Aaron Judge’s historic season has earned him the highest possible individual honor.
The New York Yankees slugger was named the American League MVP on Thursday, winning the award after hitting 62 home runs in 2022. He beat Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, who won the award last season Judge received 28 of the first 30 votes, while Ohtani received the other two.
The selection marks the 23rd time a Yankee has won MVP.
In addition to chasing the AL’s all-time home run record, Judge also flirted with the triple crown. He led the league in RBI (131) and was second in batting average (.311), behind the Twins’ Luis Arráez (.316).
Although Judge had one of the best hitting seasons ever and led New York to the AL East crown in the process, several thought Ohtani had a strong case to win back-to-back MVPs after another dominant two-way season. Ohtani hit .273 with 34 home runs and 95 RBI and went 15-9 on the mound with a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts in 28 starts for the Angels.
Judge will look to capitalize on his MVP season in free agency. The slugger officially became a free agent earlier this month after his contract with the Yankees expired. He turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension before the season and is expected to sign a contract that will likely be one of the richest in MLB history.
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