Hail to the king! Aaron Judge took the crown at the 2017 Home Run Derby after blasting so more than 40 balls out of the park. As he basks in his glory, get to know more about this rookie New York Yankees’ slugger.
1. Yes, he’s just a rookie – and the first one to ever win the Home Run Derby. It was absolutely amazing to watch Aaron Judge step up to the plate and knock out 47 homers during his time at the 2017 Home Run Derby. Four of his nearly fifty home runs travelled more than 500 feet! Yet, perhaps the most shocking thing about this 25-year-old New York Yankees outfielder is that he’s only in his first season in the majors. Though he made his first appearance in pinstripes on Aug. 13, 2016, he was sidelined with a grade-2 right oblique strain a month later, according to the New York Post. His true rookie season began in 2017, and so, he’s the first rookie to ever win the MLB Home Run Derby.
He’s huge! If sports fans start calling Aaron a baseball giant, they’re not kidding. He stands nearly seven feet tall (6’7, to be exact.) He’s actually one of only seven MLB hitters to crack the 6’7 mark, according to the YES Network. On top of that, he’s 282 pounds. However, if you think a seven-foot-tall, 300-pound giant would be slow, think again. While playing for Fresno State, he had an 88% success rate when it came to stealing bases. So, he’s big, strong, and fast. Talk about a triple threat.
Aaron nearly ended up playing football instead of baseball. So, about those stats above – a 6’7, 282 lb. giant who can sprint like Usain Bolt? That sounds more like a football star than a baseball slugger, so it’s no surprise that Aaron played football and baseball in high school (technically, he was a three-sport athlete, as he also was part of the Linden High School basketball team.) Aaron had 54 receptions for 969 yards and 17 touchdowns, according to NBSN’s Ross Tucker, who said that Notre Dame, Stanford, and UCLA were some of the schools that tried to recruit Aaron as a tight end.
Aaron Judge had 54recs for 969yds & 17TDs as high school WR. Was recruited by Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA, etc. as a TE. #stud
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) July 11, 2017
Aaron Judge is your 2017 HR Derby champion! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/uEGJFsZVQo
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 11, 2017
He’s adopted. A day after he was born (on April 26, 1992) Aaron was adopted by Patty and Wayne Judge, two teachers who lived in Linden, California. Aaron didn’t find out about his adoption until he was about 10 years old. “I knew I didn’t look like them,” he said, per North Jersey.com. “I finally said, ‘OK, what’s going on?’ and that’s when they told me. I was fine with that. They were the only parents I ever knew. It actually wasn’t a big deal.”
He’s setting all kinds of records. Aaron keeps himself motivated by keeping a note on his phone that reads “.179,” his batting average with the Yankees in 2016. It’s working. As of April 25, 2017, he had the sixth-longest home run in the Majors, blasting a 457-foot homer on April 22. He’s joined six other Yankees in recording RBI in five of his first seven MLB games. He also has whacked three of the hardest-hit baseballs in the 2017 season, sending the balls flying at 115.9, 116.5 and 117.2 mph, respectively. With the second half of the season left, who knows what records he’ll break before the year’s done.
Are you a fan of Aaron Judge, HollywoodLifers? Do you think the Yankees will win the World Series?