Aaron Judge was dropping jaws before the Home Run Derby even began.
So it took absolutely no one by surprise that His Honor won the 2017 Home Run Derby on Monday night.
Judge beat out the Minnesota Twins’ Miguel Sano in the finals to win the competition, but the finale was only one of several highlights that marked Judge’s impressive night.
During batting practice, Judge bounced a ball off the roof of the Marlins Park stadium, a superhuman feat that would be a sign of things to come. Then came the first round, a bout with Marlins first baseman Justin Bour.
Aaron Judge 118 mph exit, 35° launch, 513 ft. pic.twitter.com/sUtaaaVAac
— Craig Hyatt (@HyattCraig) July 11, 2017
Bour slugged an astronomical 22 homers, but Judge edged him with 23 and moved on. Some are already calling the Bour-Judge clinic one of the best derby rounds ever displayed.
In the second round Judge took on the Dodger’s Cody Bellinger, a rookie who, like Judge, has lit up the scoreboards with one-hit round trips. It only took Judge 13 long balls to sink Bellinger’s battleship, but one of Judge’s homers for the round traveled an estimated 513 feet, by far the longest shot of the night.
What’s more, the ball would have flown much farther had it not been for the window that it ricocheted off of.
Aaron Judge then iced the cake in the championship round as he doled out 11 souvenirs and outlasted Sano by a single home run to lay claim to this year’s bragging rights.
On Monday night Judge became the first rookie to win an MLB home run competition in one of its many reincarnations.
Aaron Judge attributes his great season to Yankees hitting coach. pic.twitter.com/YYPw0D3XuG
— Denlesks (@Denlesks) July 11, 2017
It is almost frightening how hard this man can crush a ball. It’s the main reason why when other players are going yard, Judge is going yard… and bleachers, and top deck, and nosebleeds, and parking lot. I think it’s safe to say we’ve never seen a rookie with so much skill at the plate.
What’s not safe right now? Barry Bond’s records.