Aaron Judge has won American League Rookie of the Year honors, becoming the first New York Yankees player to receive the award since Derek Jeter in 1996.
Judge won the award unanimously in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, announced Monday on MLB Network. The 6-foot-7 slugger’s victory was a foregone conclusion after he led the American League with 52 home runs and helped the Yankees reach the postseason as a wild card. Judge is also a finalist for the AL MVP award.
Best rookie season ever! Looking back at Aaron Judge’s greatest hits
Homers, homers and more homers. Add a special section dedicated to him at Yankee Stadium, some October heroics and a Rookie of the Year nod, and you have a truly memorable 2017 for the biggest Baby Bomber.
Dodgers’ Bellinger honored as NL’s top rookie
Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger was named the National League Rookie of the Year, beating finalists Josh Bell of the Pirates and Paul DeJong of the Cardinals.
Which top rookies will deliver bigger things in 2018?
As good as Cody Bellinger was this year, he’s just getting started. While some elite first-year players will use 2017 as a springboard for more, some will have a hard time topping last season.
Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 and Fred Lynn in 1975 are the only players to win the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season
Judge’s AL-leading home run total broke the rookie record of 49 set by Oakland’s Mark McGwire in 1987. He ranked first in the AL in runs (128) and walks (127).
The Yankees entered this season with marginal expectations by their standards, but the prodigious power of Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez transformed them almost overnight into an exciting young team with tremendous potential.
The knocks against Judge were his 208 strikeouts — only five times has a player whiffed more in one season — and extended slump after he won the Home Run Derby. But he rebounded with a huge September when New York really needed it, leading the AL in homers (15), RBIs (32), runs (29), on-base percentage (.463) and slugging percentage (.889).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.