NEW YORK -- The powerful duo of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez combined for 85 homers, the highest total by a pair of Yankees teammates since 1961, helping the "Baby Bombers" to each be recognized with their first American League Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards on Thursday night.Judge established a
NEW YORK -- The powerful duo of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez combined for 85 homers, the highest total by a pair of Yankees teammates since 1961, helping the "Baby Bombers" to each be recognized with their first American League Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards on Thursday night.
Judge established a new rookie record with 52 homers as part of his stellar campaign, which has placed him in position to join Fred Lynn and Ichiro Suzuki as the only players to win both AL MVP and AL Rookie of the Year Awards in the same season.
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Judge batted .284/.422/.627 with 114 RBIs in the regular season and had a memorable victory in the Home Run Derby, in which he hit 47 long balls. Judge led the AL in runs (128) and walks (127), while ranking second in RBIs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, leading the Yankees to the American League Championship Series.
"It was incredible," Judge said. "That's what you play for. The opportunities like that, the crowd feels like they're right on top of you. The atmosphere is amazing and it's win or go home. There's no better stage to play on."
Sanchez hit .278/.345/.531 with 79 runs, 20 doubles, 33 homers and 90 RBIs in 122 games, leading all Major League catchers in runs, homers, RBIs and slugging percentage.
The 33 homers were the most by a Yankees catcher, surpassing a previous mark of 30 shared by Yogi Berra (1952, '56) and Jorge Posada (2003), and Sanchez's total was the most hit by any catcher since the Braves' Javy Lopez belted 43 in 2003.
"The thing is that I really don't pay attention to the numbers," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "What I can tell you is that when I go in the box, I go up there looking for a good pitch to hit, and when I have people on base I make sure I do the job."
With Judge and Sanchez combining for 85 homers, it established a new Major League record for a pair of teammates age 25 and younger. The previous mark was held by the 2007 Brewers, who got 50 from Prince Fielder and 34 from Ryan Braun.
Each of the 18 winning players takes home a Silver Slugger Award in honor of his achievements. The Silver Slugger Award is the top offensive award in Major League Baseball, with the top players at each position in each league selected in a vote by Major League coaches and managers. Voters are not permitted to select a player on their own team.
The first week of awards season concludes on Friday with the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year honors announced at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.