One of the best seasons in baseball history now has a trophy to go with it.
Aaron Judge has been named the 2022 American League Most Valuable Player. The award is rightly deserved, as the judge scored once in a lifetime.
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Judge hit 62 home runs, breaking Roger Mars’ AL home run record of 61 – which he set 61 years earlier in 1961. But that’s just a microcosm of how historic his season was.
In addition to homers, he also led the majors in RBI (131), on-base percentage (.425), slugging percentage (.686), runs (133), OPS+ (211) and total bases (391). His 111 walks led the American League, and his .311 batting average was second in the AL, keeping him in the Triple Crown conversation for the final two days of the season.
Some might argue that this should be Judge’s second AL MVP award. In 2017, he finished second to Jose Altuve. That season, though, is now infamous for the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Judge took two firsts to Altuve’s 27 this year despite cheating and having significantly better stats than Altuve.
In the same breath, some might argue that Judge robbed Shohei Ohtani, who finished second this season. While not leading the AL in any category, Ohtani is still a unicorn — he’s hit 34 home runs and struck out 95 while posting the sixth-lowest ERA (2.33) and best K/9 (11.9) in all of baseball. was the owner. Majors
Ohtani had a higher OPS than perennial All-Stars like Mookie Bates, Pat Alonso, Jose Ramirez, Carlos Correa and Juan Soto, and aces like Max Fried, Shane Bieber, Jacob deGrom, Corbin Burns, Framber Valdez and Zach Wheeler. Kim was Era. . But Judge’s record-breaking season was too much for voters to ignore.
Judge is the first Yankee to win MVP since Alex Rodriguez did it in 2007, and he’s now the hottest free agent on the market after spending his first seven seasons in the Bronx. But owner Hal Steinbrenner wants to make sure he stays in pinstripes for life.
“I’ve made it very clear that I want him to be a Yankee for the rest of his life,” Steinbrenner said at the MLB owners’ meetings, via ESPN. “No doubt about it. He knows.”
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Judge received 28 of the 30 first-place votes, while Ohtani received two — the remaining second-place votes.