Aaron Judge hits 32nd HR in Yankees’ loss to Reds, aiming for career-best season in 2024

On June 2, 2024, Aaron Judge hits a solo home run in the seventh inning despite the Yankees' loss
Corey Sipkin / New York Post
Esteban Quiñones
Tuesday July 2, 2024

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Aaron Judge continues to dominate in the 2024 MLB season, hitting his 32nd home run during the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds.

Despite the fact that the Yankees lost the game, this tally surpasses half of the 62 home runs Aaron Judge achieved in 2022. The frequency of his home runs this season is noteworthy, especially considering the current challenging batting environment in MLB.

Aaron Judge in 2024

Aaron Judge’s performance is defying the high-velocity era of pitching, where pitchers’ techniques are refined in pitching labs. His slash line of .321/.440/.718 includes career-best figures, showcasing his exceptional form. The New York Yankees slugger has hit 32 home runs off 30 pitchers using nine different pitches, ranging from 79.1 mph to 98.9 mph. In comparison, Babe Ruth hit his 60 home runs in 1927 against just 33 pitchers.

Yankees' captain Aaron Judge in 2024

Aaron Judge’s current form is remarkable for a player who holds the American League single-season home run record, is a former MVP, and a six-time All-Star. His current competition is not his peers or even his former self, but the greatest sluggers in baseball history. Before the Yankees’ Tuesday game against the Reds, Judge had recorded an OPS of 1.430 over his last 50 games. Since 1900, only four other hitters have maintained such high performance over a 50-game span: Ruth (five times), Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, and Barry Bonds (four times). Judge is the only right-handed hitter among them.

At 32 years old, Aaron Judge matches Ruth’s age when he hit 60 home runs. Gehrig was 31 and 33 when he maxed out at 49 home runs. Williams was 30 when he set his record at 43, and Bonds was 36, though his achievement was marred by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use, when he hit 73.

The question arises: Why is Judge performing at his best now, when the league’s batting average is a mere .242, the fourth lowest ever and the worst since 1968? The answer lies in Aaron Judge’s improved performance against pitches in the strike zone.

Aaron Judge’s performance vs. pitches in the strike zone (Career Highs)

Player of the new york yankees: Aaron Judge and Juan Soto

As he continues this trajectory, Aaron Judge is well on his way to surpassing his 2022 numbers, solidifying his place among the greatest sluggers in baseball history.

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