You almost wouldn’t believe it if you were told Aaron Judge, who struck out in half of his at-bats during a month sample size last year (42 K’s in 84 at-bats), would be a breakout star and hit not 30, not 40, but 50 home runs for the Yankees this year. At 25 years old, the 6’7 282 lb rookie phenom has had one of the more outstanding seasons of this decade, which has made him an easy lock for the AL Rookie of the Year and has also propelled him towards being the possible front runner for this year’s MVP vote once again.

After a miserable August which saw him hit .185 along with just three homers and seven RBI, Judge has re-established himself with 13 home runs in the month of September in only 22 games. Heading into today’s makeup game against the Royals, Judge sat just one home run shy of Mark McGwire’s rookie record of 49 home runs. With seven games left to go, it seemed Judge had quite a good shot to hit two home runs within that time, but he would only need one. In the bottom of the 3rd, Judge drove a 95 mph fastball to the right center field seats for his 49th blast of the season, tying McGwire’s record, and then later in the 7th taking a 2-1 pitch from Trevor Cahill to left-center that would go over the wall, putting Judge atop the all-time rookie home run record list with 50. Does Judge’s record-shattering home run push him past Houston’s Jose Altuve and the Angels’ Mike Trout in the MVP voting? That is still in question, but it is certain this home run caps off what has been a magical season for the Yankees’ rookie.

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