The New York Yankees have found themselves in quite a position in the early going of the 2023 MLB season. Through 14 games, they have a record of 8-6 and are tied with Toronto for second-best in the AL East behind the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays.
Speaking of red-hot, there is one Yankee that has seemed to remain red-hot from last season and carried it over to this season, and that is Aaron Judge. After smashing an American League record of 62 home runs last season, which is also the most in the illustrious history of the New York Yankees, he was the “Home Run King” of all of baseball in 2022.
After pulling off such a feat a year ago, can he be the home run king once again? Could he possibly eclipse his record-setting season, and push those numbers even higher?
Can Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees do it again?
All in all, 62 home runs is a lot. Even with a 162-game season, that is still a remarkable feat. Especially with how much different today’s game is compared to Roger Maris’ days in 1961. Pete Alonso of the New York Mets, Ryan Mountcastle of the Baltimore Orioles, Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox, and Max Muncy of the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the league with six homers a piece.
At the 14-game mark of this season, Judge has smashed five home runs, which took him 17 games last season to achieve. He has also added seven RBI and a slugging percentage of .608. His five homers are the most on this team, followed by Franchy Cordero and Giancarlo Stanton with four each.
All signs are pointing to him being able to crush a ton of baseballs this season, but it all comes down to him being able to stay healthy. With the new pitch clock implemented, it will be crucial for him to not strain himself by the shorter duration between swings. It’s still too early to tell if he will sit atop the Home Run throne at season’s end, but he has already made quite the impression that he absolutely can retain his crown.
A healthy season should definitely not rule out a 63-homer season. It is entirely possible, especially with all of the distractions of a contract out of the way. The new captain will have to lead this team with his power this season, just as he has done for the majority of his career.