Yankees’ Aaron Judge wins AL Rookie of the Year award in unanimous vote
Yankees’ Aaron Judge wins AL Rookie of the Year award in unanimous vote:- The verdict is in and it is unanimous.
Aaron Judge is the 2017 American League Rookie of the Year.
The 25-year-old right fielder took Major League Baseball by storm in 2017, blasting a rookie-record 52 homers — three more than former record-holder Mark McGwire hit three decades ago.
“It’s quite an honor,” Judge said after the announcement was made on Monday night. “I’m still sitting back trying to think about what happened this first year. It’s been quite a journey — from battling in spring training, to the highs and lows throughout the season, the run we had, coming up short. You dream about playing your first year in the big leagues, and I wouldn’t change a thing. It was an incredible year.”
Judge had to win a competition with Aaron Hicks in the spring just to earn his starting spot and avoid a demotion to the minors. He took off from there, leading all AL players in homers (52), runs (128), walks (127) and strikeouts (208). Judge finished second in the AL in RBI (114) while triple-slashing .284/.422/.627.
He sent balls into orbit at astounding distances, while also playing stellar defense and acting like an established veteran, both on and off the field. The other finalists for AL Rookie of the Year were Boston’s Andrew Benintendi and Baltimore’s Trey Mancini.
Other notable Baby Bombers to win Rookie of the Year honors include Derek Jeter (1996), Dave Righetti (1981), Thurman Munson (1970) and Tony Kubek (1957).
Judge had hit .179/.263/.345 with four homers and 42 strikeouts in an 84-at-bat cameo in 2016. But he made several adjustments in the offseason, which paid off in a big way. He also withstood a massive second-half slump and nagging shoulder issues.
Judge, who stands 6-foot-7 and was selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft (No. 32 overall), is also a finalist for the AL MVP award, which will be announced on Thursday night. He faces stiff competition from Houston’s Jose Altuve for the honor.
Judge also won the 2017 Home Run Derby and captured an AL Silver Slugger award.
Along the way, he emerged as arguably the face of baseball.
“It’s a special time to be in the big leagues,” Judge said. “I’m just glad to be mentioned with a lot of these great guys as faces of MLB but I’m going to go out there and continue to play my game and focusing on what I can do on the field.”
Judge is already looking forward to his sophomore campaign.
“We didn’t accomplish our goal (which was to win the World Series),” Judge said. “We came up short. I think I speak for all of us in the Yankees’ organization: we can’t wait to get the 2018 season started.”