Back in 2017, Aaron Judge took the Bronx by storm with one of the greatest rookie seasons in MLB history. Fans all over the country would watch every Judge at bat hoping see him hit another bomb. At the All-Star break, he led baseball with 30 home runs and was one of the favorites heading to the Home Run Derby in Miami.
In the first round, Judge received an assist from his teammate Gary Sanchez, who bounced defending champion Giancarlo Stanton from the derby. While things started to move in Judge’s direction, he still had to get past Justin Bour, Miami’s slugging first baseman. Bour led off their matchup and put on a show with 22 homers, five more than any other contestant.
Bour looked to be safe until the Judge entered his chambers.
AARON. JUDGE. His first-round home run counter (we barely have room for the emojis): ⚾⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️ pic.twitter.com/soqhLpXEWW
Judge crushed 23 home runs with time to spare and moved on to face Cody Bellinger in the second round.
As the higher seed, Judge would again wait and watch as Bellinger crushed 12 home runs in the round, again more than any other competitor. After round one, some started to question if Judge would have enough stamina to catch Cody.
Not only was Judge up for the challenge, but he seemed to be gaining energy. During the round, he would hit 3 home runs over 500 feet, a Statcast record that still stands to this day, and would hit the back wall of the stadium!
With a minute to spare, Judge hit his 13th homer and made his way to the final round where he would battle Minnesota’s Miguel Sano.
In the final round, Sano seemed to run out of steam. He started off slow but would eventually find his rhythm and finished with 10 home runs. As Aaron Judge stepped to the plate, the MLB world was in awe. Not one to disappoint, Judge sent balls flying over the wallsin left and right before sending one 460 feet to straight away center to earn his crown.