A pair of New York Yankees players made big news as the team eliminated the Cleveland Indians from the playoffs and prevented the Tribe from making a return trip to the World Series.
First, Didi Gregorious hit a pair of home runs in the fifth and deciding game. He became the first Yankees’ player to have a multiple-HR game since Raul Ibanez in 2012.
Eighteen players have hit two or more HRs in a post-season game on more than one occasion. Yankees legend Babe Ruth did it four times, while Carlos Beltran and Manny Ramirez each did in three playoff games (15 players had multiple home runs in two post-season games).
Current Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge made news for not hitting the ball; in fact, he struck out four times for the third time in the series. He became the 57th different player to strike out four or more times in a post-season game (it has now happened 68 times). Judge also now holds the MLB record for most post-season games with four or more strikeouts with three. Nine players struck out four or more times in two games in their playoff careers.
TODAYSPORTSTAT-July 11, 2017
In honor of New York Yankees’ rookie Aaron Judge winning last night’s Home Run Derby, here’s a stat celebrating the MLB’s power-hitting rookies.
Judge and fellow rookie Cody Bellinger have over 20 home runs in their first seasons in the majors (Judge has 30; Bellinger has 25). Last season there were six rookies who had 20+ home runs in their first season in the big leagues (Tommy Joseph, Nomar Mazara, Gary Sanchez, Ryan Schimpf, Corey Seager and Trevor Story). That tied the record for most rookies with 20+ HRs in a season (it was also done in 1964, 1987 and 2006).
That record could be in jeopardy this season. In addition to Judge and Bellinger, there are eight other rookies who have 11 or more home runs at the All-Star break: Matt Davidson (18 with the White Sox), Hunter Renfroe (16 with the Padres), Josh Bell (16 with the Pirates), Trey Mancini (14 with the Orioles), Ian Happ (13 with the Cubs), Andrew Benintendi (12 with the Red Sox), Jorge Bonifacio (11 with the Royals) and Yuli Gurriel (11 with the Astros).
A pair of rookie outfielders already have over 50 RBI this season and could make a serious run at a 100-RBI season in 2017: The Yankees’ Aaron Judge (59) and the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger (55).
Since 1901, there have been 43 rookies who reached 100 RBI in a season. The last player was the White Sox Jose Abreu who had 107 RBI in his rookie season in 2014. The other 100-RBI rookies this century are Ryan Zimmerman (2006), Hideki Matsui (2003) and Albert Pujols (2001).
The rookie record for most RBI in a season is held by Ted Williams with 145 in 1939. Walt Dropo is second on the list with 144 in 1950.
One of the big stories (pun intended) of the 2017 baseball season is the New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge. The six-foot-seven Judge currently leads the majors with 23 HRs, 60 runs scored, and tops the bigs in the on-base percentage stat.
Judge, who plays the outfield, has been receiving attention as the odd-on favorite to win the A.L. Rookie of the Year this season and has been mentioned as a leading candidate for the league MVP. With the Yankees sitting atop the A.L. East, Judge has been a major reason for their resurgence this season and would receive significant consideration.
Should Judge win the A.L. ROY and the A.L. MVP in 2017, he would become only the third player in baseball history to win both those awards in the same season. The others: Boston’s Fred Lynn in 1975 and Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.
Let’s take a quick look at the players who won a league ROY Award and finished in the Top Five in the league MVP that same season. All total, there are 13 players who fit the category.
Won league ROY and won league MVP
1975: Fred Lynn, A.L.
2001: Ichiro Suzuki, A.L.
Won league ROY and finished second in league MVP
2012: Mike Trout, A.L.
Won league ROY and finished third in league MVP
1948: Alvin Dark, N.L.
1952: Joe Black, N.L.
2016: Corey Seager, N.L.
Won league ROY and finished fourth in league MVP
1964: Tony Oliva, A.L.
1972: Carlton Fisk, A.L.
2001: Albert Pujols, N.L.
2014: Jose Abreu, A.L.
Won league ROY and finished fifth in league MVP
1947: Jackie Robinson, N.L.
1960: Ron Hansen, A.L.
1981: Fernando Valenzuela, N.L.