Before the start of the 2022 season, the Yankees offered Aaron Judge a seven-year extension worth $213.5 million. Many believed Aaron was making the wrong choice, given his age and injury history. Yet, he gambled on himself. So far, Judge is winning that bet. Everyone knows that Aaron Judge is more than capable of being a top ten player in all of baseball, but his numbers show he has an argument for even better.
In 2022, Judge is slashing an outstanding .325 BA, .398 OBP, and a .715 SLG. Followed by an 1.113 OPS, 221 wRC+, all while blasting a league-leading 17 HR. To say Judge is on a mission to prove he deserves that money, is quite the understatement. He’s proving that he can stay healthy and be a powerhouse on both sides of the diamond. He’s an elite hitter along with elite defense in RF and is now becoming an above-average CF. Judge is no longer that home run or strikeout guy. In recent years, Judge has been mixing in small ball along with his freakish power.
For his size, he is extremely athletic. Legging out fly balls, hustling in to second, and even a few stolen bases have made Judge even more valuable than what he has already brought to the table.
Aaron Judge is on pace to reach 66 HR by season end. It’s not likely he hits that mark but with the way he’s swinging the bat, anything is possible. The Yankees currently sit at a league-leading 29-13 record and Judge is a huge reason for that. Along with fantastic pitching, the Yankees bats have been right there to compliment the arms. Aaron Judge’s versatility to play multiple positions in the outfield along with staying healthy, has allowed the Bombers to utilize their lineup to their full potential.
The two-headed monster known as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are no longer hitting back to back. Mixing in Anthony Rizzo between them has been a pleasant change and has benefited the entire lineup. Especially big number 99.
This has been, by far, the best version of Aaron Judge we have seen since his unforgettable rookie season. Some could argue he’s performing even better. Aaron Judge was called foolish, crazy, and out of his mind for turning down all that money from the Yankees. He is not only proving himself right, he’s proving everyone else wrong. If Judge performs this high of a level for the entire season, he’s going to cash in. Will it be in the Bronx or somewhere else? Only time will tell.