Judge Triple Crown chase: Arraez takes lead in AVG

September 30th 2022

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has been garnering headlines primarily for his chase of the AL single-season home run record of 61, set by Roger Maris 61 years ago. On Sept. 28, Judge tied Maris with a homer against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

But as his march to 62 continues, Judge also finds himself in the mix for a batting title, which would put him in the lead in all three Triple Crown categories in the AL.

The Yankees were off on Thursday, but here’s a breakdown of where Judge stands in his bid for the first Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera’s in 2012, and the 13th in AL/NL history:

Wednesday’s stats: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs, 1 BB
Last 10 games: 11-for-32 (.344), 4 HR, 7 RBIs
Next game: Friday vs. BAL, 7:05 p.m. ET

• Every Triple Crown winner

AL ranks

Batting average: .313406 — 2nd in AL (1st: Luis Arraez at .314711; 3rd: Xander Bogaerts at .308824)
Home runs: 61 — 1st
Runs batted in: 130 — 1st

Past Triple Crowns

Here are the all-time greats Judge would join if he pulls off the feat. Since RBIs became an official stat in 1920, just 10 different AL/NL players have won a Triple Crown, with two multiple-time winners. There’s been only one Triple Crown in the Divisional Era (since 1969).

Triple Crown winners

2012: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (AL)
1967: Carl Yastrzemski, Red Sox (AL)
1966: Frank Robinson, Orioles (AL)
1956: Mickey Mantle, Yankees (AL)*
1947: Ted Williams, Red Sox (AL)
1942: Ted Williams, Red Sox (AL)*
1937: Joe Medwick, Cardinals (NL)
1934: Lou Gehrig, Yankees (AL)*
1933: Jimmie Foxx, Athletics (AL)
1933: Chuck Klein, Phillies (NL)
1925: Rogers Hornsby, Cardinals (NL)*
1922: Rogers Hornsby, Cardinals (NL)

  • = Led all AL/NL players in all three categories

Note: Six players led the AL or NL in all three Triple Crown categories before RBIs became an official statistic.

In the seasons since Cabrera won the Triple Crown in 2012, several star sluggers have been pursuing a Triple Crown down the stretch — including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. just last year. Here are five recent players who came up just short.

• Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2021, AL): Vlad Jr.’s Triple Crown push was a big storyline in the MVP race against eventual winner Shohei Ohtani, but although he tied for the AL home run crown with 48, he finished second in batting average (.311, behind Yuli Gurriel’s .319) and fifth in RBIs (111, 10 behind league leader Salvador Perez).

• Marcell Ozuna (2020, NL): Ozuna led in home runs and RBIs during the shortened season, but his .338 average put him third, behind the Nationals’ Juan Soto (.351) and Braves teammate Freddie Freeman (.341).

• Christian Yelich (2018, NL): Yeli’s NL MVP campaign for the Brewers featured a batting title and narrow misses in homers (36, two behind Nolan Arenado) and RBIs (110, one behind Javier Báez).

• J.D. Martinez (2018, AL): Martinez was the AL RBI champ and finished second in both homers (43, five behind Khris Davis) and batting average (.330, 16 points behind Red Sox teammate Mookie Betts).

• Miguel Cabrera (2013, AL): Miggy nearly won two straight Triple Crowns, bringing home the batting title but finishing nine homers and one RBI behind Orioles slugger Chris Davis.

Three things to know about Judge’s Triple Crown chase

• Judge would become the third player in the storied history of the Yankees to win a Triple Crown, joining legends Lou Gehrig (1934) and Mickey Mantle (1956). Three players to win the Triple Crown would be the most for any Major League franchise — the Cardinals (Joe Medwick and Rogers Hornsby) and Red Sox (Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski) are the other teams with multiple winners.

• If Judge wins the Triple Crown this year, it will be 100 years after the first Triple Crown in AL/NL history was won in 1922 by Hornsby.

• A Judge Triple Crown would extend the AL’s run of Triple Crowns since the last one was won in the NL to seven. The last time an NL player won the Triple Crown was 85 years ago, when the Cardinals’ Medwick won it in 1937.