Can Aaron Judge Break His Home Run Record?

Can Judge break his own home run record

The 2022 season for Aaron Judge was a remarkable, extraordinary one. He hit 62 home runs and broke the AL home run record. During this campaign, he almost achieved the Triple Crown award, coming just .05 points short of Luis Arráez in the batting average category. He would have been the first since Miguel Cabrera in 2012 to win it. It is highly sought after and mostly flies under the radar since it’s always hard to finish a season leading the three most significant batting categories; only twelve people have ever won. It was such an outstanding year for Judge that he led the league in 12 different offensive categories.

In the second half of the 2022 season, fans all around baseball seemed immersed in the home run chase as Judge tried to be the first American League player to reach and surpass Roger Maris’ 61 home runs set in 1961. Judge eventually caught Maris’ 61 home runs and set a new record with 62 home runs 61 years later. Indisputably, it’s as if destiny was on the field with him, which merits a curtain call, too. Pitchers avoided him for much of September, but regardless, he punished any mistakes. Yankees fans felt ecstatic, as if we were there with him.

It’s known that in June of the 2023 season, a few weeks before the All-Star break, Judge slammed into the right field wall at Dodger Stadium and tore a ligament in his right big toe. This freak injury came from a 1-inch cement step with very unwise placement right at the wall, where he made a superb play as his toe ligament tore. He was on the IL from June 7th to July 28th, so he only appeared in 106 games in the 2023 campaign. However, throughout those 106 games, Judge still managed 37 home runs. He had numerous multi-homer games before and after the injury occurred. They seemed to stack up quickly, and most Yankees fans reveled in those moments as the team struggled mightily. Despite his injury and playing through pain after coming off the injured list, Judge still managed to rank fourth among all AL players in home runs and was only outranked in the American League by Luis Robert Jr., Adolis García, and Shohei Ohtani, who had cracked 44 homers before sustaining a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament that required surgery.

Aaron Judge slams through the wall at Dodger Stadium – Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Aaron Judge is a player who’s simply a different breed. Some people believe he’s injury-prone, but he plays exceptionally hard and refuses to give you an inch as an opponent, at bat and in the field. Reflecting on the statistics from Judge’s previous two seasons, I see some interesting data that reveals intriguing insights. I believe that Judge can break the record of 62 homers that he established in 2022. It may not be imaginable, but it’s conceivable when putting all the factors together. Judge only hit six home runs in April of 2022, his lowest monthly output throughout the campaign. In the latter part of September, opposing teams were deliberately pitching around him, leading to a higher number of walks and a lower number of home runs. As a result, achieving that 62nd home run became much more arduous, as no pitcher wanted to be on the wrong side of history, allowing such a significant milestone. Based on his high number of walks, 19 of which were intentional, it is highly probable that the record would’ve stood above 62. Since he’s broken the AL record and has been there and done that, I feel attaining 62 and repeating isn’t as far-fetched for Judge as another player who hasn’t even touched Babe Ruth’s 60 or Roger Maris’ 61 home runs. If Judge manages to maintain his health and appear in 150 or more games, just like in 2022, while also hitting a few more home runs in April, I am confident he could break the record he set earlier.

Brian Ferrara

Brian is an ardent musician who relishes playing drums and writing music. He appreciates the strategy and competition of sports and covers the New York Yankees for Inside the Diamonds.

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