Aaron Judge Dominates Competition At MLB Home Run Derby
All Rise for the Home Run Derby Champ.
New York Yankees rookie slugger Aaron Judge has been the talk of baseball so far this season, as he has dazzled fans all around the game with his incredible power and 30 first half home runs.
Like many had predicted, the spot light stayed firmly on Judge as MLB's All-Star weekend got under way Monday night with the Home Run Derby.
Judge, who was expected to put on quite a show thanks to his prodigious in-game and batting practice power, didn't just do that, however.
Instead, he DOMINATED the competition.
True, he only hit one more homer than every guy he faced in the bracket-style challenge. That tells just a small part of the story, however.
Narrow victories over Miami's Justin Bour, Los Angeles' rookie phenom Cody Bellinger and Minnesota's Miguel Sano were actually quite impressive and decisive wins. The only reason why the margins were so close was because Judge, being the tournament's two seed, was the second hitter in each match up, so he only needed to hit one more to advance.
With the exception of the 23 that he hit in the first round, after Bour put on quite a show with 22 dingers of his own to push the hulking star in their opening battle, Judge was simple not tested.
He glided past Bellinger's 12 homers in the second round with a quick and decisive 13 to advance to the final. Once there, he took a solid round of 10 from Sano and made it look like a joke, crushing 11 homers with two minutes still on his hit clock.
It was already known just how impressive Judge is with a bat in his hand, but Monday's display of pure power should go down in the record books.
As an avid baseball fan and watcher of the Home Run Derby, I would be hard pressed to find another year where the field just couldn't come close to stacking up against the champ.
There could be a case made for Miami's own Giancarlo Stanton, who was the Derby's defending champ but was knocked out in the first round after an impressive display by Judge's Yankee teammate Gary Sanchez, to potentially challenge Judge. Stanton's raw power is real, but Judge is in a different stratosphere.
Maybe next year MLB might do what ESPN's Mark Teixeira suggested during the Derby's broadcast and just let Judge battle himself. That might make it a bit of a contest. Also, maybe they should just let the guy keep hitting, even after he's past his competitors. He might break the tourney record before the final round.
For now, Judge and fans will have to settle for the field and the field will have to put in some serious work.