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Aaron Judge's Historic Season is More Than Home Runs

The Yankees slugger is doing something we have not seen in years, and without chemical help.

I have to warn you about something. There are some opinions of mine I am about to share that are going to sound dangerously boomer-ish. You should read it anyway. I am often right and do not intend on being wrong in this piece. Just kidding. I am wrong all the time. I predicted Aaron Judge would hit 50 home runs this season. I had no idea I was taking the "under" number.

Look At These Statistics

As of Wednesday, September 21st, Aaron Judge leads Major League Baseball in these statistics.

Runs, home runs, RBIs, OBP, slugging percentage, OPS, total bases, extra-base hits, and fWAR. Save me your silly triple crown, leading in all those statistics is jaw-droppingly impressive. Speaking of the triple crown, Judge can win this award, as well. He currently leads the American League in batting average by one percentage point. If he wins the Triple Crown, you can call this what it is: the best offensive season in MLB history.

Qualifiers and Asterisks

Yes, I know. Barry Bonds. Look, in my first article for En Fuego, I said that Bonds should be included in the Hall of Fame. His accomplishments are worth lauding and even though he is not a very nice person, they are accomplishments worth appreciating. He did, however, take steroids and there is no way you can argue that. Bonds and all the other steroid-era hitters played in an era inflated by offense. In 2001, the season where Bonds hit 73 home runs, at least 10 players in MLB hit over 40 home runs. Between 1998-2005, MLB hit over 5,000 home runs a season. In 2022, MLB currently has 4,800 home runs. The overall batting average in 2022 is 20 points below the average in 2001. Judge is crushing the ball in a down year for offense. In 2001, there was an average of 1.12 home runs per game. In 2022, that number is down to 1.08.

Let's just say the obvious, too. Aaron Judge is not using any chemical enhancers. It is universally accepted that the big guys—Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, all those guys—were juicing. Appreciate them as much as you want and call it what it is, but they were on the juice. Judge isn't. Do we really need any more of an argument/point than this? We shouldn't.

In a down offensive season and without the help of steroids to strengthen him up, Judge is about to break "The OG" single-season home run record.

Appreciate It

With the unending "Judge vs. Ohtani" MVP conversations, we should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Appreciate Shohei Ohtani's unique greatness. Appreciate that Judge is having one of the best (if not the best) offensive seasons that we have ever seen.