On Monday night, with no regular season games on the docket, New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge continued his season of dominance, claiming the MLB Home Run Derby with an absolute laser show at the dish.
He got his biggest challenge from Miami Marlins first baseman Justin Bour, who was hitting in his hometown stadium.
In their Round 1 matchup, Judge bested Bour with 23 home runs in the allotted four minutes. Bour’s 22 home runs were the second-most any of the eight contestants hit that night.
“I felt sorry for Justin, man,” said former major league utility man Clay Bellinger, who was pitching to his son, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger. “He had the home crowd. He was hitting bomb after bomb after bomb. He hit 20-something and still lost. It’s a shame.
“With the balls these guys hit, it’s not even fair. [Judge] mis-hits balls 450 feet. That’s what happens when you’re 6-[foot]-7, 280 and you’ve got all that mass behind you. It makes it easier, that’s for sure. He’s doing something right.”
I don’t feel as bad for Bour as I do for the baseballs Judge sent packing.
In defeating Bour, Bellinger, and Miguel Sano in one-on-one matchups for the victory, Judge mashed four 500-foot home runs. Two of them—and 504-foot bomb and a 513-foot one—came on consecutive pitches in Round 2.
No one else hit a single 500-foot dinger.
Judge leads the majors with 30 home runs, a .691 slugging percentage, and a 1.139 OBP. He leads the American League in walks (61) and on-base percentage (.448).
“It was a blast,” Judge said of his win. “I enjoyed every minute of it—watching the other guys swing, coming here early and talking to the media. Everything about today was fantastic.”