The MLB season is rapidly approaching the end of the line, and many teams are locked in red-hot pennant races ahead of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Yankees are staring down some unusual stats in the second half of the season, and the team’s star outfielder is putting up an eye-popping home run pace.
Now, Judge is closing in on a triple crown as he looks to beat a home run record set back in 1961. That year, Roger Maris batted 61 home runs, setting the American League record and giving batters a target to aim for in their future endeavors. Now, with the season nearly over, Judge has some historic moments likely ahead of him.
In baseball terms, a triple crown refers to a season in which a batter leads his league in home runs, runs batted in, and batting average. Currently, Judge holds the lead in RBIs and homers by a wide margin. He’s sitting at 59 home runs this season as of this writing, two away from the American League record. He’s got 127 RBIs this season, and the next-closest player, Cleveland’s José Ramírez, is 15 runs behind Judge.
The home run berth is much wider, with Judge’s closest competition in the AL being Houston’s Yordan Alvarez, who is currently sitting at 37 homers this season. The only number left for Judge to get ahead of is .317 – that’s Minnesota’s Luis Arráez’s mind-blowing batting average this season. If Judge can get his .316 up just a bit, he’s got a shot of finishing the season with the lead in all three categories to make up the triple crown.
“That’s remarkable,” Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole said of Judge’s offensive output. “It’s the greatest offensive season that I’ve personally ever witnessed. I don’t know what else to say. It’s wonderful.” Yankees fans have been astonished by Judge’s consistency and on-field dominance, as the star outfielder helped bolster the team to an incredible early lead in the AL East.
The Yankees as a team slowed down dramatically after the All-Star break, with teams like the Mets and Atlanta Braves surpassing them in wins in the season. However, none of that diminishes how electric Judge has been all season – or how monumental a home run record and a triple crown in the same season would be for the 30-year-old outfielder.