Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Let's look back at some of Aaron Judge's best defensive plays from the year

Throughout the regular season, Aaron Judge was best known for his ability to hit dingers and to hit them a long way. He earned that reputation as primarily a power hitter for good reason: He won the T-Mobile Home Run Derby and set a rookie single-season record with 52 regular-season home runs.

Judge's postseason has been primarily composed of great plays in the field, including two catches that left the right-field wall worse for the wear. But this isn't new for Judge; he's been making great catches all year. Let's use this defensive outburst, then, as an occasion to appreciate his work throughout the regular season.

April 26: Judge does his best Jeter impression at Fenway

Jeter's dive into the Yankee Stadium stands became one of the most iconic moments of his career. With this tumble into the stands at Fenway Park, Judge checked off one item on his path to becoming a Yankees icon:


April 30: Judge gives the right-field wall a taste of what's to come in October

Judge is such a large human being that he barely has to jump to rob home runs in the outfield. Catches that would require major ups from other outfielders look routine for Judge. Manny Machado was one of the first to learn that lesson when he tried to sneak this ball into the right-field porch:


May 2: Sliding catch in the gap

Off the bat, Jose Bautista thought he had an extra-base hit in the gap. Unfortunately for him, Judge was on the case and took away the hit.


May 21: The diving catch, double-play combo

Evan Longoria hit a ball about as perfectly as one can deep into the gap. With Corey Dickerson on first, it looked like a clear RBI extra-base hit. Judge was not about to allow that to happen as he made a diving catch while retreating toward the warning track.


The catch was so great that Dickerson assumed it wouldn't be made. It made for an easy double play:

May 27: A little help from his friends

Judge's height and athleticism might give him great range, but it still has its limits. To get to some balls, he needs some help. On this popup from Trevor Plouffe, Starlin Castro helped extend Judge's range by tipping the ball up to his teammate:


June 3: Judge beats Kevin Pillar at his own game

The Blue Jays center fielder has made a career of making diving catches at Rogers Centre that send bits of rubber flying. Judge showed that Pillar doesn't have a monopoly on that play as he dove to rob a line-drive hit from the man himself.

June 6: The wall strikes back

We've already seen Judge emerge victorious from an encounter with the right-field wall in Yankee Stadium. It has not been as one-sided a battle as the evidence has suggested thus far. On this Jackie Bradley Jr. fly ball, Judge made a great leaping catch but the wall made its presence felt.


Aug. 8: Judge overcomes his height to make a low catch

While Judge's frame gives him an advantage when it comes to home run robberies, it works as a disadvantage on sinking line drives. Or, at least that's what one would think. Judge showed Russell Martin that he can get as low as Lil Jon:


Sept. 5: Judge disappears into the corner

Judge even makes catches when the camera's aren't on him. When Tim Beckham hit a fly ball into the recess in right-field foul territory at Camden Yards, Judge raced to the corner and made Schrodinger's catch:


When he emerged with the ball -- and the camera showed a better angle -- the paradox was resolved: Judge did make a catch.

Sept. 17: Judge dives to rob Machado

We already saw Judge take a home run away from Machado in April, so he was just adding insult to injury when he dove to take away a base hit from the Orioles third baseman.


Judge will be back in right field for Game 4 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World. Tune in to FS1 at 5 p.m. ET to watch his next act of defensive wizardry.