For a guy with only 339 career plate appearances, Aaron Judge seems to get his name in an awful lot of headlines. That’s because the Yankees rookie slugger has done more damage to baseballs in a shorter amount of time than any player in recent memory.
That includes the likes of Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and even Giancarlo Stanton. Those superstars have all hit their share of memorable and notable home runs, but Judge’s 23 career home runs — and his countless batting practice blasts — have been long, loud and consistently awe-inspiring since his historic major league debut last August.
We can add record-setting to that as well. During the Yankees 16-3 blowout win against the Orioles, Judge shattered another Statcast record by smashing the hardest hit home run since that tool was put in place in 2015.
How does an exit velocity of 121.1 mph sound? Not humanly possible, right?
Think again. Judge turned on Chris Tillman’s first-inning pitch and hit an absolute missile inside the foul pole in left field.
It didn’t have the distance we’re used to with Judge’s home runs, but it might still be traveling if not for the bleachers. Trust us, it was one of those home runs you don’t want to catch. But that’s par for the course with Judge. When he comes to the plate, everyone in the ballpark should be put on notice.
Judge wasn’t done there. He finished the game with three hits and three RBIs. His two-run double in the fifth inning was measured at 116.3 mph off the bat, which helped set another Statcast record.
The rest of the Yankees refused to stop hitting too. Didi Gregorius, Starlin Castro, Matt Holliday and Gary Sanchez added home runs of their own as the Yankees improved their run differential to +104. That’s tied with the Houston Astros for the best mark in MLB.
Needless to say, the Yankees offense has been a relentless machine all season. With the 25-year-old Judge leading the way, it figures to stay that way for a long time.
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