When the next generation of baseball fans looks back at the 2017 season, they're going to think New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge was some sort of larger-than-life, Paul Bunyan-esque tall tale.
The star outfielder has burst onto the scene this year and seemingly launches a baseball or two into orbit every single game.
However, to ring in Independence Day on Tuesday, Judge may have outdone himself with a fourth-inning home run against the Toronto Blue Jays.
At first glance, as you can see in the video below, it doesn't seem like this particular homer was any more or any less impressive than his others. It comes off the bat and there was never any doubt it was going to leave the park, but he does things like this all the time:
However, upon closer look, Judge's blast actually damages one of the metallic doors at Yankee Stadium, leaving a nice dent in the gate:
That was all the offense the Yankees could muster in their 4-1 loss to the Blue Jays, but what a run it was, courtesy of Judge.
According to Statcast, the ball left Judge's bat at 118.4 mph, but it was only the fourth-hardest homer he's hit this year. Not surprisingly, he has hit the four hardest home runs in the majors this season:
Judge was selected as a starter for the American League in the All-Star Game coming up in a week. He'll also participate in the Home Run Derby, making this year's event can't-miss television. If Judge can continue destroying baseballs like he has all year, he should run away with the derby crown.
Currently, Judge leads all of baseball with 28 home runs and has an AL-best 63 RBI while also sporting an impressive .329 batting average - just one point lower than AL leader Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros.
At this point, Judge is probably a lock for the Rookie of the Year award, but he's also put himself in the conversation for AL MVP, as he would probably win the award if the season ended today.
However, there's still a lot of baseball left to play, so we'll see if Judge can keep up his torrid pace at the plate. Fortunately for the Yankees, there has been no indication that he'll slow down, which is good news for a team that is currently 44-38 overall and four games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox in the AL East playoff race.
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