Yes, Judge is likely to break the American League record for homers in a season, which is impressive in itself. It’s so much more than that, however. A look at different metrics shows just how dominant Judge has been — and how he’s helped spark interest in America’s once-favorite pastime.

The judge sits at 60 homers and is on course to find himself in the mid-60s. That means he will likely finish well ahead of Roger Maris’ long-standing American League record of 61 homers.

Judge is likely to miss the Major League Baseball record of 73 home runs. Anyone who has followed the judge’s pursuit will note that most people have dismissed this record – held by Barry Bonds – or any home run season north of 61 home run because all of these men were involved in drug scandals and allegedly used steroids. . Bonds and Sammy Sosa have denied these allegations.

Whether or not you believe those other records are legit, what can’t be disputed is that records like Bonds’s happened during a time when home runs were flying out of the park faster than a Concorde jet. When Bonds hit 73 homers in 2001, Sosa hit 64. When Mark McGwire hit 70 homers in 1998, Sosa hit 66.

Currently, Judge is 20 home runs ahead of his closest competitor, Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Kyle Schwarber. Judge stands out not only for its overall total, but also for how outlier its performance is compared to the competition.

If you look at every 50-plus homer season, the average difference between someone hitting 50+ homers and second place that year was only five homers. All men who have hit 61 or more home runs have had, at most, nine home runs between them and the second – Maris beat Mickey Mantle by seven home runs in 1961.

Of course, Judge doesn’t just stand out for his home run prowess. He’s as close to the full package as a hitter as you can get.

Mantle’s 1956 season was the only one of more than 50 home run seasons in which the player also led his league – American or National – in batting average and RBI (RBIs).

Judge has a real shot at joining Mantle as one of two men to hit for baseball’s Triple Crown in the season they knocked out more than 50 home runs from the stadium. Judge has clear leads in home runs and RBIs in the American League. He traded heads with Boston’s Xander Bogaerts and Minnesota’s Luis Arráez for the batting average crown.

However, you could argue that metrics like batting average and RBI are obsolete in the age of advanced statistics. No worries, if you’re someone trying to explain how amazing Judge’s season was, there’s evidence for that too.

Take a look at some of the stats that are generally preferred by game buffs. Judge is ahead of everyone in on-base percentage (OBP), slugging percentage, on-base plus slugging percentage (OBPS), wins above replacement (WAR) and so on.

In fact, Judge’s on-base plus slugging, adjusted for ballpark and seasonal factors, is sixth-best of any player to hit more than 50 home runs in a season.

Ultimately, Judge’s season is great no matter how you look at it.

Why is baseball no longer America's game?
Arguably Judge’s biggest weakness is that he’s doing it at a time when baseball is the least popular it’s ever been. Just over 10% of Americans say it’s their favorite sport to watch. He is battling basketball for second place next to the powerhouse that is the NFL.

Baseball was a clear fan favorite when Maris hit 61 homers. It was a clear second place when McGwire beat Maris’ mark.

Google searches tell the story, as NFL searches outnumbered MLB searches by an order of 3 or 4 to 1 (!) last week.
While this author is by no means a Yankees fan, he can relate to the increased exposure of baseball through Judge's exploits.
The judge, however, was able to burst. If you look at the best quarterbacks in the NFL — as measured by ESPN’s Quarterback Rating (QBR) — Judge has more people looking for him than anyone in the top four in the stat.

I can only imagine how much more Judge would get press if his historic season happened when many Americans actually cared about the game. Perhaps Judge’s season will help revive baseball in the most tiny and — while I can think of millions of other things I’d rather see than a Yankee succeed — it’s something I can live with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.