Fred Lynn and Ichiro Suzuki - two major league stars, who have won the Rookie of the Year award and Most Valuable Player award in the same season. Can New York Yankees' right fielder, Aaron Judge join that small list in 2017?
Judge, 25, has a real shot in winning the MVP award this season. He is having a monster season with the Yankees. At the moment, if the season ended today, Judge would win the rare Triple Crown Award, which is given to the player, who leads their respective league in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. Judge leads all American League hitters with a batting average of .344, 21 home runs, and 47 runs driven in.
Judge earned a call-up last season. His slow start to his promising career, caused many to question his abilities at the major league level. In 84 at-bats, Judge, then 24, struck out half of the time and had four home runs. Not only was his plate discipline not the best, he batted .179 in his short time in the majors.
At the time, many believed his swing needed development, and he worked on it during the offseason. In spring training, their was a significant improvement in his swing. His positioning at the plate was more wide open, leading to his power surge this season. Another reason why Aaron Judge has had a power surge this season, is because he is a giant. The former top prospect stands at 6'7" and weighs nearly 285 pounds. Baseball fans have seen giants crush baseballs in the past, especially watching Giancarlo Stanton swing the bat.
Many consider Judge to be the front-runner for AL MVP because of his great season, and how he compares to last season's MVP, Mike Trout. On June 11, 2016, Trout, then 24, had slugged 13 home runs and 44 RBIs. Trout also had a slash line of .306/.406/.541. Currently, Judge is having a mammoth season compared to Trout's 2016 MVP year.
At the end of the year, it does not matter which player had a better season on June 11, but it matters upon the player's stats after the closing day game is complete. Also, it factors upon, how each player affects their team's performance.
On June 11, 2016, the Los Angeles Angels, the team Trout plays for, was 27-35. The Angels did not earn a postseason berth last year, as they finished the season with a record of 74-88.
Today, June 11, 2017, the Yankees are having an incredible season, led by Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Aaron Hicks, as they have a solid record of 37-23, and they are leading the American League East by 3.5 games. The lead could expand to as much as four games later this evening, depending upon if the Red Sox lose this tonight.
Mike Trout, once again, is competing for the MVP award against Judge this season. Trout was having a terrific season until his major injury. He was slugging a slash line of .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs and 36 RBIs.
Trout has been on the disabled list for two weeks because he tore his ulnar collateral ligament and the dorsal capsule in his left thumb. He opted to have surgery, which will cause him to sit out of baseball activities for at least six weeks.
Trout's injury is a major plus for Judge, because Trout was challenging Judge for leading the league in average and home runs,
Not only is Judge a fan-favorite for MVP, he is no-doubt the leader for AL rookie of the year.