Ranking Aaron Judge’s 2022 season among MLB’s best

Aaron Judge

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Aaron Judge has had one of the best offensive seasons in the history of Major League Baseball. He has combined power with a natural ability to hit to make a real run at the Triple Crown, though Aaron Judge narrowly missed it.

But what place does Aaron Judge’s this season hold in the history of Major League Baseball?

It’s a hard question to answer because there’s always something to argue about, whether it’s the different eras or drugs that help athletes do better. But if we try to forget about that and just look at the numbers, Aaron Judge’s “best of a generation” season in 2022 won’t be able to compete with some of the most impressive stat lines that the game was built on.

This, of course, depends on how you look at it. We looked at traditional stats like batting average, home runs, and RBI, but we also talked about OPS to find the players with the best combination of power, ability to hit for average, and ability to drive in runs.

Barry Bonds‘ 2001 season was the best home run-hitting season of all time. It was also the start of one of the most dominant and feared four-year runs by a single batter in MLB history. Babe Ruth’s best season was 1921, even though he hit one more home run in 1927 and set the magical standard that we still admire today. His 457 total bases in a single season are the most ever.

In 2004, Bonds was the most feared player ever. He was walked an incredible 232 times that season. One hundred twenty (120) were done on purpose. It limited him to only 373 at-bats, but he still hit 45 home runs and drove in 101 runs. That’s a pace of 60 home runs and 135 RBI every 500 at-bats. Even so, his 1.422 OPS is the best in MLB history for a single season.

Ruth’s most famous 1927 season wasn’t even his best offensive season as a whole, which shows how transcendent he was to the game. In 1920, he was the first player in MLB history to hit 50 home runs in a season. His 1.379 OPS is tied for the third-best in a single season.

In 1922, Rogers Hornsby was the only player in MLB history to have hit more than 40 home runs and have a batting average of at least .400 in the same season. Ted Williams of 1941 was a good mix of hitting skill and power.

Hack Wilson’s 1930 season didn’t get enough attention as a whole. Hack Wilson hit 56 home runs, which at the time set a National League record that wasn’t broken until 1998. He also hit 191 RBI, which is still an MLB record.

Barry Bonds’ 2002 season saw an OPS of 1.381, the second-best in MLB history. In 500 at-bats, he hit 57 homers and drove in 136 runs. In 1923, Babe Ruth hit above .390 and 40 home runs. His 1.309 OPS remains one of only six times in MLB history that a player had an OPS of 1.300 or higher in a single season.

Lou Gehrig hit 185 RBIs in 1927 and it remains the second-most in MLB history. But in 1927, his batting average went up by 32 points and his on-base percentage and slugging percentage went up by a lot.

Jimmie Foxx showed what a true power hitter in 1932. A year before, Lou Gehrig hit 185 RBI in a single season. In 2001, Sammy Sosa became the only player to hit more than 60 homers for the second time. He also made 160 runs. Mark McGwire’s 1998 season also saw 62 home runs. Sosa too hit 62 homers.

In 1998, when McGwire and Sammy Sosa both tried to hit 62 home runs, it helped bring baseball back to life after the strike of 1994.

PlayerSeasonTeamAverageOn-Base%Slugging%OPSHome RunsRBI
Barry Bonds2001Giants.328.515.6921.37973137
Babe Ruth1921Yankees.378.512.8461.35959168
Barry Bonds2004Giants.362.609.8121.42245101
Babe Ruth1927Yankees.356. 486.7721.25860165
Babe Ruth1920Yankees.370.582.7991.37954135
Rogers Hornsby1922Cardinals.401.459.7221.18142152
Ted Williams1941Red Sox.406.554.7351.28737120
Hack Wilson1930Cubs.356.454.7231.17756191
Barry Bonds2002Giants.370.582.7991.38146110
Babe Ruth1923Yankees.393.545.7641.30941130
Lou Gehrig1927Yankees.373.474.7491.24047173
Jimmie Foxx1932Athletics.364.469.6621.21858169
Lou Gehrig1931Yankees.341.446.6621.10846185
Sammy Sosa2001Cubs.328.437.7371.17464160
Aaron Judge2022Yankees.311 (T-2,418th).425 (T-530).686 (51st)1.111 (T-78th)62 (7th)131 (T-193rd)
Mark McGwire1998Cardinals.299.470.7521.22270147

Where do you rank Aaron Judge among these greatest hitters?

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