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Yankees May Have a New Historic Duo on Their Hands

The New York Yankees may have a new historic duo. Aaron Judge and Juan Soto are off to an incredible start together. Arguably the two best hitters in the game, they both are off to such amazing starts that it promises to be a fun and perhaps historic summer in the Bronx.

Two seasons ago, Judge broke Roger Maris‘s single-season American League home run record of 61 which Maris hit in 1961. This past week, Judge has a new record: he’s the only player ever to record 11 homers and 12 doubles over a 20-game stretch. It’s a hot streak never seen before in the history of baseball. Judge has gone nuclear this month, and now he tops the majors in several offensive categories.

Alongside him is none other than the generational superstar Juan Soto. This past winter’s blockbuster addition looks made for the hallowed Yankees pinstripes. This duo is already the best offensively in the game. If Soto signs an extension and keeps up his current output, the Yankees may have a new historic duo similar to Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle‘s run at the history books, bearing in mind Judge already broke Maris’s home run mark.

It’s too early for proclamations a few weeks into their partnership. However, there’s an increasing chance that both will put up historic numbers together on the way to a deep October run this year.

Yankees May Have a New Historic Duo

Yankee Universe is already showing Juan Soto all the love. The huge Dominican community in the Bronx is playing a big part in his early comfort. As such, he’s been treated like a native son already.

Soto in return embraces the love. He takes time to give back to the fans in the stands at every opportunity. His personality and game are built for the city. He has the perfect Ruthian mix of kindness, confidence, and swagger. Every Soto at-bat is an event. His shuffle, smile, and nod before sending the next pitch into orbit before flipping his bat, is pure cinema. He’s already had a few cinematic moments to start the year.

To Aaron Judge’s credit, the Yankee captain has played a huge role in ensuring a smooth arrival for Soto. Already, there is a friendship and great chemistry brewing between the two superstars. Judge, an elite right fielder, happily moved to center to accommodate Soto. Judge also campaigned for manager Aaron Boone to switch them in the order, batting behind Soto in the lineup for the betterment of the team. It’s all worked out swimmingly so far.

Both guys are setting up target practice in ballparks across the country. Per ESPN’s Buster Olney, Soto is currently on pace to hit 42 home runs with 129 RBI and 117 runs scored.

Following him, Judge is on course for 51 home runs with 117 RBI and 111 runs scored. These are video game numbers. Combined, they could end up driving in 250 runs together and hitting 90 home runs.

Beyond the numbers, this makes the Yankees heavy favorites to come out of the American League and go to the World Series. They already have a top-two rotation with defending Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole still to join it, along with this juggernaut offense.

Soto and Judge: A Look at Their Numbers

It’s been an incredible start for these two sluggers. Soto, in his contract year and first year in pinstripes, is on a mission. So far, just two months into the season, he sports a .310 average with a massive 44 RBI and 14 home runs. Soto is in the top five in the league in OPS, OBP, and RBI. Furthermore, he’s in the top 10 in batting average, hits, home runs, and runs, and he’s third in total bases. Juan Soto is off to an otherworldly start, and one of the clear early front-runners for the AL MVP.

Judge, after a slow start, is in superhuman form right now. As of Monday, he is second in MLB with 17 home runs. He also leads the league in slugging percentage and OPS. Judge also leads the league in the Isolated Power statistic, measured by extra-base hits per at-bat. He is leading the American League in most offensive categories, and at this point is also competing for the league’s MVP.

Judge has been particularly hot over his last 15 games. In that span, he has 21 hits, batting just under .412 with 8 homers and 14 RBI. With an OPS of 1.039 over his last ten games, he is the hottest he’s ever been. Not only is Judge the hottest player in the game right now, his past 20 games are historically good.

The New Bronx Bombers

How will the opposition pitch to this Yankee lineup? Teams cannot pitch around Soto, because he’ll happily pass the baton to Aaron Judge to feast. With Giancarlo Stanton in the middle of the order, there’s no soft landing. Stanton himself is currently tied with Shohei Ohtani for seventh in the majors in home runs, hitting 13 already. The former MVP’s start cannot be overlooked due to his incredible bat speed.

This lineup has the makings of a true Murderer’s Row. Soto and Judge should continue to get good pitches to hit with no easy stretch in the lineup. If they pitch around the duo, Stanton awaits, as Yu Darvish of the San Diego Padres learned the hard way.

All three sluggers went yard off Darvish in the same inning. The trio combined to hit the ball a combined 1,250 feet in one inning. Sandwiched between the three-peat, Alex Verdugo took Darvish to the top of the wall for a double. All this came off a pitcher who had a scoreless streak of 25 innings prior to the game.

Judge then sent ace Dylan Cease‘s offering deep into the left field seats Saturday night.

Similarly, against the excellent Seattle Mariners pitching staff, Judge hit an opposite-field blast into the right-field bleachers against Bryce Miller. Not to be outdone, Juan Soto then obliterated an opposite-field shot into the bullpen in left center. In his next at-bat, Soto hit another, this time into the left-field bleachers.

The next day, Judge mashed a shot off the excellent Luis Castillo. Stanton also followed suit. The trio’s 43 homers are already more than that of four entire major league clubs.

Best Duo in MLB?

As of right now, Soto and Judge constitute the best duo in the majors statistically, and both are early favorites for the AL MVP. They already have a camaraderie, and each at-bat for the pair is a must-see. The Yankees may have a new historic duo if they can tie Soto down for the long term. With the best record in the AL and the second-best record in the majors, this team looks special as currently constructed. If this continues, it could lead them to the franchise’s 28th World Series title.


Photo Credit: © Chadd Cady-USA TODAY Sports


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