Aaron Judge as AL MVP: Ex-Yankees coach rejects, analysts disagree

aaron judge to win AL MVP title

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Aaron Judge leads in home runs and is set to make a new AL homer record. The Yankees’ slugger is second in batting average and has the most RBIs this season. Still, ex-Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin has dismissed him as the AL MVP in 2022. Judge has a historic season this year. On Sunday, when the New York Yankees beat the Milwaukee Brewers 12-8, the outfielder hit double homers to reach 59 home runs this season. He needs three more home runs in 16 games to go past the 61-year-old record of Roger Maris. The 30-year-old leads MLB with 127 RBI and is also tied for second in the American League with a batting average of .316. He is expected to top in batting average surpassing Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts considering his form. This makes him a strong contender for the 13th MLB Triple Crown in batting and the first since 2012. But these achievements of Judge don’t impact Nevin’s assessment for AL MVP. The former Yankees coach is the current manager of the Los Angeles Angels.
Nevin thinks two-way star Shohei Ohtani will be the 2022 American League MVP. On Saturday, he was quoted saying:
“I’ve said it before: He’s the most valuable player of our game right now. Until somebody can come in and do the things he does on both sides, I don’t see it going any other way. I love Aaron Judge like a son, but I’ll continue to say it: Ohtani can take over a baseball game like nobody can.”
Shohei Ohtani belongs to Nevin’s Angels. His manager stands with him. Ohtani is the first player in MLB history to hit at least 30 home runs and win at least 10 games in the same season. He won the AL MVP award last year. Contrary to what Nevin says, ESPN analyst Jeff Passan votes for Aaron Judge. He feels that the slugger has an amazing September and he is going to be the best contender for the AL MVP race. According to him:
“Aaron Judge entered September the favorite for the American League MVP award, and all he’s done is bat .491, get on base nearly 59% of the time and slug 1.018 with a big league-best eight home runs. His 1.604 OPS is nearly 250 points clear of the next-best hitter this month.”
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic too voted for Aaron Judge as 2022 AL MVP.  He also praised the slugger for single-handedly carrying the Yankees during their most difficult August.
He told:
“I prefer my MVPs to come from contenders, believing such players perform under elevated pressure, and Judge has almost single-handedly prevented the Yankees from suffering a historic collapse. … My choice would be Judge, but I won’t apologize for marveling at Ohtani.”
Who do you think is the best candidate for AL MVP? Is it only a Judge vs Ohtani competition? Is there any third player?

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