Aaron Judge Obliterates Records In Historic Rookie Season

Baseball America Rookie of the Year

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Few rookies ever have had the kind of season that Aaron Judge had for the New York Yankees in 2017, the kind of season that made him an easy winner of Baseball America's Rookie of the Year award.

A 2013 first-round pick out of Fresno State, Judge broke Major League Baseball's record for most home runs by a rookie, hitting 52 to rank second in the major leagues this year and first in the American League. Judge also led the AL in runs scored (128) and walks (127) while powering the Yankees back to the playoffs in a 91-win season. Judge batted .284/.422/.627 overall, ranking second behind only the Angels' Mike Trout in on-base and slugging percentage among AL players.

Judge's 127 walks is the most ever by a big league rookie, breaking a record Ted Williams set in 1939, and his slugging mark ranks second all-time. Judge, whom AL managers ranked as the Best Power Hitter in BA's Best Tools survey, is the first Yankee to win BA's award since shortstop and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter was the top rookie in 1996.

“You watched him in the minor leagues and you saw the raw power and athletic ability," one pro scout told BA during the season. "You saw a big swing and high strikeout numbers. Then you have to ask yourself does he have the ability to make adjustments and shorten the swing. The answer was yes.’

“If anybody says they expected this I would have to call them a liar. Nobody in their right mind expected this.”

Here is Kyle Glaser’s story from May about Judge and the swing changes he undertook to unlock his power.

Here is Josh Norris’ video breakdown from June of Judge and how he has evolved as a hitter through the years:


1989 • Gregg Olson, RHP, Orioles

1990 • Sandy Alomar Jr., C, Indians

1991 • Jeff Bagwell, 1B, Astros

1992 • Pat Listach, SS, Brewers

1993 • Mike Piazza, C, Dodgers

1994 • Raul Mondesi, OF, Dodgers

1995 • Hideo Nomo, RHP, Dodgers

1996 • Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees

1997 • Nomar Garciaparra, SS, Red Sox

1998 • Kerry Wood, RHP, Cubs

1999 • Carlos Beltran, OF, Royals

2000 • Rafael Furcal, SS/2B, Braves

2001 • Albert Pujols, 1B/3B/OF, Cardinals

2002 • Eric Hinske, 3B, Blue Jays

2003 • Brandon Webb, RHP, Diamondbacks

2004 • Khalil Greene, SS, Padres

2005 • Huston Street, RHP, Athletics

2006 • Justin Verlander, RHP, Tigers

2007 • Ryan Braun, 3B, Brewers

2008 • Geovany Soto, C, Cubs

2009 • Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates

2010 • Jason Heyward, OF, Braves

2011 • Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Rays

2012 • Mike Trout, OF, Angels

2013 • Jose Fernandez, RHP, Marlins

2014 • Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox

2015 • Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, Cubs

2016 • Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers

2017 • Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees