The large baseball son of the American League, a major presence on the field and in many fans' hearts, was heading for this award from the minute people realized his early-season production wasn't a fluke. But during the year, Judge specifically told his agent Page Odle to collect all the endorsement possibilities for season's end.
The NL Rookie of the Year was to be announced later Monday, with Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers a clear favourite. But they were 9-11 when they promoted Bellinger on April 25 - as an outfielder, following injuries to Andre Ethier and Joc Pederson.
He quickly became a fan favorite across the league during the first half of the season, hitting 30 home runs before the All-Star break. Judge set a home run record for American League rookies, and Bellinger did the same in the National League. Bellinger also hit.267/.352/.581 for the Dodgers and played above-average defense.
Injuries to Gonzalez soon opened a spot for Bellinger at his natural position, first base. The initial plan was for Bellinger to join the big league team as a September call-up. They're now providing me another way to share my passion for the game.
"As he blasted his way to four AL Rookie of the Month awards and two AL Player of the Month awards, Judge kept that ".179" prominently in his phone, as a reminder of where he'd been and what he wanted to accomplish. The other NL MVP finalist: Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks, winners of a wild-card berth. He took off from there, leading all AL players in homers (52), runs (128), walks (127) and strikeouts (208).
And it was Judge's quick ascension that greatly helped to boost a youthful club into contention, bringing the Yankees within one win of a World Series appearance. It's the first time in 20 years that both Rookie of the Year winners were unanimous and fourth time it's happened in Major League Baseballhistory. "I didn't make adjustments".
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