Yankees Aaron Judge has a realistic shot at the American League Triple Crown

Aaron Judge has all but clinched the American League home run crown for the 2022 season.

The New York Yankees outfielder threw his 55th homer of the season on Wednesday and leads the American League in homers by far. The next closest in the home run standings is Shohei Ohtani of Anaheim, Los Angeles, who has 33. The judge is up 22 home runs on the next closest challenger.

Judge also leads the American League in RBI, with 118. The margin between Judge and his next closest challenger, however, is much smaller than in the home race.

Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez is within batting distance of the umpire with 108 RBI. Still, Judge is in pole position with four weeks remaining in the regular season to win both the home run and RBI titles.

For Judge to claim a historic American League triple crown, he would also need a batting title.

Judge is currently seventh among American League players in batting average, behind Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (.315), Minnesota Twins utility Luis Arráez (.315), player Chicago White Sox first baseman José Abreu (.309), Yankees outfielder Andrew Benintendi (.304), Texas Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe (.304), and Guardians second baseman Andrés Giménez ( .303).

Judge, batting .302 this season, has greatly improved his batting average over the past month and a half.

Coming into play on July 16, just before the All-Star Game, Judge was hitting .274 this season. He has since increased his batting average by 28 runs, down to .362/.500/1.368 with 23 home runs and 51 RBIs during that span.

Meanwhile, Arráez, who has been the out-of-control category leader for much of the season, has seen a significant drop in performance in around the same time frame.

Coming into play on July 10, Arráez was hitting .355 in 2022. Since then, he’s cut just .250/.369/.664 with four home runs and 16 RBIs. As Judge ascended, Arráez declined.

Arráez is now tied for the AL lead in batting average with Bogaerts, who has remained remarkably steady over the past two months.

Bogaerts was batting .317 at the All-Star break. Since then he has reduced .310/.362/.849.

For Judge to win the AL batting title, completing the Triple Crown, he will need Bogaerts to enter a slump for the final month of the season and Arráez to continue on his current pace. Judge should also stay on his own current pace and potentially get some help from the other four hitters between him and Bogaerts/Arráez.

The last player to win a Triple Crown – American League or National League – was Miguel Cabrera, who did so as a member of the Detroit Tigers in 2012. Before that, the last time anyone had won a Triple Crown was when famed Carl Yastrzemski’s Red Sox Hall earned the honor in 1967.

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