Aaron Judge’s season might earn him an American League MVP Award. It will definitely earn him a lucrative contract on the free-agent market this winter. Could it also earn him a place in the home run history books? With 30 games remaining, the New York Yankees slugger has 52 home runs. That puts one particular HR record right in his sights.
Update, Sept. 7 — Judge has been on a tear lately and is up to 55 home runs on the season. He hit a solo shot in the first game of a doubleheader vs. the Twins on Wednesday afternoon.
Update, Sept. 4 — Judge belted his 53rd home run of the season on Sunday vs. the Rays, setting a career high.
MLB home run record chase
Who has the most in a single season?
Judge won’t reach Barry Bonds, who bashed 73 dingers for the Giants in 2001. The American League record is much more attainable
Can Aaron Judge catch Roger Maris?
Maris’ 61 homers in 1961 for the Yankees still stands as the most by any AL player in history. For Judge to top it, he will have to homer once every 2.7 games through the rest of the regular season. Ultimately, he will probably fall short for one big reason: While Maris had Mickey Mantle protecting him in the lineup, this Yankees team has very little firepower around Judge right now. Consider these offensive stats from the Yankees' previous 39 games, entering Friday:
.326/.476/.780, 18 HRs, 43 RBI, 30 runs
.214/.282/.333, 30 HRs, 105 RBI, 125 runs
Teams have no reason to pitch to Judge right now, and in a time when no one issues intentional walks, Judge has been given an automatic free pass a few times recently. Judge could still make some history even if he falls shy of 62; all he needs to do is get to 60. There have been only eight seasons in the history of MLB that have featured a 60-homer player.