today’s game, power hitters are mostly “all or nothing” hitters that aren’t too concerned about their batting average. Their goal is simply to hit the ball hard and that’s it.
The batting average in the MLB is currently at .243 for the year. That is the lowest it has been league-wide since 1968. Where Judge stands out is the fact that he looks to hit the ball to all side of the field and find a way on base. His approach has become much more focused on hitting line drives rather than majestic fly balls. This truly sets him apart from most of the other power hitters in the league.
Solely at the Top
If Judge is to accomplish one of these feats, which is likely to happen at his current pace, it would be something very special. However, if he manages to accomplish both of these feats this season, that would be unheard of and would put himself in a category of his own. His legacy would go before him with the incredible performance of 2022. No one in history has ever won a Triple Crown and set a new league home run record in the same season (since 1901). He would go down in baseball immortality with such a successful season, and is something that will probably never happen again.
He has already secured the title of “stellar season” in everyone’s book, but adding a Triple Crown to his name would be something more than special. It has been a storybook season for not just Judge, but the Yankees as a whole, and we haven’t reached the end yet. No one knows what will happen by the end of game 162, but fans across the world are watching with hopeful eyes to see the impossible happen.
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Featured image courtesy of Charles Wenzelberg/ New York Post
Second image courtesy of Brad Mangin/ Getty Images
Third image courtesy of Charles Wenzelberg/ New York Post
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