Yankees’ Aaron Judge bests Shohei Ohtani for AL MVP

Aaron Judge‘s historic season has earned him the biggest individual honor possible. 

The New York Yankees slugger was named the American League MVP on Thursday, winning the award after hitting a league-breaking 62 home runs in 2022. He beat out Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, who won the award last season. Judge received 28 of the 30 first-place votes while Ohtani received the other two. 

The selection marks the 23rd time a Yankee has won MVP. 

In addition to chasing the AL’s all-time home run record, Judge also flirted with the triple crown. He led the league in RBIs (131) and was second in batting average (.311), behind the TwinsLuis Arráez (.316). 

While Judge had one of the best hitting seasons ever, and led New York to an AL East crown in the process, several thought Ohtani had a strong case to win back-to-back MVPs after another dominant two-way season. Ohtani hit .273 with 34 home runs and 95 RBIs and went 15-9 on the mound with a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts over 28 starts for the middling Angels.

Judge will look to capitalize off his MVP season in free agency. The slugger officially became a free agent earlier this month after his contract with the Yankees expired. He turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million extension prior to the season and is expected to sign a contract that will likely be one of the richest in MLB history. 

Shohei Ohtani & Aaron Judge AL MVP Finalists: Who takes the crown?

Shohei Ohtani & Aaron Judge AL MVP Finalists: Who takes the crown?

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry discuss their prediction for the 2023 MLB Awards for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year, highlighted by rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez, Aaron Judge, Sandy Alcantara, Justin Verlander and Paul Goldschmidt, AND who they believed was snubbed!

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