Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Comparing Aaron Judge’s Rookie Season to Ichiro Suzuki’s


The New York Yankees far exceeded expectations here in 2017 and much of the team’s success hinged on their pitching and the bat of one man, Aaron Judge. In the early parts of the 2017 season New York had many hot hitters including Chase Headley but while many hitters came back down to Earth or continued to play to the back of their baseball cards Aaron Judge just kept hitting and hitting, and amazing people and amazing people. Judge had his struggles, no doubt about it, and Judge still strikes out far too much, in the world of sabermetrics though I am not sure many care at this point, but one thing is for certain. Aaron Judge is a scary man at the plate and his presence along with his 52 home runs this season may get him not only the Rookie of the Year Award in the American League but the MVP Award as well. The last man to win the Rookie of the Year Award and the MVP in the same season was Ichiro Suzuki, who wasn’t really a rookie after playing for so long in the Japanese League, so let’s compare Judge’s 2017 season to Ichiro’s 2001 season.

Ichiro – 2001 Stats:

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
200127SEA157738692127242348869563053.350.381.457.838126
Judge – 2017 Stats:
Standard Batting
Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
201725NYY155678542128154243521149127208.284.422.6271.049171
As you can see these stats are almost impossible to compare. Ichiro made his living and made a name for himself as a slap hitter that used his speed and agility to his advantage while Judge simply hits bomb after bomb after bomb in a home stadium that has never been too friendly to right-handed hitters. Aaron Judge is never going to get 240+ hits in a season and is never going to flirt with a .350 batting average but Ichiro could never hit 50 home runs in a season either, as a rookie or not. Two different players with two different stat lines looking to win two different awards in the same season. Will it happen? Stay tuned, and of course good luck to Judge in both races!


Shout out to Baseball Reference for the stat sheets and tables. 

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