*These notes come from ESPN Stats & Info, ESPN Research and THE Elias Sports Bureau. These guys work their butts off and are the BEST at what they do!
Around Major League Baseball this season there have been two incredible rookies that have dominated the sport. In the National League, Cody Bellinger’s impact have vaulted the Dodgers into first place in the NL West and the best record in the Nationals League.
In the American League, Aaron Judge has redefined the Yankees record book. We haven’t even reached the middle of July and Judge has already tied the Yankees single-season record for most HR by a rookie. Who held the record? Only a guy by the name of Joe DiMaggio who hit 29 HR in his rookie season of 1936.
Most HR Rookie Season New York Yankees History
- Aaron Judge 29 2017
- Joe DiMaggio 29 1936
- Joe Gordon 25 1938
Looking at the seasons for both players, Judge’s numbers project to be just as good as what DiMaggio did in his rookie season. Judge bests the Yankee Clipper in every category with the exception of strikeouts. DiMaggio only struck out 39 times in his rookie season.
Rookie Season Comparisons
Judge’s performance for the Yankees with his overall HR total isn’t the only part of the historic Yankee record book that he has rewritten. Judge has also found his way into the MLB record book with his impressive HR total at Yankee Stadium.
Last night Judge connected for the 20th time in his 39 games at Yankee Stadium this season, setting a MLB record for the fewest games needed to reach 20 homers in home games. The previous record of 40 games was accomplished by Pittsburgh’s Ralph Kiner in 1948, by both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa during their home-run duel in 1998, and by Toronto’s Carlos Delgado in 2000.
Fewest Games Needed to Reach 20 HR in Home Games MLB History
- 2017 Aaron Judge 39
- 2000 Carlos Delgado 40
- 1998 Mark McGwire 40
- 1998 Sammy Sosa 40
- 1948 Ralph Kiner 40 > Source: Elias Sports Bureau
The next target for Judge is to reach Mark McGwire’s MLB record of most HR by a rookie before the All-Star Break that he set with the Oakland Athletics in 1987. That year McGwire connected for 33 HR before the break, finishing with 49 in a season that he won the AL Rookie of the Year Award. His next home run with put him alone for the second most by a rookie before the All-Star Break.
Most HR By Rookie Before All-Star Break – MLB History
- 1987 Mark McGwire 33
- 2017 Aaron Judge 29
- 2014 José Abreu 29
- 1950 Al Rosen 25
- 2017 Cody Bellinger 24
Despite his incredible home run numbers so far this season, Judge has not been able to help the Yankees much of late. Since starting the season 38-23 and leading the AL East by four games on June 13. Since then the Yankees are just 6-16 over that span, which is the worst record in the majors (Judge has done his part posting an OPS of 1.049 over than span while hitting 7 HR and driving in 16 runs). They have also really struggled recently in one-run games, losing 12 of their last 14. On the season they are a MLB worst 9-17 in one-run games.