We all knew it was coming, we just had to wait for the official word. After a historic rookie campaign, Aaron Judge has unanimously been named the American League Rookie of the Year.
The Yankees’ slugger posted a slash line of .284/.422/.627 while leading the AL in runs scored (128), home runs (52), walks (127) and WAR (8.2). He also led all rookies in games played (155), plate appearances (678), RBI (114), walks, on-base percentage, WAR and, obviously, home runs.
“It means everything. It’s quite an honor,” Judge said moments after winning. “It’s an honor and a privilege. I’m just one piece in an organization. The impact my teammates, family and friends have had on me this year have been huge. I can’t thank them enough.”
His 52 moonshots were three more than Mark McGwire’s 30-year-old rookie record of 49. He became the first rookie since Ted Williams (1939) to finish a season with at least 100 walks, 100 RBI and 100 runs. He was named to the All Star Game, became the first rookie to win the Home Run Derby, slugged his way to a Silver Slugger Award, and is now your AL Rookie of the Year. Next up, MVP.
Judge is the ninth Yankee in franchise history to win the coveted award. The others are: Gil McDougald (1951), Bob Grim (1954), Tony Kubek (1957), Tom Tresh (1962), Stan Bahnsen (1968), Thurman Munson (1970), Dave Righetti (1981), and Derek Jeter (1996).