NEW YORK -- All rise; the verdict is in. Aaron Judge now owns the hardest-hit home run in the Statcast™ Era, toppling Giancarlo Stanton's previous record with a 119.4-mph rocket that landed in Monument Park during Friday's wild 14-11 Yankees win over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.While Judge said he
NEW YORK -- All rise; the verdict is in. Aaron Judge now owns the hardest-hit home run in the Statcast™ Era, toppling Giancarlo Stanton's previous record with a 119.4-mph rocket that landed in Monument Park during Friday's wild 14-11 Yankees win over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
While Judge said he felt no great difference at the moment of impact with his sixth-inning, two-run shot off Baltimore right-hander Kevin Gausman, the Yankees rookie acknowledged that he couldn't have hit that particular ball much better.
"They all kind of feel the same," Judge said. "Once you get it on the sweet spot, you don't really feel it too much."
The dinger was Judge's second home run of the game, having hit a solo shot in the fifth off Gausman, and his American League-leading ninth of the season. It was measured at 435 feet, with a launch angle of 17 degrees, and represented another chapter in Judge's growing list of impressive on-field accomplishments.
"He's probably the most gifted baseball player I think I've ever been around," Yankees designated hitter Matthew Holliday said. "I mean, he's 6-foot-8, 275 pounds. He moves really well in the outfield. I'm not saying he's going to be the greatest player who ever played, but … he can do things that I haven't seen, and I've played a long time."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he saw Judge's second homer as a turning point, helping the club erase an eight-run deficit to grab a share of first place in the American League East.
"He hit two line drives out tonight; one to left-center and one to center," Girardi said. "That's not easy to do at this ballpark. And I kind of started thinking, 'OK, here we go.'"
Only the Brewers' Eric Thames (11) and the Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman (10) have hit more homers in the Major Leagues this year than the 25-year-old Judge, who joined Mickey Mantle (11, in 1956) as the only Yankees to hit nine or more homers in the team's first 21 games of a season.
"I'm locked in. I just focus on my plan of what I'm going to do," Judge said. "I try to focus on that and tune everything else out."
Stanton had held the exit velocity crown since June 23, 2015, when the Marlins star hit a 119.2-mph homer off the Cardinals' Carlos Martinez. Holliday said Judge is a worthy successor to the title.
"As far as raw talent goes, that dude is massive," Holliday said. "He's athletic. He can play defense. He runs the bases. And he's a fantastic kid. I'm a huge fan. I love watching him play. The sky's the limit, really, for his potential."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.