May homer spree elevates Aaron Judge to rare Yankees’ five-slugger club

Aaron Judge, player of the new york yankees
Amanda Paula
Saturday May 25, 2024

Table of Contents

Aaron Judge has etched his name into Yankees lore by accomplishing a rare power-hitting milestone – becoming only the sixth Bronx Bomber in over a century to smash 10 home runs in a single month. This extraordinary achievement solidifies Aaron Judge’s status as an elite slugger and further entrenches his legacy within the fabled annals of the storied franchise.

Mashing double-digit dingers in a month’s span is a herculean task very few have achieved in the pinstripes. The exclusive company Judge now joins consists of baseball immortals like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Jason Giambi. His entry into this vaunted pantheon is a resounding testament to his prodigious power and sustained excellence at the plate.

The slugger has been dazzling this season, far exceeding average production after overcoming a slow start. As the Yankees geared up for their second series against the Padres on Saturday, Judge had solidified himself as one of baseball’s top hitters over the last few years, but his prime performances over the last two months have caught the attention with many records yet to be broken.

How good has Aaron Judge been in May?

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton during the Yankees' 8-0 victory over the San Diego Padres, on May 24, 2024.

Aaron Judge has delivered a historic performance this May, joining an elite group of New York Yankees legends. On Friday night, he hit his 16th home run of the season during the Yankees’ 8-0 victory over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. This was his second home run in as many days, further cementing his remarkable month.

Aaron Judge’s May achievements place him alongside Yankees icons, as highlighted by Baseball Reference. The Yankees players to have 10+ HR & 10+ doubles in a single calendar month are: Aaron Judge, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Jason Giambi.

The player has been phenomenal, and it’s worth noting that he already ranks among the top 10 all-time hitters of the Yankees, surpassing a great name like Derek Jeter last month.

Aaron Judge’s resurgence in April

During the Yankees' 8-0 victory against the San Diego Padres on May 24, 2024, Aaron Judge was a force to be reckoned with at the plate, showcasing remarkable batting prowess.

April’s struggles are now a distant memory, eclipsed by Judge’s stellar performance in subsequent weeks. “It’s amazing, but at the same time, it’s the Judgey that we know,” said teammate Oswaldo Cabrera. “I’m not impressed because this is the captain that we know for all the years. We love when he’s hot like this.”

Before the Padres series, Judge was batting .276 with a 1.026 OPS, 15 home runs, and 17 doubles. This strong start ranks him among the best in Yankees history. He is just the third Yankee to achieve at least 15 home runs, 15 doubles, and a 1.000 OPS through his first 52 games, joining the ranks of Roger Maris (1960) and Lou Gehrig (1930 and 1934).

Aaron Judge has exploded onto the scene this season, putting up eye-popping numbers. He currently boasts a staggering .626 slugging percentage (second-best in the American League) and a sky-high 1.030 OPS (third in all of Major League Baseball).

His on-base skills are equally impressive, with a .432 wOBA (second in the AL) and a .469 xwOBA (ranking second in MLB). These translate to a dominant 186 wRC+ (third in MLB), meaning he’s creating 86% more runs than a league average hitter.

Aaron Judge’s 3.1 fWAR places him fifth in the majors, showcasing his all-around value. This remarkable resurgence after a slow April solidifies his place among baseball’s elite hitters.

Aaron Judge’s resurgence is particularly remarkable given his early-season slump. In his first 27 games, he batted just .178 with a .674 OPS, four home runs, and six doubles. Over the next 25 games, he hit .393 with a 1.445 OPS, 11 home runs, and 11 doubles.

“I don’t want to take him for granted,” manager Aaron Boone remarked after Judge homered in a second straight game. “I looked up [at the scoreboard] and I said to [bench coach] Brad [Ausmus] in the middle of the game, ‘He’s over 1.000 OPS now.’ Just really good. … Just great at-bat after great at-bat. As good as it gets.”

Boone’s patience through Judge’s early struggles paid off as Judge began to dominate opposing pitchers. Facing a lineup with both Judge and Juan Soto has become a formidable challenge for opponents.

“It’s gotta be a little daunting for the other side,” Boone noted. “I’m sure knowing they’re back-to-back, left- and right-handed, probably constantly on your mind as the lineup’s getting ready to turn over, knowing what they’re capable of every time they come to the plate. I’m certainly glad they’re on our side.”

Aaron Judge’s resurgence has been crucial for the Yankees. Prior to his last appearance on Friday, he had a 3.0 bWAR, tied for sixth-best in the majors, with the fourth-highest OPS, the third-most home runs, and the second-most doubles. Soto, also contributing significantly, had a 2.5 bWAR, ranked fifth in OPS (.972), 12th in batting average (.312), and tied for fifth in home runs (13).

Aaron Judge attributes his hot streak to “just not missing the ball” and credits teammates Anthony Volpe and Soto for setting the table. Anthony Rizzo highlighted the importance of the entire season: “At the end of the year, he’ll be Aaron Judge. When he’s scuffling, it’s obviously headlines. It’s been a while since he really scuffled. But it’s why we play 162.”

In summary, Aaron Judge’s transformation from a sluggish start to a historic performance underscores his status as one of the game’s elite hitters, validating Boone’s confidence and patience in his captain.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2017 with a rookie campaign for the ages, Aaron Judge has emerged as the face of the Yankees’ franchise renaissance. His combination of humility, tireless work ethic, and awe-inspiring power has made him a beloved figure among fans and teammates alike. As his career blossoms, Judge continues to elevate his stature within the hallowed franchise.

In cementing his place among Yankees legends with this historic achievement, Aaron Judge has proven he possesses the thunderous bat and tenacious spirit to etch his name forever among baseball’s iconic power-hitting titans. With several games left in the month, Judge has the opportunity to add to his impressive totals. Currently, he has 37 RBIs and is hitting .275 for the year. Judge, who has a career batting average of .281 with 273 home runs, continues to be a pivotal figure for the Yankees at the age of 32.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!