Aaron Judge is more than just a home run hitter, and he received an award that proved it.
The New York Yankees right fielder was one of nine players to win MLB’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Awards. on Wednesday.
Judge, who won the award for the first time, saved 19 defensive runs this past season, tied with Cody Bellinger for the most by a right fielder. That number is more impressive because Judge played in just 102 games, missing about two months because of an oblique injury.
The awards honor the MLB’s top defender at each position, including one overall Defensive Player of the Year (Cleveland Indians catcher Roberto Perez) and the Defensive Team of the Year (Houston Astros).
The other winners were: Astros pitcher Zack Greinke, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman, Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta and Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain.
“Wow!!” Judge tweeted after the announcement. “Always been a dream of mine! Can’t thank my coaches and teammates enough!”
The Yankees also sent out a congratulatory tweet highlighting some of Judge’s best plays in 2019.
Despite Judge’s gratitude for the award, this wasn’t the big prize he was hoping to win.
“It’s a failure,’’ Judge said about the Yankees’ year after their season-ending 6-4 loss to the Astros in Game 6 of the ALCS. “We talked about winning the division and winning the World Series.
“No matter how many games we won during the regular season it is a failure.’’