This Aaron Judge single is the hardest-hit ball of the 2017 season
Technically, the Statcast exit velocity leaderboard is open to all Major League hitters. In reality, this is Aaron Judge's world and we're all just living it.
Heading into play on Thursday night, there had been 34 batted balls with an exit velocity of 115 mph or greater in 2017 -- and Judge was responsible for 11 of them. He also owned the two hardest-hit balls of the season, a double at Wrigley Field back in May and this monster dinger against the Orioles in April.
Apparently unimpressed with all of that (and after endangering some team employees during batting practice), Judge decided to go ahead and break his own record again. In the sixth inning of New York's 9-1 win over the Red Sox, the right fielder hit a Fernando Abad fastball so hard it nearly bored a hole in the Earth.
According to Statcast, that ball left the bat at a mind-boggling 119.8 mph. Of course, he treated it like business as usual: "I felt like all the other ones," Judge told MLB.com's Matthew Martell. "Just trying to square it up and put something in play, get things rolling."
His teammates, meanwhile, were more impressied. "That's funny," Chase Headley told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "[Brett Gardner] and I were actually arguing about that. He's like, 'That's the hardest ball I've seen him hit all year.' I was like, 'He's hit 15 balls harder than that.' He hits the ball really hard consistently."
Now, all we need is a Statcast Derby between Judge and Giancarlo Stanton during All-Star Weekend.