Aaron Judge Hits 50th Home Run to Break Mark McGwire's MLB Rookie Record

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees rounds third base after a two-run home run off of Jake Junis #65 of the Kansas City Royals during the third inning at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
Adam Hunger/Getty Images

New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge hit his 50th home run of the season Monday against the Kansas City Royals, setting a rookie record for most homers in a single season.

The Yankees and MLB celebrated the achievement:

Mark McGwire owned the previous mark, having hit 49 home runs for the Oakland Athletics in 1987.

Judge tied McGwire with a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning that put the Yankees ahead 3-0, and he went yard again in the bottom of the seventh with a solo blast that gave New York a 7-3 lead.

MLB shared a replay of the record-setting shot:

Judge increased his lead in the American League home run race over Athletics left fielder Khris Davis, who had 41 homers entering Monday night's game versus the Seattle Mariners. Catching Giancarlo Stanton for the MLB lead will be difficult, though, since the Miami Marlins right fielder had 57 homers.

Judge endured a rough stretch after the All-Star break. He batted .207 with 80 strikeouts in 223 plate appearances between July and August. The presumptive Rookie of the Year has righted the ship in September, though.

He had a .296/.436/.831 slash line this month prior to Monday, and as a result, he has re-emerged as a strong contender for the American League MVP Award. According to FanGraphs, Judge is tied with Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve in WAR (7.3) among position players.

Whether or not he bests Altuve and others for MVP, Judge's prodigious power already has put him in the MLB record book.