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Aaron Judge’s Case For The 2017 AL MVP Award

 

Aaron Judge MVP

SBNY Podcast On Aaron Judge’s MVP Case

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After a dreadful two month stretch from July through August where he batted .206, slugged only .404, and struck out in 37 straight games, people were beginning to wonder if Aaron Judge would even be able to hold of Andrew Benintendi for Rookie of the Year honors. He also was considered out of the 2017 AL MVP race.

Then September happened.

Since the calendar flipped Aaron Judge has gone supernova. In 71 September at bats coming into today Judge had 21 hits, 11 home runs, 23 runs scored, and 20 walks. Oh and then today he did this:

That was #49 on the year which tied Mark McGwire’s all-time single season rookie home run record. Then a couple innings later Judge broke that record by putting his AL best 50th home run in the seats and earning himself a Yankee Stadium curtain call.

MVP Consideration

Now with only six games remaining on the schedule big #99’s season looks like this:

Aaron Judge’s MVP Resume

.283 BA / 50 HR / 108 RBI / 124 R / 120 BB’s / .418 OBP / 1.026 OPS / 7.3 WAR

While Mike Trout has had a great year the fact that he has only played in 108 games should eliminate him from realistic consideration. This should come down to a two horse race between Judge and the Astros diminutive second baseman Jose Altuvé. Here’s how his numbers compare:

Jose Altuve’s MVP Resume

.348 BA / 24 HR / 80 RBI / 106 R / 57 BB / .412 OBP / .967 OPS / 8.2 WAR

Altuvé is currently two hits away from having put together four consecutive 200 hit seasons and at 24 home runs he has tied his career high which he set last year. The improved power numbers certainly help his case as does the fact that he has been incredibly consistent throughout the year while Judge had an enormous two month slump. I mean look at these splits!

2017 AL MVP Race

StatsAaron JudgeJose Altuve
Average.283.348
Home Runs5024
RBI10880
OBP.418.412
SLUG.620.555
OPS1.038.968
Runs124106
Hits149198
Base on Balls12057
Stolen Bases832
Total Bases327316
At Bats527569
Strikeouts20383
Games150147
WAR7.348.24

*As of September 25th

Death, taxes, and Jose Altuvé batting .300 for the month are the only sure things in life. I readily admit that he is having a fantastic year and is worthy of MVP consideration. But the story of this season has been about one man and one man only, and that’s Aaron Judge.

The Case For Aaron Judge

Judge dominated the early season headlines when he came out and hit 10 home runs in April, his jaw dropping performance in the Home Run Derby was the highlight of the All-Star Break, people took great joy in piling on him while he struggled through a 37 game strikeout streak, and through it all Judge never stopped working and never stopped smiling.

The fact that he has been able to amass the numbers he has despite those two really awful months is truly incredible. Not to get ahead of myself, but if he ever has a year where he’s consistent from start to finish he’ll have one of the greatest seasons in the history of baseball. But the MVP debate isn’t about the future, it’s about the present and in the present Aaron Judge has led a Yankees team that was projected to finish no better than .500 this year to a record of 87-69, a playoff berth, and likely home field advantage in the Wild Card game.

While fantastic seasons from Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius, and Luis Severino cannot be overlooked it has always been Judge who has been the barometer for the team’s success. When he struggled, they struggled and vice versa. Now he and the rest of the lineup are firing on all cylinders as they race toward a one game playoff that will define their season. Aaron Judge may not have been the “most consistent” player this year but he is without a doubt the Most Valuable.

 

About Anthony

Long Island born but now I live in the South. Write about the Yankees, Knicks, and sometimes tv. Razor Ramon follows me on Twitter, so you probably should too. (@De_Italiano)

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