In his first full MLB season, Aaron Judge is putting up Triple Crown numbers. Entering play June 14, Judge leads the AL in batting average (.341), leads the majors in home runs (22), and is second in the AL in RBIs (49) behind only Nelson Cruz (52).
Did we mention that Judge, 25, is in his first full MLB season?
“Except for Mike Trout, who got off to his best start ever, this is the best hitter in baseball,” MLB Network host Brian Kenny said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “So the fact that we have another guy operating at a Trout-Bryce Harper level is pretty astounding. I don’t want to say (his numbers are) sustainable – like a .450 on-base, a .700 slugging. Just to put that in context, that’s like Stan Musial’s best year. It’s not like, ‘Oh, he can keep doing that,’ but his skills back this up.”
At 6-7, 282 pounds, Judge might be the best power-hitter in baseball. He’s also improving his plate discipline. He struck out 42 times in 84 at-bats last year – exactly 50 percent of the time. This year, he has 75 strikeouts in 217 at-bats – 34.6 percent of the time.
“He has the foundation to be one of these top hitters,” Kenny said. “His plate discipline, his excellence, he does not chase pitches, and he’s hitting like .298 on 0-2 counts – and he’s doing it with power. Not just the good batting average, he’s hitting for power with 0-2. He hits very well 1-2. So he strikes out a lot, but when he gets to something, he really crushes it. And with the Statcast numbers that we have now, we know that he – and it ain’t even close – hits the ball harder than anyone else and more consistently than anyone else.
“So this is the real deal,” Kenny continued. “Trout, Harper, these are young superstars. To have another guy suddenly emerge out of the minor leagues as maybe not just as good but right there at that level – because he can also field above average in right field – it’s a gift from above.”