New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge took major league Baseball by the storm in 2022, and it’s just getting started.
Armed with a new nine-year, $360 million contract, The judge is looking for more.
Last season, Judge hit 62 home runssetting the American League record for home runs, surpassing Roger Maris, and was selected as the American League Most Valuable Player.
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Judge didn’t shy away from the spotlight on Monday when asked if he could produce an encore.
«We’ll see. We’ll see,» Judge said with a laugh when asked if he’ll hit 62 or more home runs in 2023.
«I don’t really like to put a number on it. I just like to go out there and try to control what I can control, but you never know what could happen. So, we’ll see around 62.»
The 2022 season was a fascinating for the judge — who bet on himself when he turned down an extension in the offseason — earning a massive contract with an incredible year.
«Last year it was fun to chase history and have those moments,» Judge said, according to ESPN. «Every time we play in New York, I feel like you’re chasing history. It’s never a piece of cake in the Bronx, that’s for sure. You have to accept those challenges.»
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However, in New York, statistics only take you so far.
The Yankees haven’t been able to win a World Series since 2009 and haven’t gotten past the American League Championship Series in that time frame.
Against the Houston Astros, the The Yankees were outplayed and was swept out of the 2022 ALCS when Houston won the World Series.
While Judge has been the face of the franchise for the past several years, his new contract and the title of team captain raise expectations even higher.
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«I’ll do what I’ve been doing for the last six or seven years, try to lead by example,» Judge said when asked about his captaincy. «Be a voice for this team on and off the field. Keep pushing this team toward the ultimate goal of bringing a championship back to New York.
«That’s why I’m here. It’s one of the main reasons I wanted to come back and wear pinstripes. I have a lot of unfinished business here. I’m looking forward to the new role, but things haven’t changed for me.» .»
The Yankees kick off their spring training roster Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Associated Press contributed to this report