Judge caps breakout year with AL ROY honors

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Aaron Judge has won American League Rookie of the Year honors, becoming the first New York Yankees player to receive the award since Derek Jeter in 1996.

Judge won the award unanimously in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, announced Monday on MLB Network. The 6-foot-7 slugger’s victory was a foregone conclusion after he led the American League with 52 home runs and helped the Yankees reach the postseason as a wild card. Judge is also a finalist for the MVP award.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi finished second, followed by Baltimore Orioles slugger Trey Mancini.

Judge clocked an AL-best 52 homers to break a rookie record that lasted 30 years. He ranked first in runs (128) and walks (127) while helping the Yankees reach the playoffs as the league’s No. 1 wild card.

The knocks against Judge are his 208 strikeouts — only five times has a player whiffed more in one season — and extended slump after winning the All-Star Home Run Derby. But he rebounded with a huge September when New York really needed it, leading the AL in homers (15), RBI (32), runs (29), on-base percentage (.463) and slugging percentage (.889).

Judge is also a contender for the league’s Most Valuable Player Award, has become the nexus of New York’s new generation of Baby Bombers and his No. 99 is the highest-selling jersey in the major leagues.



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