If the season ended today, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge would win the Triple Crown.
As a rookie.
With two homers on Sunday — one a highlight-reel worthy 496-foot shot — he upped his mark to 21 this season and that goes right alongside a .344 batting average and 47 RBI. Will the Triple Crown pace continue? Who knows, but the power is a barometer of baseball card potential and he’s on pace to be among the best rookies in MLB history.
He’s on pace to top the 40-homer mark and that’s been done just one other time by a rookie. Even if he struggles some, by season’s end he’s likely to be very close to — if not among — the top 10 sluggers for most home run seasons by a rookie.
With 10 homers last month, New York Yankees rookie outfielder Aaron Judge tied the major-league record for newcomers — a mark set by Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies last year.
Judge and Story are different stories when it comes to baseball cards, though, as the Yankee is readily available — and has been for years — on MLB cardboard and has plenty of autographs and Rookie Cards with more on the way. (Yes, Story also had ink and prospect cards — about 40 autos — before his arrival last season, but he wasn’t a big-market, can’t-miss guy who took his time to arrive with his presence in most prospect products before that time came. That’s Judge.)
Sure, it’s a long season, but right now Judge is a runaway to win the American League Rookie of the Year award with his homer total doubling the next-closest rookie and his 20 RBI in 22 games also leading all newcomers. He’s also hitting .303 so far, which ain’t shabby as he was a career .278 hitter in the minors. And, again, collectors (and dealers) benefit from this start as he’s got plenty of cards — new and old.