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Aaron Judge eyes Triple Crown: Yankees star has AL’s best batting average during historic season

Aaron Judge eyes Triple Crown: Yankees star has AL's best batting average during historic season

By any measure, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is enjoying a historic 2022 season. He is one away from tying Roger Maris’ American League single-season record of 61 homers, and thanks to a torrid September, Judge has now inserted himself into the batting title race. The prodigious power and lofty average give Judge a shot at the Triple Crown.

Over in the National League, Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is making his own run at the Triple Crown, and only once in history has there been a Triple Crown winner in both leagues in the same season: Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx (Athletics) and Chuck Klein (Phillies) did it in 1933. Judge and Goldschmidt have a chance, albeit a small one, to do it this year.

Here’s what you need to know about Judge’s Triple Crown chase as the regular season winds down.

Most recent AL Triple Crown winners

There has only been one Triple Crown winner in the last half-century and each of the last six Triple Crown winners have come from the American League. You have to go all the way back to Joe Medwick with the 1937 Cardinals for the last NL Triple Crown. Here are those last six AL Triple Crowns:

Miguel Cabrera, 2012 Tigers (won MVP)




Carl Yastrzemski, 1967 Red Sox (won MVP)




Frank Robinson, 1966 Orioles (won MVP)




Mickey Mantle, 1956 Yankees (won MVP)




Ted Williams, 1947 Red Sox (MVP runner-up)




Ted Williams, 1942 Red Sox (MVP runner-up)




Batting average

As a massive human (listed at 6-feet-7 and 282 pounds) who hits a lot of home runs, Judge is often stereotyped as a lumbering all-or-nothing slugger. That is not the case. He is a gifted natural hitter who hit .287 last season and entered 2022 with a career .276 batting average in nearly 2,500 plate appearances. Despite his enormous strike zone, Judge hits for a solid average.

Players must have 3.1 plate appearances per team game to qualify for the batting title (that’s 502 plate appearances for the full 162-game season). Here is the AL batting race through Sept. 21:

  1. Aaron Judge, Yankees: .3171
  2. Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox: .3166
  3. Luis Arraez, Twins: .313
  4. José Abreu, White Sox: .308
  5. Nate Lowe, Rangers:…

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