Sunday, January 29 2023
Aaron Judge Treated Art - grey uniform, holding bat with Yankee Stadium background

Aaron Judge Treated Art – grey uniform, holding bat with Yankee Stadium background

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge took home the 2022 American League MVP Award on Thursday night, putting a bow on one of the best seasons in both franchise and AL history.

Judge earned 28 of the 30 first-place votes finishing ahead of Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani (two first-place votes) and Astros outfielder Yordan Alvarez.

The 30-year-old became the first Yankee to win AL MVP since Alex Rodriguez in 2007 and just the third Yankee to win the award since 1985 (Rodriguez-2005, Don Mattingly-1985). He also became just the second Yankee ever to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP while wearing pinstripes, joining Thurman Munson for the honor.

“It’s tough to put into words. It’s an incredible moment, a lot of hard work throughout the years to get to this point. I have a lot of people to thank,” Judge said after accepting the award. “Any award you get it’s never an individual award, it’s a team effort through and through. It means a lot.”

“On behalf of the entire Yankees organization, I want to congratulate Aaron on wining the American League MVP Award,” Brian Cashman wrote in a statement. “He was incredible in every facet of the game in 2022 and put up a season that ranks with the very best of all time. Aaron’s success was especially meaningful for our organization as we’ve been able to watch him grow throughout his professional career into the player and leader he has become.”

Judge was the favorite to take home the hardware, and with good reason. The outfielder set a new Yankees and AL single-season record with 62 home runs, passing the previous iconic mark set by Roger Maris in 1961.

He slashed .311/.425/.686 on the season with those 62 home runs and 131 RBI, earning his fourth All-Star nod while leading the Yankees to 99 wins and the AL East title. He did, however, struggle in the postseason, particularly in the ALCS against the Astros, as the Yankees were swept in four games.

Judge bet on himself prior to Opening Day 2022, turning down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension offer from the Yankees, and the move certainly paid off as he’ll now likely garner a deal with a much higher average annual value.

Now the biggest name on the free agent market, Judge could potentially go from having the best single season in Yankees history to donning a new uniform the following Opening Day. Or, if he stays in pinstripes, Judge could continue on his trajectory towards getting his own plaque in Monument Park.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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