When a player has a memorable first MLB season, that’s one thing. When they’re setting records as a New York Yankee and helping the Bronx Bombers return to the top of the baseball world, there’s something a little extra special about that. As the team keeps fending off their rival Boston Red Sox for first place, Aaron Judge continues to be the talk of the the league, as well as the guy some people are saying shouldn’t just be Rookie of the Year, but a candidate for MVP.
In a lopsided 14-3 victory against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, the 25-year-old Yankees outfielder finished the game a perfect 4-for-4 with two home runs and two RBIs. Not only did that give Judge 21 home runs on the season – the most by a Yankees player under the age of 26 before All-Star Weekend since Roger Maris in 1960, according to ESPN – his first home run of the night was historic for other reasons.
At a distance of 496 feet, Judge hit the longest home run of the MLB season and the longest home run since ESPN began tracking the stat in 2009. Only two other players have hit home runs in excess of 490 feet during that time: Wladimir Balentien and Giancarlo Stanton, who has pulled off the feat three separate times. Judge bested their personal bests by an entire foot.
“He hit a line drive to right field,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. “It was just a line drive. Most guys, they’re hoping it gets in the gap. It just went out. I mean, his power is incredible.”
Aaron Judge just hit a 495 foot home run. FOUR HUNDRED AND NINETY FIVE pic.twitter.com/mGdZWxyPf1
— That Dude (@cjzer0) June 11, 2017
This comes a couple of days after Judge hit a ball 121.1 miles per hour against the Orioles, making it the hardest hit ball in the Statcast era.
Aaron Judge just set a new Statcast-era record. 121.1 mph on this homer: pic.twitter.com/His90MALUd
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) June 10, 2017
Judge is now leading the American League with 21 home runs, 41 RBIs, 4.1 wins above replacement and a .344 batting average on the season. If he continues with those numbers, and the team keeps producing, we could be looking at the latest era of Yankee dominance in baseball.