New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is 10 home runs away from breaking the MLB American League record of 61 in a season, set in 1961 by Yankees outfielder Roger Maris.
After Saturday, Judge has hit 52 homers on the season for the AL-leading Yankees, meaning he needs just 9 to tie and 10 to surpass Maris’ 61-year-old record.
The achievement would certainly help Judge’s AL MVP case and his bid for a new contract. The four-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger is set to become a free agent after the 2022 season.
He’s also matched his personal best of 52 homers, a feat he first achieved in 2017, en route to being crowned AL Rookie of the Year.
Here’s the latest from Judge.
Last home run: Judge hit his 52nd homer Saturday in the Yankees’ 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Judge is batting .296 with 114 RBIs.
Current pace: 64 (would tie for fifth-most in MLB history)
Games remaining: 29
Next game: The Yankees began a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. New York lost the series opener 9-0 and lost Game 2 by a score of 2-1. Judge has hit eight home runs in 15 games against Tampa Bay this season.
FOX Sports’ take: “Judge’s homers have often come in clusters this year, and everything might hinge on if he can time a run at just the right moment. We know this much. Judge is going to get more focus the nearer he comes to the target. He’s going to get paid handsomely, too, and probably by the Yankees, at season’s end. And he’s going to be the AL MVP ahead of Shohei Ohtani, if he keeps going anything like he has. Everything might hinge on if he can time a run at just the right moment.” — Martin Rogers
Contract status: Judge and the Yankees were unsuccessful in negotiating a long-term contract prior to the start of the 2022 season. The All-Star reportedly rejected a seven-year, $213.5 million extension in spring training, and the two parties avoided arbitration in June with a $19 million deal for 2022.
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