Yankee fans have long waited for Stanton and Judge to both be healthy and they proved just how deadly they can be when on the field together
When Giancarlo Stanton was traded to the Yankees from the Marlins in December of 2017, Yankees fans were super optimistic. Stanton was the reigning 2017 NL MVP and home run leader. This was about to be a massive addition to a Yankees team that was one game away from a World Series appearance. Pairing Rookie Of The Year Aaron Judge with MVP Giancarlo Stanton? That was a nightmarish duo for opponents. But things didn’t go as planned for a while.
Stanton and Judge both dealt with injuries from 2018 up until this season. For a while, it felt like a rare occurrence seeing them on the field together. Stanton had some bad slumps along the way and heard boo’s from the Yankee Stadium crowd quite frequently. Judge was injured for a decent amount of time, but still perfoming well on the field. The “Bronx Bash Bros” era was not going the way it should have gone.
It all changed in 2021 though. If Vladamir Guerrero Jr and Shohei Ohtani did not exist, Stanton and Judge would both be in the MVP conversation. Both have played for a large majority of the season, staying healthy throughout. Giancarlo even started to get play in the outfield again this season, as he was a DH for the most part since 2019.
Now this brings me to the vocal point of the article. Aaron Judge and Stanton have been such a good pairing this season and they’ve single-handily carried the Yankees at times. What makes them such a good duo?
The Clutch Brothers
Honestly, in 2021 it seems that whenever the Yankees need runs or a big hit Stanton and Judge deliever. Especially Stanton as of late. From his absolutley stellar series against the Astros back in May, to the homer to tie the game against the Mets on 9/12, and the two huge home runs in Boston, it’s no question that Stanton has come through time and time again. Stanton is currently on a massive hot streak that has been adorned with clutch hits and home runs in huge games, especially the Boston games at Fenway Park.
Same applies to Judge as well. Most notably last night against the Blue Jays, in which he had 2 of the first 3 Yankee hits which both were deep solo shots off of Cy Young contender Robby Ray. Many fans throughout baseball liked to say that Judge wasn’t clutch and couldn’t come through in big moments, but Judge essentially put that narrative to rest in 2021.
The most notable instance in which Judge and Stanton each got back to back massive hits was last Sunday against the Red Sox. With the Red Sox taking a 3-2 lead over the Yankees in the prior inning, the Yankees were not going down without a fight. Aaron Judge drove a deep double off the wall in center, scoring 2 runs to make it 4-3. Right after Judge, Stanton sends a rocket over the Green Monster and onto Landsdowne Street to put the dagger in the Red Sox. With this obviously being a must win game for the Yankees, it makes it even more important how Judge and Stanton came up massive.
The Judge’s Verdict
Like I said in the beginning of the article, Aaron Judge and Stanton would be in possible MVP contetntion if Ohtani and Vlad didn’t exist. Although there are other possible MVP candidates like Marcus Semien, Matt Olson, or Cedric Mullins.
Let’s start with Aaron Judge. In 2021, Judge is batting .288 with with a .923 OPS and 39 HR’s. He also has 97 RBI’s. Judge’s advanced metrics are also stupendous. Take a look at his Savant page here. With him being in the 100th percentile for Avg Exit Velo, Max Exit Velo, and HardHit%. He’s also in the 98th percentile for xWOBA, xBA, xSLG, and Barrell %. This easily is one of Judge’s best seasons as a Yankee.
He has stayed healthy for most of the season outside of being put on the COVID IL for a couple days back in July. Judge also has had his share of great catches and throws in the outfield. Take a look at this huge catch against the Blue Jays yesterday to stop a Blue Jays rally.
These are MVP like numbers in my opinion, and if Guerrero Jr and Ohtani weren’t having spectacular seasons he would definetly be in contention for AL MVP. He has come up time and time again for a Yankee team just when they needed it the most.
With Stanton enerting his 4th season as a Yankee, he had a lot going against him. Fans were upset with his limited availabilty in prior seasons due to his injuries and occasional slumps. He was hearing boos and wasn’t recieved all too well by many fans. Giancarlo has been silencing the doubters in 2021, and he really has become a fan favorite over the last few months. Stanton has had a really great season overall, but he has been surging since August. He’s also finally back playing in the outfield where he belongs, and he has done a great job doing so.
Stanton is batting .275 with an OPS of .878 including 35 homers and 96 RBI’s. He joins Judge in the 100th percentile for Max Exit Velo and Avg Exit Velo. You can check out his full page here.
The one thing i’d like to really focus on here though is his stats sicne August. In the month of August he batted .327 with an OPS of 1.045 with 9 homers and 25 RBI’s during that span. In September he batted .286 with an OPS of .946 and 10 homers with 25 RBI’s. He has been absolutley dominant since August and the stats show it.
As I said earier, Stanton has been clutch when the Yankees needed him as well, which boldened his reputation amongst Yankees fans. I can go down the list of all the clutch moments he’s had, but I could write a whole seperate article on that if I wanted to considering he’s had so many in 2021.
Stanton gained a masive amount of respect after tying the game against the Mets with a homer on 9/12, including him jawing back at Francisco Lindor while rounding the bases, But this statement grand slam against the arch rival Red Sox was his signature Yankee moment. We’ve all seen this thousands of times.
2021 has been the year of the Bronx Bash Bros. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge have posed massive threats to opponents all season long, and navigating through them back to back is a tough task for any pitcher the way they’ve been hitting. With the Yankees magic number down to 2 and a Wild Card appearance on the horizon, Giancarlo and The Judge need to keep on rolling and creating nightmares for opponents.
Stanton gained the respect of many Yankees fans this season, including myself. Aaron Judge put the “unclutch” and “injury prone” narrative to rest.
They’ve truly silenced the haters.