Aaron Judge runs away with American League MVP

Aaron Judge was named American League Most Valuable Player on Thursday night, capping a historic season during which he broke the league’s single-season home run record.Judge received 28 first-place votes from the panel of 30 Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters, with the other two going to Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. Judge finished with 410 total points in voting, Ohtani had 280 and Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros was third with 232.Judge, 30, hit his 62nd homer on the second-to-last night of the regular season to surpass Roger Maris’ long-standing AL mark of 61.In his seventh season with the New York Yankees, Judge also led the major leagues in RBIs (131), runs (133), on-base percentage (.425) and slugging percentage (.686). He led the AL with 111 walks and ranked second with a .311 batting average. In the field, he did not commit an error.”It’s tough to put to words,” Judge said on MLB Network. “It’s an incredible, incredible moment. A lot of hard work throughout the years to get to this point. I got a lot of people to thank. I go all the way back to coaches in travel ball, to Little League, high school, college, guys I’ve worked with through the minor leagues, major league. I always feel like any award you get, it’s never an individual award. It’s a team effort through and through.”Judge has since hit free agency and is expected to command a massive contract, whether from the Yankees or another club.Judge was second in MVP voting in 2017 and fourth last year. Now he’s become the first Yankee since Alex Rodriguez (2005, 2007) to win the award.He said he only had a chance to reflect on his season after New York’s season had ended.”I was trying to grind the year out all year,” Judge said. “I was focused on trying to win games for the Yankees and do whatever I can for that game, tonight. Win and wake up and do the same thing the next day. So it was tough to really enjoy it because of the ups and downs throughout the year. You’re chasing the division, you’re chasing a good spot in the postseason.”

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