Aaron Judge is a popular man these days, both in the Bronx and nationwide.
Major League Baseball released its second update of the American League All-Star voting on Tuesday and, to no surprise, the Yankees rookie is the leading vote-getter.
Judge has garnered 1,251,543 votes, nearly 100,000 ahead of injured Los Angeles Angels outfielder and reigning league MVP Mike Trout (1,155,356). Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is third with 998,107 votes.
“Obviously, Judge is MVP caliber,” said CC Sabathia before hosting his All Stars of New York Charity Bowling Tournament on Monday at Bowlmor Times Square. “We knew he was good, but not this good. It’s been a lot of fun to watch him, and hopefully he keeps it going and keeps impacting games the way he has.”
Despite his sudden rise to fame, Judge, who was one of several Yankees attending the fundraiser for the veteran left-hander’s PitCCh In Foundation, still doesn’t consider himself Big Apple royalty.
“I’m no King [of New York],” Judge said before the event. “Our whole team is doing well, and we’re having a good season. I’m just glad we’re in first place right now.”
The Yankees entered Tuesday night’s series opener against the rival Boston Red Sox with a two-game lead in the AL East. Judge, who carried an eight-game hitting streak into the series, was last held without a hit May 27 in a 3-2 win against the Oakland Athletics. The next day, he bounced back by going 2-for-4 with his first career grand slam.
Judge, who was hitting .324 with a major league-leading 18 home runs and 41 RBIs through his first 52 games, also has a fan in the recently retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, whom Judge met for the first time at Monday’s event. Big Papi, a powerful player himself who hit 541 homers in a 20-year career, was not shy when it came to talking about the Bombers’ star rookie, calling him “scary.”
“A guy that big that hits like that? That’s special,” Ortiz said.