The New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge look to mutually benefit as new teammates in the home run leaders category. Stanton was last year’s National League leader and now joins Judge, the American League leader in 2017.
Stanton had the most dingers of any player with 59 en route to his MVP award with the Miami Marlins. It was his eighth season and by far the most productive offensively. He also had 132 RBI and finished with a .281 batting average.
Judge wowed the Big Apple in his first full season with the Yankees. The 25 year old had 52 homers, 114 RBI and a .284 batting average. When he received the Rookie of the Year award at a dinner in late January, he was quick to thank his parents.
“An award like this is never an individual award,” he said. “It’s always a group effort from the people that support us day in and day out.”
While Stanton is the favorite to win this year’s home run title at 5/1, Judge is next at 8/1. The next closest player is Washington’s Bryce Harper at 15/1.
Newest Yankee All Smiles
When Stanton was traded to the Yankees from the Miami Marlins it was a shock to the baseball world. The Bronx Bombers were considered long shots to land the All Star, with teams such as San Francisco and St. Louis the teams most mentioned to land him.
Miami’s President Derek Jeter, the future Hall of Fame Yankee shortstop, accepted a deal with his former club. Stanton, who had a no trade clause in his contract, approved the move and talked about how excited he was to head north.
“This has been an amazing ride and I’m excited to be here in New York and experience the big city, bright lights, and this is going to be a lot of fun for me,” he said.
One group that doesn’t figure to enjoy themselves is opposing pitchers. With Stanton and Judge together in the lineup it will pose logistical nightmares for hurlers and pitching coaches who have to figure out how to face two dominant batters back to back.
It will be the fourth time in MLB history that the two leagues home run leaders played for the same team the following season. It will also be the second time that two teammates who hit 50 or more dingers in the previous season are teammates. The other was another pair of Yankees, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in 1962.
Not surprisingly the Yankees are also the favorites to win the World Series in the fall. The team began as a +1100 to win the Fall Classic, but when the trade was announced the team jumped to +500. The Dodgers are behind them at +600 and recently lost their number-two pitcher, Yu Darvish, to free agency. Defending World Series champions Houston are also a +600.