The Rookie Home Run Race

(Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger are shocking all of baseball with the insane numbers they’re putting up. The two rookies haven’t even played half the season, yet, but they’re the top two home run hitters in baseball!

Currently, my guess for the coming Home Run Derby looks as if the participants will be Giancarlo Stanton (he’s already confirmed that he’ll try to defend his title), Joey Votto, Scott Schebler, Mike Moustakas, Logan Morrison, Joey Gallo, and, somehow, Bellinger and Judge! The two lead their respective leagues and soon it won’t even be any close.

The New York Yankees star rookie right fielder has been absolutely tearing up the Major League level. The Yankees have hit a small slump, but Judge cannot be to blame. Since the month of June began, Judge has hit nine homers, batted .341, had 32 hits, and 22 RBIs.

The Los Angeles Dodgers star rookie left fielder has not been “out in left field.” He has been a major factor in the Dodger’s 18-5 month of June and their current ten game winning streak, having had four two home run games just in this month! Since the month began, Bellinger has hit thirteen home runs, has batted .307, had 27 hits, and 26 RBIs.

On the year, apart from them being on separate teams, this race is not unlike 1961’s home run race between Yankees’ center fielder Mickey Mantle and Yankees’ right fielder Roger Maris. It looked an awful lot like one, if not both of the Bronx outfielders would break former Yankees’ right fielder Babe Ruth’s single season home run record of 60 bombs. Unfortunately, while Maris broke the record, finishing at 61, and left an injured Mantle at 54, the MLB Commissioner, Ford Frick, decided to put an asterisk next to the new record because Maris did it in 162 games, while Ruth only had 154.

The only difference is that Judge has played 71 of the Yankees 73 games and Bellinger has only played 57 of the Dodgers 77 games. In 71 games, Judge has hit 26 home runs, yet in 57 games Bellinger has hit 24. That means that while Judge only averages about .366 homers a game, Bellinger averages about .421 homers a game.

With those averages, assuming neither player gets injured or hits a slump, Bellinger will soon surge past Judge and into an unbeatable first place. LA has the best win percentage in the National League, second in all of baseball only to the Houston Astros, and the Yankees’ losing streak of late has allowed their rival Boston Red Sox back into the American League East picture, as they are now tied for first. It seems like this race is going to not only come out with Bellinger beating Judge, but LA absolutely crushing the NL and NY being overwhelmed by the AL.

Now, we don’t know who every participant in Miami’s coming Home Run Derby will be, but we do have the general inkling that it will most likely end up as a Judge-Bellinger final bout. By the way the season has gone, so far, we do also have the general inkling that the home run race will come to a similar Judge vs. Bellinger result. Keeping in mind that no rookie has ever hit 50 homers (Mark McGwire hit 49 in his 1987 rookie year), we wish happy homers to all, especially to the two battling interleague rookies.

 

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