After quite a magical season, New York Yankees outfielder, Aaron Judge, takes the MVP award for the American League. Finishing with an AL single-season record of 62 home runs, and a batting average well over .300, he certainly performed at the highest level he ever has.
However, what truly separated him from the rest of his peers was his ability to shine in other facets of the game, such as defense. He performed well taking primarily the center field position and exhibits a keen eye for tracking down fly balls and boasts one of the greatest outfield arms in the league.
Judge defines what it means to be the “most valuable player”, as he shined in pretty much every single facet of his game throughout 2022. There wasn’t any glaring part where he was anything short of spectacular. He even stretched his legs a little bit and snagged 16 stolen bases for good measure.
As one could imagine, Judge is worth more now than he has ever been. Coming off of quite possibly the greatest season ever complied by a New York Yankee, his free agency value has gone through the roof. Going into his age 31 season in 2023, he is squarely in the middle of his prime, and is now the most feared offensive force in the league.
Furthermore, he is the most important player on the Yankee roster, as his offense and defense lead the team the entire season. Not only is he a great player on the field, but his off-field presence is also very valuable for the Yankees. His well-liked personality and demeanor carry some weight in his importance for the representation of his team.
His value to his team has helped to drive his demand to the moon this off-season and whoever signs him is most likely going to have to write a pretty big check. At the time of this writing, there are many teams that are interested in signing Judge, so it will essentially be a battle for his contract.
Against All Odds
For many baseball fans, the final month of the Yankees’ season was watched by fans all around the world, not necessarily to watch the team, but to watch Judge. As he inched closer to breaking Roger Maris’ home run record of 61, fans started coming in by the droves. ESPN started to cut broadcasts to tune into every one of his at-bats, and fans began to bet on every pitch thrown to him.
The pressure really started to pick up and it pressed down on Judge more than some would expect. Despite being under pressure from practically the entire world, he fought through it all and broke the record with a couple of games to spare. Not only did he put on a show with his power, but he was able to keep his normal swing intact as well. He truly showed that he can be put in any situation, and still be able to perform at the top of his game regardless.
Many are predicting that Judge will stay with the Yankees, while others are skeptical of his intentions with the team. Regardless of his feeling toward their organization, he will get offers from other teams, guaranteed.
It is possible that we will see the largest contract ever devised in Major League Baseball with Judge’s potential agreement. His yearly fee will be hefty regardless of what team he decides to take his talent to, but one thing is for sure, he will be worth the cost.
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Featured image courtesy of Brad Penner / USA Today Sports
Statistics courtesy of baseball-reference.com
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