Judge won the award unanimously in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, announced Monday on MLB Network. The 6-foot-7 slugger’s victory was a foregone conclusion after he led the American League with 52 home runs and helped the Yankees reach the postseason as a wild card. Judge is also a finalist for the MVP award.
Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 and Fred Lynn in 1975 are the only players to win the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season
Judge clocked an AL-best 52 homers to break a rookie record that lasted 30 years. He ranked first in runs (128) and walks (127) while helping the Yankees reach the playoffs as the league’s No. 1 wild card.
The knocks against Judge are his 208 strikeouts — only five times has a player whiffed more in one season — and extended slump after winning the All-Star Home Run Derby. But he rebounded with a huge September when New York really needed it, leading the AL in homers (15), RBI (32), runs (29), on-base percentage (.463) and slugging percentage (.889).
Judge has become the nexus of New York’s new generation of Baby Bombers and his No. 99 is the highest-selling jersey in the major leagues.