Even while trying to absorb the stinging realization that the Yankees' season had ended with a loss in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, CC Sabathia glanced toward Aaron Judge's locker in the visiting clubhouse at Minute Maid Park and perfectly summed up how the outfielder's rookie campaign would be remembered. "A great year. The best rookie season I've ever seen -- I think all of us have ever seen," Sabathia said. While Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox and Trey Mancini of the Orioles enjoyed fine debuts, Judge's performance almost seemed to be from another planet, with the remarkable summer of "All Rise" helping the Yankees finish one win shy of the World Series in what was widely expected to be a rebuilding year in the Bronx. The gentle giant from tiny Linden, Calif., claimed the Big Apple as his own, shattering Mark McGwire's rookie record by belting an AL-leading 52 home runs. In 155 games, Judge compiled a .284/.422/.627 slash line, leading the AL in runs (128) and walks (127) while ranking second in RBIs (114), on-base percentage (.422) and slugging percentage (.627). Judge joined Ted Williams (1939) as the only player to tally at least 100 runs, 100 RBIs and 100 walks in his rookie season. "I'm still a work in progress; there's a lot of things I need to improve on," Judge said. "Defensively, hitting-wise, running the bases. There's always room to improve. That motivates me to get a little better every day." There's a scary thought for big league hurlers. A four-time winner of the AL Rookie of the Month Award, Judge's dominance is even more evident when whittling his competition down to just his rookie class.
Despite record-setting 2017, Judge says he's still a work in progress
MLB.com | Nov 10