Aaron Judge ascends past Derek Jeter in Yankees’ home run hierarchy, but who reigns supreme?

Aaron Judge belts a two-run homer in the first inning of the Yankees’ 7-3 win over the A’s.
Amanda Paula
Wednesday April 24, 2024

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During the Yankees’ triumph over the Oakland Athletics, Aaron Judge notched his 261st home run, eclipsing Derek Jeter on the club’s historical homer leaderboard. This feat catapulted him into the top 9 of all-time home run hitters for the Yankees, according to MLB rankings.

Aaron Judge joins the top 10 all-time home run hitters

Aaron Judge playing during an game between the New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics, on April 24, 2024
Yankees

The towering Aaron Judge, standing at 6-foot-7 and weighing nearly 300 pounds, now joins the ranks of the baseball giants in MLB history.

Aaron Judge tantalizingly approached the esteemed top 3 on the New York Yankees’ home run roster, needing just 101 more homers to surpass Joe DiMaggio’s 361 and claim the third position. However, his path is obstructed by the formidable figures of Lou Gehrig, with 493 homers, and the legends Mickey Mantle, boasting 536 homers, and Babe Ruth towering above with 659.

The updated list of the top 10 home run hitters in Yankees history now reads:

  1. Babe Ruth – 659
  2. Mickey Mantle – 536
  3. Lou Gehrig – 493
  4. Joe DiMaggio – 361
  5. Yogi Berra – 358
  6. Alex Rodriguez – 351
  7. Bernie Williams – 287
  8. Jorge Posada – 275
  9. Aaron Judge – 261
  10. Derek Jeter – 260

How it unfolded

Aaron Judge belts a two-run homer in the first inning of the Yankees’ 7-3 win over the A’s.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

From the brink of another strikeout to soaring past Derek Jeter with a home run, Aaron Judge’s journey took a dramatic turn courtesy of a balk call. Amidst a streak of 18 strikeouts plaguing the Yankees in recent games, Aaron Judge found himself in a tight spot. A 99 mph pitch seemed destined for a strikeout, but fate intervened when A’s pitcher Joe Boyle committed a balk, erasing the impending out. Seizing the opportunity, Judge sent the next pitch sailing over the right-field fence, scoring Juan Soto and catapulting the Yankees to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Wednesday night.

This pivotal moment marked Aaron Judge’s fourth homer of the season, propelling him to 261 career home runs, surpassing Derek Jeter and securing the ninth spot in Yankees history. It also ended his home run drought since April 14. Despite battling through a slump that saw his batting average plummet below .200 and strikeouts accumulate, Aaron Judge’s resilience shone through.

Aaron Judge unsatisfied despite historic night

Following the Yankees' 7-3 win over the Oakland Athletics, Aaron Judge gave an interview with the YES Network speaking out about his historic night after surpassing Derek Jeter among the top 10 all-time home run hitters of the Bronx Bombers.
Yes Network

Following the Yankees’ recent victory over the A’s, Aaron Judge, the towering presence in the team’s outfield, took a moment to reflect on his current form. In a post-game interview with the Yes Network, Aaron Judge revealed a side of himself that goes beyond the raw power of his swing, showcasing a mindset of continual improvement and dedication to his craft.

During the interview, Judge provided insights into his strategic approach at the plate. When questioned about his mindset during a critical at-bat, Aaron Judge emphasized his focus on driving fastballs through the middle of the field, demonstrating a keen awareness of pitch selection and placement. This insight into his approach highlights his analytical approach to the game and his determination to seize opportunities when they arise.

As the conversation shifted towards his performance, Aaron Judge displayed a sense of humility and self-awareness. When prompted about whether he felt everything was coming together for him, Judge responded with a simple, “No.” This admission suggests that despite any successes on the field, Judge maintains a critical eye on his own progress, constantly seeking areas for improvement.

Delving deeper into his assessment, Aaron Judge expressed the need for more at-bats to refine his skills further. With a straightforward declaration of needing 500 more at-bats before entertaining discussions about his performance, Judge underscored the importance of repetition and experience in mastering his craft.

In a closing statement, Aaron Judge emphasized the importance of readiness in baseball, stating, “You always got to be ready.”

However, Aaron Judge’s journey isn’t without its challenges. Last weekend, the Yankees’ captain faced criticism from some disgruntled fans, resulting in boos during a game. This incident sparked further debate among the Yankees fan base, with sports commentators like Michael Kay weighing in on the discontent among certain factions of the pinstripes nation.

Aaron Judge’s stats in 2024

Aaron Judge has been one of the Yankees’ biggest stars in recent years, but he’s gotten off to a bit of a slow start in 2024. Through the first month or so of the regular season, his numbers are a little underwhelming compared to the dominance fans are used to seeing.

In 94 at-bats so far, Judge has scored just 9 runs and collected 18 hits, including 4 home runs, while driving in 13 runs. His batting average is a modest .191, with an on-base percentage of .319 and an OPS of .702. Those aren’t the kind of eye-popping numbers Yankees fans have come to expect from the slugger.

Over the course of his career though, Aaron Judge has established himself as an elite all-around hitter. He’s tallied 623 runs, 864 hits, 261 homers, and 585 RBIs while batting .279 with an excellent .393 on-base percentage and .973 OPS. Those are superstar-caliber statistics that show just how impactful he can be.

Though Aaron Judge’s sluggish beginning to the 2024 season is worrisome, he has shown flashes that indicate a potential hot streak on the horizon. His home run this past Wednesday serves as a reminder of the offensive onslaught Judge can unleash when he’s locked in at the plate.

Aaron Judge’s resurgence mirrored the broader offensive struggles of the Yankees, as several players grappled with a downturn following the team’s promising start to the season. Nonetheless, Judge’s breakthrough, coupled with a double in the preceding game and a subsequent single in the third inning, hinted at a resurgence. With Judge leading the charge, the Yankees aimed to reignite their offensive firepower and recapture their winning ways.

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