The New York rookie drove a pitch from Toronto’s J.A. Happ in the fourth inning for a solo homer in Tuesday’s game, won by the Blue Jays 4-1. The ball would have traveled 456 feet had it landed unimpeded, according to Major League Baseball’s Statcast. It was the fourth-hardest-hit homer of the season, at 118.4 mph, according to MLB. Judge has the hardest at 121.1 and the next three hardest, including Tuesday’s home run, as well.
Judge, elected to the AL’s starting lineup for the All-Star Game next week, is one shy of tying the Chicago White Sox‘s José Abreu (29 in 2014) for second-most home runs by a rookie before the All-Star break (since 1933), according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Mark McGwire has the most first-half home runs by a rookie with 33 for the Oakland Athletics in 1987.
The 25-year-old Judge is one shy of tying the Yankees rookie record for home runs in a season, set by Joe DiMaggio in 1939.
He also now is in sole possession of second-most first-half home runs by a Yankees player in their age-25 season or younger (since the first All-Star Game in 1933), according to ESPN Stats & Info. Mickey Mantle hit 29 in 1956.
During batting practice before a May 2 game against the Blue Jays, Judge hit a shot to center field that smashed a TV in one of Yankee Stadium’s new social gathering areas beyond the bullpens and Monument Park.
“I’m still waiting for the bill from the other one,” he said after the Yankees’ loss.