MLB Home Run Derby: Giancarlo Stanton vs Aaron Judge
Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are currently the two biggest behemoths in baseball when it comes to the long ball. There's no doubt the New York Yankees would have been severely disadvantaged without Judge at the plate. The Marlins would fare even worse without Stanton, because apart from Marcell Ozuna, they are lacking in the power hitting department. Apart from their values to their teams though, how do Judge and Stanton compare with one another, and ultimately who wins the home run race?
The Obvious Answer Is the Best Answer
It shouldn't come as a surprise that yes, for the 2017 season, Stanton has the home run race locked up. He's sitting at 54 home runs, and it seems that he's been blasting a few ever since the season began. In fact, Stanton's already hit twice as many HRs as he did last season and the season before. The 27-year-old is batting .279 with an OBP of .375 and SLG of .636. He's batted in a stunning 113 runs this season and there's still two weeks left. It's clear he's way past the home run derby.
His 54 home runs are indeed fascinating, and even if hits an unlikely slump, he'll still have an incredible season joining the 50 home rub club along with some of the most famous... and infamous... players in history. Stanton is actually the first since Jose Bautista in 2010 to hit this many, and if he stays on pace for his projected 60, he'll be the first since 2001 to hit that many. With a 6'6, 245lb frame, he's got the raw power to be a force to be reckoned with.
It's great to be a baseball fan these days.
Looking at his past years, the Miami Marlin has had an incredibly consistent 8 year career up till this point. Injuries notwithstanding, the slugger has been trending upward for years. It wasn't until June of this season though that he truly found his swing, and hasn't looked back.
Well, he does kind of look back... at the pitcher that is when he's in the box. His close footed and more wound up stance is what allows him to get those big swings, and it's clearly helped from mid-June onwards, eclipsing his still great production from earlier in the season.
Aaron Judge Still Not There
It's true. The rookie has had an amazing season. He's produced more home runs than Stanton has in his previous seven years in the majors. Judge has the same kind of build as Stanton, but at 6'7 and 282lbs, he might hold a slight advantage if he can control his muscle mass and use it to form a better swinging technique. That's not to take away from his current season, and it's clear that the homers will continue to come for Judge. The All-Star already has 41 home runs, good for second in the league, but it's still leagues behind Stanton.
Judge has less plate appearances than Stanton, but even with similar numbers, Stanton would still be ahead. Putting homers aside, Judge falters in the strikeout department, accumulating an unbelievable 193 to Stanton's 147. Pitchers are scared of him though, and it shows in his walk total, where he has 110. Stanton just has 77. On his team, he's played a heavy role, but the Fish have arguably needed Giancarlo more than the Yanks have needed Judge.
He's recently been in a slump, but New York had enough depth to play around that and stay in the race. Without Stanton, Miami would have been out with the fishes long ago.
Is there even a race?
Let's face it. At this point in the season, Stanton is supreme. On pace for 60 home runs, he could actually break Roger Maris' record of 61 in a season made back in 1961.
Even Maris' family is rooting for him to break through. There have been hitters who have hit over 61 homers in a season, but are usually discounted because they took place during the Steroid Era, highlighted by Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds.
So no, there's no race between Stanton and Judge this season. Stanton is racing against Maris at this point, and after Judge's slump, his race is now with Khris Davis and J.D. Martinez. Sure all should rise for the honorable Yankee, and maybe in a few years Stanton will have to, but for now, the Marlins phenom doesn't need to stand.
Is Aaron Judge a better slugger than Giancarlo Stanton, given their different introductions into the league? If you liked this article, let us know what you think in the comment section below and be sure to share! If you like either the Yankees or Marlins in their upcoing series, head on down to Sports Interaction and bet with some of the best odds in the business!
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