New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is 11 home runs away from breaking the MLB American League record of 61 in a season, set in 1961 by Yankees outfielder Roger Maris.
Entering Saturday, Judge has hit 51 homers on the season for the AL-leading Yankees, meaning he needs just 10 to tie and 11 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 only one home run shy of matching his personal best, which came in 2017, when he led the league with 52 homers en route to being crowned AL Rookie of the Year.
Here’s the latest from Judge.
Last home run: Judge hit his 51st homer Tuesday in the Yankees’ 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Judge is batting .294 with 113 RBIs.
Aaron Judge blasts No. 51
Aaron Judge’s 51st homer gives the visiting Yankees a huge lead over the Angels.
Current pace: 63 (would tie for sixth-most in MLB history)
Games remaining: 30
Next game: The Yankees began a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. New York lost the series opener 9-0. Although Judge has hit seven home runs in 14 games against Tampa Bay this season, he registered only a walk and two strikeouts on Friday.
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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