Aaron Judge chasing home run history: Yankees star on pace to break Roger Maris' record; will he get there?

Back in spring training New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge declined an extremely affordable seven-year agreement extension worth $213.5 million. It was a strong choice, no doubt about it, and Judge has actually reacted this season by doing what appeared difficult: he’s made himself more cash. Some gamers would break under that pressure. Judge hasn’t. He’s grew.

Through Aug. 14, Judge owns a .300/.398/.678 batting line and an MLB-leading 46 crowning achievement. He likewise leads the league in runs scored, RBI, overall bases, OPS, OPS+, and both the FanGraphs and Baseball Reference variations of WAR. The race for the crowning achievement title isn’t much of a race at all. 

Here is the MLB crowning achievement leaderboard since Aug. 14:

  1. Aaron Judge, Yankees: 45
  2. Kyle Schwarber, Phillies: 34
  3. Yordan Alvarez, Astros: 31
  4. Austin Riley, Braves:  30
  5. Pete Alonso, Mets: 29

Judge homered Friday versus the Red Sox, and he has actually now gone deep 13 times in 22 video games played in the 2nd half. He has more second-half homers than the Marlins. Literally the whole group.

Slugging 46 homers through 115 group video games puts Judge on speed to strike 65 crowning achievement this season (64.8, to be precise). We are now about 2 weeks into August and Judge has actually kept a crowning achievement speed that not just offers him an opportunity at 60 homers, however likewise an opportunity to set a brand-new American League single-season record. That is still Roger Maris’ 61 homers with the 1961 Yankees.

“I try not to, but people keep asking me that question,” Judge informed our Matt Snyder at the All-Star Game when asked whether he thinks of chasing after 60 homers. “… I might have a better answer at the end of the year if it happens. If I get to that point, we can talk about it. Until then, it’s just so hard. We’re only halfway through. Only being halfway there, it’s tough to talk about.”

There is some fantastic proportion in Judge’s pursuit of Maris’ AL crowning achievement record. Maris struck 61 homers 61 years earlier in 1961. He likewise used No. 9. Judge uses No. 99. Also, Judge’s crowning achievement Wednesday was the 203rd of his profession, the very same number Maris struck with the Yankees. 

The concern is, can Judge really break Maris’ record? Or reach 60 homers in basic? Here’s what you require to learn about Judge chasing Maris.

Single-season crowning achievement leaderboard

Before we go any even more, I need to keep in mind just 8 times in MLB history has a gamer struck 60 crowning achievement in a season, and 6 of the 8 came throughout the so-called Steroid Era. What we’re speaking about Judge perhaps doing does not take place frequently. Here are the 8 60-homer seasons in history:

  1. Barry Bonds, 2001 Giants: 73
  2. Mark McGwire, 1998 Cardinals: 70
  3. Sammy Sosa, 1998 Cubs: 66
  4. Mark McGwire, 1999 Cardinals: 65
  5. Sammy Sosa, 2001 Cubs: 64
  6. Sammy Sosa, 1999 Cubs: 63
  7. Roger Maris, 1961 Yankees: 61
  8. Babe Ruth, 1927 Yankees: 60

Giancarlo Stanton made MLB’s newest perform at 60 homers, going deep 59 times in his 2017 NL MVP season. That consists of a really mind-blowing stretch in which Stanton struck 30 homers in a 48-game period. Ryan Howard punched 58 homers in his 2006 NL MVP season. Even in this homer-happy period, it is seldom a gamer makes a genuine perform at 60 dingers like Judge is this year.

What Judge has actually done currently

While we’re concentrated on the number of crowning achievement Judge will end up the season with, it is very important to note we’re discussing this since of what Judge has actually done to date. He was just the 4th gamer in history to strike 45 homers through his group’s very first 112 video games. The other 3 gamers did it a combined 5 times:

Barry Bonds, 2001 Giants

53 (2.11 G per HR)

73 (2.22 G per HR)

Mark McGwire, 1998 Cardinals

47 (2.38 G per HR)

70 (2.31 G per HR)

Mark McGwire, 1996 Athletics

47 (2.38 G per HR)

52 (3.12 G per HR)

Mark McGwire, 1999 Cardinals

47 (2.38 G per HR)

65 (2.49 G per HR)

Babe Ruth, 1921 Yankees

46 (2.43 G per HR)

59 (2.59 G per HR)

McGwire’s crowning achievement rate slipped substantially after his very first 109 video games in 1996. The others all basically kept their crowning achievement speed through the remainder of the season. When you’re chasing after 60 homers, I reckon the very first 30 are a lot easier to strike than the last 30 for lots of factors, consisting of tiredness. The hardest part of this chase is still in front of Judge. He’s homered as soon as in the 3 video games because, so he’s off to a great start there. 

