Judge, Bellinger unanimous picks as Rookies of the Year


Judge had a historic first season, belting 52 home runs for the Yankees, the most by a rookie in big league history.

Judge was hardly a lock for the award before the season started, but quickly jumped to the front of the pack among American League rookies.

It wasn't the only honor Judge could win. Bellinger envisioned making it to Los Angeles this season, but pretty late in the year. The 6-foot-7 slugger's victory was a foregone conclusion after he led the American League with 52 home runs and helped the Yankees reach the postseason as a wild card.

As well as his home run exploits, Judge made 128 runs and 114 RBIs.

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After a rough 27-game debut in 2016, batting.179 with 42 strikeouts in 84 at-bats, "I wanted to just prepare the right way, prepare the same way and see how it works, " Judge said of heading into 2017. He also won the Home Run Derby. He broke Mark McGwire's rookie home run record, which sealed this award as much as something can be "sealed" when it was already guaranteed before the last days of the regular season.

And when nicknames adorned jerseys during Players Weekend, Yankees' teammate Todd Frazier persuaded Judge to go with: "All Rise".

"I know he's a big guy, but he's an athlete out there, " said Brett Gardner.

At the plate, Judge slashed.284/.422/.627, and he also struck out 208 times. But he rebounded with a huge September when NY really needed it, leading the AL in homers (15), RBI (32), runs (29), on-base percentage (.463) and slugging percentage (.889). "From his fantastic catches to his monstrous home runs, whether you are a Yankee fan or not, you have to watch him".