After an awe-inspiring first full season, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge was unanimously named the American League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year on Monday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
At 6-foot-7, 282 pounds, Judge is a large human being. He hit .179 after being called up in 2016 with only four home runs and a whopping 42 strikeouts in 84 at-bats -- his home run power was still all potential.
In 2017, Judge found a way to use his massive build to his advantage. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs and was only the fourth rookie ever to qualify for the batting title and have an OPS over 1.000. He went from a strikeout machine to AL Rookie of the Year and MVP finalist in the span of a year.
Power, power, power
Judge hit a lot of home runs in 2017. He also won the Home Run Derby with what will likely go down as one of the greatest displays of power ever in a single evening. But what may have been even more impressive about Judge is how he transformed batting practice into appointment viewing.
When Judge is taking BP in the future, teams should make sure all valuables are secure and in a protective case:
Judge wasn't all offense. His height and athleticism led to some mighty impressive defensive highlights as well.
When you're 6-foot-7, spectacular home run robberies look shockingly routine:
Defense is a team effort, though, and Judge knows that. In fact, he benefited from a helpful shuffle pass from Starlin Castro:
For Judge, baseball is also an avenue to interact with fans and it doesn't matter to him if they were rooting for the Yankees or not. He'll play catch with Mariners fans:
And give gifts to Blue Jays fans:
All part of the job for one of the game's brightest young stars.
Smile if you've just won the AL Rookie of the Year. pic.twitter.com/ij5Lofe1Ts- Cut4 (@Cut4) November 13, 2017