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It was only two years ago when the New York Yankees promoted right fielder Aaron Judge to the main roster following an impressive spring training. Over the course of his rookie year, Judge went on to light up the league; hitting .284, driving in 114 runs, and setting the Major League Baseball record for most home runs by a rookie at 52.
In one season he became the face of baseball in New York and a top candidate for the face of all baseball.
After one and half injury plagued seasons later, a challenger has emerged for those titles. Since making his debut on Opening Day of this year, New York Mets’ first baseman Pete Alonso has been one of the hottest players in the game.
On June 22, Alonso hit his 26th home run of the year, breaking the Mets’ rookie home run record set in 1983 by Daryl Strawberry.
A day later he set the National League rookie home run record with his 27th home run. The record was set in 2017 by Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman and outfielder Cody Bellinger. Even crazier, there’s still more than half a season to play.
So with the “King of the Bronx,” and the “King of Queens,” essentially decided, how does Alonso’s rookie year so far stack up to Judge’s at this point? Judge by the end of June had 27 home runs and at the time of writing this article, Alonso has 27 as well. Judge also had 62 RBI’s, Alonso has 61.
With half a season to go, anything is possible, but using the trajectory of Alonso’s stats, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that he breaks Judge’s record. The only aspect that Judge may truly win at with his rookie year is that he was only one game away from the World Series.
While the Yankees may be New York’s best team, baseball could be bearing witness to a new king of the city. Whether he sustains success or not is yet to be seen but for now, Pete Alonso is looking to etch his name in the history books.