overnight into an exciting young team with tremendous potential. They made the postseason as a wild card.
“It’s exciting times right now to be wearing pinstripes,” Judge said. “To come up through the minor leagues with a lot of these guys, watch them develop, and now to see what they’re doing at the major league level is really impressive.”
Judge’s 495-foot shot on June 11 was the longest home run in the major leagues this season, according to Statcast . Although he struck out 208 times in the regular season and 27 more in the postseason, the 25-yearold outfielder is one of a handful of reasons why the Yankees suddenly seem to have one of the brightest futures of any team in baseball.
New York came within a victory of the World Series this year, losing to Houston in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series. Bellinger’s team made it to that final step,
but Los Angeles fell to the Astros in a seven-game World Series.
Bellinger is the second straight Dodgers player to win Rookie of the Year. Shortstop Corey Seager did it last year.
“The future is bright in L.A.,” Bellinger said. “I know that I’m excited, as well as the other teammates. Obviously, we didn’t have the end goal this year, but we’re going to try and take it to the next level next year.”
Bellinger made his big league debut in late April. By the time he turned 22 on July 13, he had 25 home runs. The 6-foot-4 first baseman is an appropriate counterpart to the powerful Judge. They even hit from opposite sides of the plate: Judge is a righty and Bellinger swings left-handed.
“He’s not just a guy that went up there and hit home runs,” Judge said. “He was a guy that played high-caliber first base for them. He could go out there and roam center field, left field, right field, wherever they needed him. To have that type of versatility and produce the numbers he did is something that you don’t find too often.”