Aaron Judge Passes Babe Ruth for Most HRs By Yankees Player Before August

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 30, 2022

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Saturday, July 30, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge passed Babe Ruth for the most home runs before August in franchise history when he smacked his 42nd of the year—and 200th all-time—Saturday against the Kansas City Royals.

New York Yankees @Yankees

Can't stop. Won't stop. <a href="https://twitter.com/TheJudge44?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheJudge44</a> 🧑‍⚖️ <a href="https://t.co/Zj2uOEHcZH">pic.twitter.com/Zj2uOEHcZH</a>

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com provided the list of Yankees who have hit 40 or more homers before August:

Bryan Hoch @BryanHoch

Aaron Judge is now just the third <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yankees?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yankees</a> player ever to hit 40 homers before the end of July:<br><br>Babe Ruth, 41 in 1928<br>Roger Maris, 40 in 1961<br>Aaron Judge, 40 in 2022

Only four players in MLB history have hit 42 or more homers before August, per Katie Sharp of Talkin' Yanks and Stathead:

Katie Sharp @ktsharp

Most HR Before August in MLB History:<br><br>Barry Bonds 45 (2001)<br>Mark McGwire 45 (1998)<br>Aaron Judge 42 (2022)<br>Sammy Sosa 42 (1998)

Judge has now smacked nine home runs in his last nine games and is on pace for 67 on the year:

Talkin' Yanks @TalkinYanks

Judge on pace to blow right past the Yankees single season HR record <a href="https://t.co/Cbphb6PqpR">pic.twitter.com/Cbphb6PqpR</a>

Judge also became the second-fastest player ever to hit 200 career homers behind only former Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard:

Talkin' Yanks @TalkinYanks

Judge the 2nd fastest player in MLB history to 200 homers! <a href="https://t.co/2odJSJUrfV">pic.twitter.com/2odJSJUrfV</a>

Judge's two-run blast off Royals starting pitcher Jonathan Heasley gave the Yankees a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.

Judge, who hit a single and scored a run off a Gleyber Torres double after his first at-bat, moved his batting average to .301 and OPS to 1.059 following the homer.

Per Baseball Reference, Judge entered Saturday leading the majors in wins above replacement (5.4), runs scored (84) and total bases (250). His 42 homers and 91 RBI also lead the majors.

Judge should be a lock for the American League MVP at this point, and the Yankees should cruise to an AL East title and top-two seed at worst in the playoffs.

It'll remain to be seen if he and the Yanks can make (and win) the World Series for the first time in 13 years, but for now, Judge is putting on an absolute show on a daily basis.

The biggest remaining regular-season storyline is whether the impending free agent can break some home run records. Former Yankee outfielder Roger Maris holds the AL record with 61 homers, and former San Francisco Giants great Barry Bonds is the all-time leader with 73.

New York has 60 more games after Saturday's matchup with the Royals. Judge is well on pace to beat Maris' record. Bonds' mark still appears like a long shot at best, but it doesn't seem like a complete impossibility anymore with Judge averaging a home run per game over the past two weeks.

Judge and the Yanks will finish out the four-game set with the Royals on Sunday before welcoming the Seattle Mariners into town for three matchups starting Monday.