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Yankees Aaron Judge wins AL Rookie of the Year

The Bronx-based slugger was the heavy favorite for the honor.
Yankees star Aaron Judge took home American League Rookie of the Year honors on Monday night. (Photo: Getty Images)

It was already a given, but now it's official. New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is the 2017 American League Rookie of the Year. 

Major League Baseball announced Judge's victory on Monday night, making the 25-year-old the ninth-ever Yankee to win the award. He's the first to do so since Derek Jeter in 1996.

Judge put together the greatest power-hitting season by a rookie in MLB history, blasting 52 home runs and 114 RBI with a .284 batting average. Only Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and Alex Rodriguez have hit more home runs in a single season with the Yankees than Judge.

Those 52 longballs also broke Mark McGwire's rookie record of 49 that he set with the Oakland Athletics in 1987. 

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He quickly became a fan favorite across the league during the first half of the season, hitting 30 home runs before the All-Star break. One of those bombs he hit was the longest in the league this season, smashing a 496-foot blast against the Baltimore Orioles. 

Of his 52 dingers, 10 of them traveled more than 450 feet. 

Good things generally happened when Judge managed to get the ball into the air. On fly balls and line drives this season, Judge's average exit velocity of 100.2 miles per hour was best in the league. 

Even though a slump resulted in his average to plummet and strikeouts to rise, he was a clear and heavy favorite for Rookie of the Year honors.

Now, what can we expect in 2018? It's safe to say expectations will be sky high.

 
 
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