New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge‘s prolific rookie season, and the home runs that come with it, have captivated fans across the country. Courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information research, we’ve captured every one of the first-year slugger’s homers and the story that goes with it, from the victim on the mound to the speed off the bat.
Judge’s first homer of the season was a quiet sign of the big hits to come. His solo shot off Mychal Givens in the eighth inning tied the score between Baltimore and New York and set up a 7-3 Yankees win.
Judge followed up his first homer of the season with a high-flying blast in an 8-1 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.
This is right around when heads started turning. Judge’s third straight game with a home run perhaps showed that the rookie’s emergence wasn’t a fluke.
The Yankees were on a seven-game winning streak and about to make it eight in a row when Judge sent one a long way. He turned a hanging curveball from White Sox starter Derek Holland and sent it into the bullpen in left-center. Note to pitchers: Don’t make a mistake against Aaron Judge.
Hanging pitch? Check. Middle of the plate? Check. All of Judge’s 6-foot-7 frame got behind this one. Poor Dylan Covey.
They Yankees were up 10-5 in the top of the ninth when Judge sent this no-doubter into the upper deck of PNC Park. It remains Judge’s longest home run of the season.
No. 7 barely made it out, but man, did it get out of Fenway fast. Judge’s home run gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead over the rival Red Sox, and New York improved to 7-0 in games when Judge hits a homer.
April 28, the first
Make that 8-0. Judge had three RBIs off homers in this extra-inning win against the Orioles.
April 28, the second
The rookie has a bit of clutch in him, too; his sixth-inning two-run shot came with two outs and turned a 9-2 deficit into a five-run game. Not exactly striking range, but New York used it to stage a 14-11 comeback win.
Judge got his seventh home run at Yankee Stadium and fifth of more than 425 feet. It was also his 10th home run of the season, which tied the rookie record for home runs in April. He’s one of three rookies to do so, and both are contemporaries: Trevor Story did it in 2016, and Jose Abreu also hit 10 in 2014.
No. 1 on May 2
The first of these, a mere 332-footer, was very un-Judge-ian. It might not have made it out in many other ballparks, and it remains the shortest homer of the season for Judge.
Make it two on May 2
The second, which went 391 feet, made up for that relative blooper, and it brought in three runs in an eventual 11-5 win. Still, nothing past 400 feet? Aaron had to step up his game.
And step up he did. With the Yanks trailing 6-3 in the bottom of the third inning, Judge hit a towering two-run homer to bring New York to within one run. The Yankees pulled off an 8-6 win courtesy of that home run and the first three-hit game of Judge’s MLB career. Asked after the game if he had ever been this hot at the plate, Judge replied, “Maybe T-ball.”
This one hit the front wall of the Yankee Stadium outfield concourse so hard, it bounced back into play. Seriously.
It was bound to happen eventually: The Yankees fell to 14-1 when Judge hits a homer in a 9-5 loss at Tampa Bay. He went opposite field off Matt Andriese in the top of the second for his fifth home run of the month. To match his April performance, Judge has to hit five out of the park in the next 11 games; something tells us that’s entirely possible. Now, for good measure, here’s a look at all those homers in one nifty chart.
Judge hit his first grand slam, a line-drive blast to right field at Andrew Triggs‘ expense to give the Yankees the lead in the bottom of the third, fueling a 9-5 romp over the Athletics. The blast brought Judge back into a tie with Mike Trout for the major league lead in home runs.
While the world waited for news of Trout’s MRI on his injured hand, Judge took sole possession of the MLB lead in homers with his 17th, a bullet just to the right of dead center to bring the Yankees to within a run of the Orioles on Memorial Day. It also broke a tie with Albert Pujols for the second-most home runs by the end of May by a rookie; Mark McGwire holds the record with 19 in 1987. Could Judge reach that by the end of the month?
June 1 (BP homer)
Judge hit this to Barrie, Ontario, but it was during batting practice. So why are we including it? Because of three numbers in this order: 5-1-0. That’s right, the batting practice moon shot traveled 510 feet (or 155.44 meters, if you want to use the local measurements). It’s impressive no matter when he smacked it.
Judge crushed this two-run blast off Francisco Liriano in the top of the sixth at Rogers Centre for his 18th homer of the season. It was nearly 112 mph off the bat. According to ESPN’s Stats & Info, Judge’s home run was calculated at 448 feet, his fourth-longest of the season and his ninth this season of 425-plus feet, most in the majors in 2017.
Judge was just one of many to rough up Orioles starter Chris Tillman in the Yankees’ 16-3 rout, with a first-inning blast down the left-field line that clocked in with an exit velocity of 116 mph, his fastest speed off the bat this season, according to ESPN’s Stats & Info.
June 11, the first
Even by Judge’s already blast-happy standards, this was perhaps his most impressive homer yet as the Yankees kept piling up runs against the Orioles. His 496-foot blast to left field was the longest home run hit by anybody since ESPN started recording homer distances in 2009, and it came in his first career four-hit game. He also became the first Yankee to hit 20 homers before the All-Star Break in his age-25 (or younger) season since Roger Maris did it in 1960. But he wasn’t done yet on this day.
June 11, the second
What’s the old saw about doing something twice on Sunday? Judge tacked on his 21st homer of the season in the latest Bronx romp to spoil Yankees fans. After his earlier blast for distance, this one was a low line shot that he smoked to right to complete the Bombers’ scoring in their 14-3 rout of Baltimore.
After hitting two Sunday, Judge kept at it Monday in Anaheim with his 22nd homer of the season. Everyone knows Judge has power, but 438 feet worth of opposite-field power is something else. It was his seventh opposite-field homer of the season.
The 374-foot shot off Sean Manaea at Oakland Coliseum was Judge’s third shortest of the season. What it lacked in distance more than made up for it in importance, as the three-run shot in the third inning brought the Bronx Bombers to within one of the A’s.