Oh snap, baseball fans, this year’s Home Run Derby just got really really extra real: Aaron Judge is in.
Judge, the 6-foot-7 New York Yankees titan who leads MLB in homers and is challenging for the AL triple crown, has been teasing us for a while. He said he’d been invited, but hadn’t made up his mind. Now he’s capping his breakout first half with the one thing every baseball fan wants to see — Judge in the Derby, the first step toward a potential showdown with Giancarlo Stanton.
Forget Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, we’ve got our fight of the summer right here.
Judge made his announcement Monday in a Twitter video though the Yankees account, and he dropped another piece of important info, slugging teammate Gary Sanchez will be joining him in Miami for the derby:
You've asked, he's answered. Check out which Yankee(s) are headed to Miami to participate in the HR Derby… pic.twitter.com/OoUxIaWFuo
— Text A3 to 89269 (@Yankees) July 3, 2017
Others confirmed for the Derby so far beyond Stanton (21 homers), Sanchez (13) and Judge (27): Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano (20) and Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger (24), whose dad will pitch to him. Bryce Harper said Sunday, he was out.
The Judge hype is real. He’s got 27 homers before the Fourth of July, which is the most in MLB by three. Not bad for a rookie, right? He’s also put on some epic batting practice displays, so this oughta be a quite a show.
The question is whether Judge can hang with Stanton, who last year put on the type of performance the Home Run Derby has never seen before. He hit 61 homers throughout the event, beating the old record by 20. They’re playing this one is Stanton’s home park too, so Judge isn’t going against just any geek off the street.
As far as we’re concerned, now that Judge is in, the July 11 Home Run Derby can’t come quick enough.
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