The New York Yankees have been the best team in all of Major League Baseball this season and a huge part of that has been thanks to star outfielder Aaron Judge and what he’s done offensively. However, on Friday, he showed that his defense should be equally praised with a catch-of-the-year candidate against the Kansas City Royals.
Judge flashed his size and sheer athleticism in right field on the first at-bat of the game, robbing Royals catcher MJ Melendez of a sure home run at the wall.
Flight 99 cleared for takeoff. pic.twitter.com/th8w1susCg
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 29, 2022
This terrific play has many around the MLB world taking to social media to yet again praise Judge, who is quickly making a very sound case as the best player in all of baseball.
— KPMG U.S. News (@KPMGUS_News) July 29, 2022
Aaron Judge… more like AIRon Judge 🐰
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) July 29, 2022
Aaron Judge said GIMME THAT pic.twitter.com/J6eKEUvYVI
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) July 29, 2022
The Verdict is in:
— Ryan Field (@RyanFieldABC) July 29, 2022
While many overlook Judge’s defense, he has “robbed” 8 balls that would have been home runs since 2017 according to ESPN Stats & Info, which is second to only veteran outfielder Lorenzo Cain in that timeframe.
That was Aaron Judge's 8th career home run robbery (including playoffs).
Since his first one in 2017, only Lorenzo Cain has more (9). https://t.co/be4UclYbH3
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 29, 2022
Judge decided to bet on himself this past offseason and not sign a seven-year $$213.5 million offer from the Yankees, and it certainly appears to be paying off. The New York Yankees and Judge eventually avoided arbitration and settled on a one-year $19 million contract to keep him in pinstripes this season.
Given his impressive play, he will almost certainly be getting a potentially record-setting contract in the very near future, whether that is with the Yankees or elsewhere.
Moments like this home-run robbery prove Judge’s massive worth to a baseball team, and the Yankees may want to go ahead and get his contract situation figured out if they want to remain one of the best teams in baseball for years to come.