Yankee’s Slugger Aaron Judge Makes Final Decision on 2024 Home Run Derby

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees

As the MLB season approaches its midpoint, fans are eager to see if New York Yankee slugger and current MLB home run leader Aaron Judge will participate in the Home Run Derby, one of the All-Star event’s highlights. Judge, who won the derby as a rookie in 2017, has decided not to participate this year, according to Dan Martin of the New York Post. Despite his 28 home runs through June 22, Judge has opted to sit out the competition.

“I’m not doing it,” Judge said on June 22, per the New York Post. “There’s no need this year,” said the Yankee star.

Judge Doesn’t Rule Out a Future Home Run Derby Appearance

Though Judge has declined to participate this year, he hasn’t ruled out a future return to the competition.

“I’m not done with it,” Judge said to Martin of the New York Post. “Once it’s back in New York, I’ll be there.”

The last time the Home Run Derby took place in New York was in 2013 at Citi Field in Queens. Yoenis Cespedes, who later played for the New York Mets, won the Derby that year. The Yankees last hosted the event in 2008 at the original Yankee Stadium during its final season, a Derby remembered for Justin Morneau’s win and Josh Hamilton’s legendary performance.

With venues for the 2025 and 2026 Derbies already selected (Truist Park in Atlanta and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, respectively), the earliest the new Yankee Stadium could host is 2027, during Aaron Judge’s age-35 season. If the Derby returns to the Bronx while Judge is still active, fans can expect him to seize the opportunity to participate. This year’s Derby will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on July 15, followed by the All-Star Game the next day.

The New York Yankees boast a roster with three Home Run Derby winners, including Aaron Judge. Giancarlo Stanton, who has participated three times (2014, 2016, and 2017), claimed victory in the 2016 Derby at Petco Park in San Diego. Juan Soto, another Yankee, won the 2022 Derby at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles after participating in both 2021 and 2022. Out of these sluggers, Stanton is the only one to have competed in another Derby after his win.

Judge is on a Torrid Home Run Pace

Since April 27, Judge has been on a tear, hitting 24 homers and posting an impressive .371/.486/.886 slash line. This performance has catapulted him to the top of the MLB home run leaderboard, putting him on a pace reminiscent of his record-breaking 62-homer season.

Judge is averaging 0.36 home runs per game this season. With 85 games left as of Sunday, June 23, he is projected to hit 30.6 more home runs if he maintains this pace, putting him on track to hit around 58 or 59 homers for the season.

However, since breaking out of his slump on April 27, Judge has averaged 0.48 homers per game. If he continues at this pace, he would hit approximately 40.8 more home runs over the remaining games, putting him on pace for an impressive 68 or 69 home runs for the season.

While it may be optimistic to expect Judge to stay this hot for the rest of the season, there’s a chance he could make a run at 70 homers if he remains in top form. Even if he cools down, he could still challenge his own single-season American League record of 62 homers set during his MVP season in 2022.

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