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HomeSports NewsAaron Judge Should Be The Favorite For AL MVP

Aaron Judge Should Be The Favorite For AL MVP


Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees hits a first inning 2-run home run against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium on June 29, 2022 in New York City.
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

 

Coming into the 2022 MLB season, most people knew that New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge was good.

But what he is doing this season is otherworldly.

The 30-year-old outfielder is having the best season of his career, and he is atop the MVP conversation for the first time since 2017.

In that 2017 season, Judge finished second in AL MVP voting despite hitting 52 home runs, scoring 128 runs, and driving in 114.

This season, Judge has already hit 46 home runs and we are halfway through August.

He is well on pace to smash the 52 he hit in 2017 and could even make a run at the AL home-run record of 61.

To go along with home runs, Judge also leads the MLB in runs with 98, RBI with 101, and OPS with 1.063.

It is impressive to see these numbers despite Judge leading the league in walks because he is pitched around so often.

One reason for his offensive outburst is the number of flyballs he is hitting.

Playing in a hitters’ park at Yankees Stadium allows Judge to benefit more from his 44.2% flyball percentage.

That number found on Fangraphs is the highest of any full-season in his career.

This is one of the most historic seasons we have seen from any hitter in a long time.

The outfielder is carrying the Yankees offensively.

Without him, New York would probably be a middle-of-the-pack offense but Judge makes them elite.

Also, despite playing most of the games at a relatively new position in center field, Judge has not committed any errors.

 

AL MVP Race

The only real contender with Judge is Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels.

The reigning AL MVP is having another great season, and his ability to pitch and hit always makes him incredibly valuable.

Ohtani is having the best pitching season of his career.

Amongst pitchers with at least 110 innings pitched, Ohtani leads the MLB in K/9 with 12.69.

His 2.69 ERA also ranks fourth in the American League.

But, while Ohtani has been good as a hitter this year his numbers are nowhere near that of Judge.

Also, team success should factor into the discussion.

The Yankees are 73-45 and have the second-best record in the American League.

While the Angels are 51-67 and have the fourth-worst record in the AL.

The argument could be made for Ohtani that he is the most valuable player every year because he plays two positions.

But, at some point, the voters have to look at team success.

Last year Ohtani won despite being on a bad team and it’s hard to imagine they give it to him again because of that.

Plus at this point, Judge is starting to run away with the award.

The power has always been there for the 6-foot-7 slugger, but health has always been a concern.

This season of fully healthy Judge is showing why he is one of the most valuable players in all of baseball.

The final month-and-a-half will be fun to see if Judge can break the American League home run record that has been untouched since 1961.





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