NEW YORK -- All rise, especially those of you out there in the back row of the left-field bleachers. Aaron Judge crushed the longest home run hit in the Majors this season on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, a Statcast™ calculated 495-foot blast off the Orioles' Logan Verrett.The rookie slugger
NEW YORK -- All rise, especially those of you out there in the back row of the left-field bleachers. Aaron Judge crushed the longest home run hit in the Majors this season on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, a Statcast™ calculated 495-foot blast off the Orioles' Logan Verrett.
The rookie slugger unloaded on an 85-mph slider in the sixth inning, rocketing off his bat at 118.6 mph. Judge later extended his MLB home run lead to 21 with a two-run shot off Jimmy Yacabonis in the Yanks' 14-3 victory, and his teammates jokingly refused to give him high-fives when he returned to the dugout.
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"That just shows what kind of fun we're having here, what kind of group we have here," Judge said. "We've meshed well ever since Spring Training. It's been a fun year all around. You see it in our play on the field, off the field, we're just having fun and playing our game."
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The first homer set a new American League record for distance in the Statcast™ era. Only the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton has hit one farther since the system was implemented in 2015, a 504-foot shot on Aug. 6, 2016 at Coors Field. Judge is tied for second overall with the Cubs' Kristopher Bryant, who also hit one 495 feet on Sept. 6, 2015. In other words, Judge and Bryant are tied for the longest homer in the Statcast™ era outside of the high altitude of Colorado.
"I've seen him hit homers, but that one from today is just incredible," catcher Gary Sanchez said through an interpreter. "I've never seen anything like that. Did it go over the bleachers? I've never seen that."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi recalled a few moonshots from his catching days -- Carlos Delgado put one into the upper deck in Toronto, and Eric Anthony did the same in the old Astrodome -- but he said Judge's blast stands in a league of its own.
"I think our guys realize it's special watching his power," Girardi said. "This is not something you see every day. I think about what we saw from Gary Sanchez last year. That's not something you see every day and he's starting to heat up, too. So how can you not get excited over the home run he hit?"
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, half-jokingly, that he would like to position fielders in the bullpens when Judge bats. Judge now leads the AL in all three Triple Crown categories, owning a .344 batting average, 21 homers and 47 RBIs.
It is a scenario that Judge could not have envisioned after struggling late last year, striking out in 42 of 84 at-bats.
"Not really, especially when you hit [.179] the year before. You don't really think about it," Judge said. "I'm really thinking about my teammates. I'm really in a good position here, surrounded by a lot of good players, young and old. They're just putting me in a good spot."
Judge's first blast gave the Yankees an 8-3 lead at the time, an impressive follow-up to Sanchez's early fireworks. In less than 24 hours, Sanchez has hit both the hardest home run of his career as well as the farthest, clubbing a Statcast™-calculated 450-foot blast early on Sunday, a three-run homer off Kevin Gausman in a five-run first inning.
The home run followed a 115.1-mph laser to left-center field off Mike Wright in Saturday's 16-3 victory. He's 9-for-21 (.429) with four homers since being moved to No. 6 in the lineup.
"You're seeing some big run production, some big home runs," Girardi said. "It's great because these are big power bats and when they get going together, you score some runs."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.