“Aaron is cut out for this. If we’re a month from now, six weeks from now, and he’s knocking on the door of those kind of things, and we understand the attention that’s going to come with that, I can’t think of someone more equipped to handle it,” Yankees supervisor Aaron Boone informed Newsday previously this month. “I think you can start at the start of this year with all the talk centered around the contract and how that’s affected him. He’s built for this. I think anything you throw at him, whether he gets to a number or doesn’t get to a number, I don’t think that the circumstances and the pressure is going to be a reason he does or doesn’t.”  

What Judge requires to do the remainder of the season

Judge requires to strike 15 crowning achievement in New York’s last 47 video games to match Maris’ AL record, suggesting he requires 16 homers to climax and 14 to reach 60. 

Here are the speeds Judge requires to keep to reach those turning point amounts to:

62 homers (brand-new AL single-season record)



61 homers (ties Maris’ AL record)



60 homers (ninth 60-homer season ever)



Judge’s existing speed


If you’re believing huge, Judge will require to strike a crowning achievement as soon as every 1.74 video games from here on out to match (not even beat) Bonds’ single-season record of 73 crowning achievement. As much enjoyable as that chase would be, Judge will not arrive. Unless Judge gets nuclear hot the next couple of weeks and capturing Bonds end up being possible, Maris’ AL record is the only reasonable target.

Judge’s staying schedule

Judge definitely plays in the best house ballpark to make a run at 60 homers. Yankee Stadium is among the most crowning achievement pleased ballparks in the major leagues, though Judge isn’t precisely padding his overall with brief best field deck cheapies. His 412-foot typical crowning achievement range is fifth-highest in baseball amongst gamers with a minimum of 20 homers.

According to Statcast, Judge has actually struck just 2 crowning achievement this season that would have been homers at Yankee Stadium and just Yankee Stadium: a 364-footer vs. Shane McClanahan on June 15 and another 364-footer versus Jonathan Heasley on July 30.

That crowning achievement versus Heasley was Judge’s 200th profession homer. He reached 200 profession homers in just 671 video games, 2nd least ever behind Ryan Howard (658).

It is not a surprise Judge’s profession crowning achievement rate in your home (one every 13.1 plate looks) is greater than his crowning achievement rate on the roadway (one every 16.3 plate looks). The Yankees will play 25 of their staying 50 video games in your home, so Judge will have neither a huge home-field benefit nor drawback as he pursues Maris’ record. Here is the breakdown of those video games 50 video games:

Yankee Stadium



Fenway Park



Globe Life Field



RingCentral Coliseum



Angel Stadium



Rogers Centre



American Family Field



Tropicana Field



What these numbers imply is Yankee Stadium pumps up crowning achievement by right-handed batters to 112 percent the league average. RingCentral Coliseum, on the other hand, reduces righty homers to just 69 percent the league average. The greater the number, the more homer friendly the ballpark plays, a minimum of when it concerns righty homers.

The great news: Judge will play 36 of the group’s staying 47 video games in a great ballpark for righty homers. The problem: the Yankees finish up their season with 4 makeup video games in Texas (that is among the series delayed by the owners’ lockout), so, if Judge is approaching on 60 homers in the last week, he’ll need to get it in a ballpark hostile to righty power players.

The other great news: I’m not totally sure crowning achievement park elements use to Judge. As kept in mind earlier, his power is massive and just a few gamers have actually balanced more range on their homers this season. He can strike the ball out of any part of any park. That stated, to get 60 homers, Judge will require a couple of cheapies along the method. The schedule appears to operate in his favor.

What about his work?

This is very important. The Yankees have 47 video games staying, however Judge probably will not play all of them. The Yankees are all-in on load management, have actually been for several years, and they seldom differ their rest schedule. In truth, Judge ran out the lineup last Wednesday despite the fact that the Yankees had an off-day Thursday. They utilized it as a chance to offer him 2 straight day of rests his feet.

Judge has actually been completely healthy this season, not even a single everyday injury circumstance, and he has actually begun 107 of his group’s 115 video games (he’s pinch-hit 4 times). A comparable speed would have Judge beginning 43 of New York’s last 47 video games. Four less starts might truly cut into his crowning achievement overall. It might cost Judge a chance at Maris’ AL record too.

The Yankees are a postseason lock and the supreme objective is winning the World Series (Judge himself would inform you that), so they will do what they believe is finest to ensure the group remains in the very best position heading into October. That stated, they are not unconcerned to the crowning achievement chase and the prospective history, particularly because it’ll put a great deal of butts in the seats in September. How could the Yankees sit Judge in your home in September?

My guess — and I stress this is simply a guess — is the Yankees will modify their rest schedule a bit, and instead of offer Judge complete day of rests down the stretch, they’ll offer him more (possibly a lot more) time at DH. Judge’s rest schedule is absolutely a thing to keep an eye on, especially as we enter into September and have a much better concept of whether Judge truly has a shot at Maris’ AL record.

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