We are less than two weeks away from wrapping up the 2017 MLB season, and it is safe to say that fans have been treated to some astronomical power they haven’t seen in a while.
Remember chicks dig the long ball.
This is reminiscent of the 2006-07 seasons where there were multiple guys reaching and surpassing the 50 home run mark. In 2006 Ryan Howard of the Phillies dropped 58 bombs – 23 of them came between August and September – and David Ortiz in the AL who was just two homers shy of 50.
In 2007 there was Alex Rodriguez who, aside from hitting 54 homers, was the fastest player ever to reach 500 career home runs. In the NL, 23-year-old Prince Fielder became a household name by hitting an even 50 bombs that season.
It’s likely we will see Giancarlo Stanton reach 60 home runs this season as he hit his 55th homer Tuesday night.
But his race to 60 will be wildly overshadowed if rookie sensation Aaron Judge can break Mark McGwire’s rookie home run record of 49 for a single season. Judge hit his 44th homer on Monday night and has ample time to hit five more. He will likely need some multi-homer games in the next week and a half (something he has done five times this season).
Did someone say #AllRise?
No. 44 for No. 99. pic.twitter.com/fYFVPXtflf
— MLB (@MLB) September 18, 2017
Matt Olsen, the Athletics’ rookie outfielder has made a slight push in September hitting a rookie-record 11 homers so far this month. If the season ended today he would finish with a .249 average, 22 HR and 42 RBI over 54 games played. Those are impressive numbers but it would be shocking if Aaron Judge doesn’t unanimously win the AL ROY.
Judge doubles that stat line by Olsen and quite frankly has done more damage in one season than other players do over 2-3 seasons. As of Tuesday, Judge has a .275 average with 44 HR and 97 RBI. He also leads the AL in walks with 198…no surprises there.
Much like Judge, Cody Bellinger may find himself as the unanimous pick for the NL Rookie of the Year but also may contend for the NL MVP. He would have some stiff competition in guys like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenando…but the numbers are certainly there. If Bellinger and Judge win both the ROY and MVP of their leagues it will be a first in baseball history. Only Fred Lynn (1975) and Ichrio (2001) have accomplished this feat.
— BlueCrew Boxscore (@bluecrewpod) September 14, 2017
To be fair, it is more than likely Bellinger will win the award as he has been up in the big leagues all season and his stat line has been nothing short of spectacular. As of Tuesday, he has a .273 average with 38 HR and 88 RBI AND he wasn’t called up until the beginning of May. Imagine what the numbers would be like if he had started the season with the Dodgers.
On Saturday, Bellinger tied Frank Robinson’s National League rookie home run record of 38 homers. Bellinger will likely surpass that before the end of the season and has the ability to set a new mark at 40 home runs or more. The Dodgers’ rookie probably would have been the story of the season, but that Judge fella is casting a big shadow over his rookie campaign.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) September 3, 2017
Phillies rookie first baseman Rhys Hoskin’s may take some first-place votes away from Bellinger but that’s all he will get. It is a shame because Hoskins surpassed his eligibility to win the award in 2018 when he exceeded 130 major-league at-bats for the 2017 season.
Much like Olsen in the Junior Circut, Hoskins has made a powerful push for the award since being called up on August 10th. He’s hit .290 with 18 HR and 39 RBI in 38 games. He’s also the fastest player in the history of the game to reach 18 homers and 39 RBI in his career, lumping him next to names like Ted Williams and Babe Ruth.
When the 2017 season concludes in a week and a half, Judge and Bellinger will undoubtedly be taking home the ROY hardware. Not only is this a victory for these rookie sensations, but it’s a win for Major League Baseball because we are just getting a sample of what is yet to come for those two along with Olsen and Hoskins.