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Judge is AL's top player, rookie for September

Yankees slugger among top American League MVP Award candidates
October 2, 2017

With a remarkable resurgence over the season's final stretch, Aaron Judge has re-entered the American League MVP Award conversation following a record-setting month, and on Monday he was named the AL Player and Rookie of the Month for September, receiving both honors in a month for the second time this

With a remarkable resurgence over the season's final stretch, Aaron Judge has re-entered the American League MVP Award conversation following a record-setting month, and on Monday he was named the AL Player and Rookie of the Month for September, receiving both honors in a month for the second time this year.
Over September, Judge led the AL with 13 homers to finish the year with 52, eclipsing the rookie record of 49 set by Mark McGwire in 1987. Judge also paced the AL in RBIs (32) and ranked second in slugging (.889) and on-base percentage (.463) in September.
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"It's incredible," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Judge after the rookie broke McGwire's record. "I think we'll appreciate it more when we sit down and have a chance to think about what he did this year. He's in the conversation for the MVP. Not just the Rookie of the Year, but the MVP."
For a six-week stretch out of the All-Star break, Judge struggled to a .182/.348/.351 clip with 66 strikeouts in 148 at-bats -- this on the heels of a first half in which he was slugging homers at a historic rate and emerging as one of the game's best players.
But he's come alive down the stretch and was a significant contributor to the Yankees securing the top AL Wild Card, which has reignited the AL MVP Award debate, primarily between Judge and Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.
Judge will get his first taste of postseason baseball tonight, when the Yankees host the Twins in the AL Wild Card Game. First pitch is set for 8 ET (ESPN).
Should the Yankees win, they would advance to play the Indians.
"Postseason baseball in the Bronx is an exciting time, and our fans are behind us 100 percent," Judge said. "So I'm looking forward to it."

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.