The hallowed baseball achievement is achieved when a hitter leads his league, AL or NL, in batting average, home runs and RBIs in the same season. Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera won MLB’s last Triple Crown in 2012, breaking a decade-long drought that had stretched since Carl Yastrzemski did it for the Boston Red Sox in 1967.
For much of the summer, the supreme 2022 Triple Crown threat appeared to be St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. But just as Goldschmidt fell off the home run in the NL, Judge stepped up his assault on the batting average scoreboard in the AL. Since mentioning a goal to hit .300 in July, citing Cabrera’s greatness, Judge has gone supernova. He is hitting .371 since the All-Star break, by far the best among qualified MLB hitters. That raised his overall average from .284 to a peak of .317 this week.
With his home run and RBI leads looking insurmountable, Judge is basically racing a handful of AL stars for the batting title to determine if he will add the Triple Crown to what is sure to be a ridiculous list of honors in 2022.
So, with just over a dozen games remaining, we’ll check in on his quest here at the end of each night.
Is Aaron Judge in line for the Triple Crown?
Thursday, September 22: YES. But it’s still close. Judge posted his first hitless game since Sept. 7, but it’s not like the Red Sox gave him many opportunities. Judge went 0-for-2 with three walks and a strikeout. It looked like he hit 61 home runs in his final at-bat until the ball fell just short of the center field wall, to the surprise of Yankee Stadium.
Fortunately for the Judge supporters, Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts‘s batting average dropped even more during an 0-for-5 night. Here’s how the batting average leaderboard sits now:
Aaron Judge: .31589
Xander Bogaerts: .31358
Luis Arraez: .31262
This one goes down to the wire.
Wednesday, September 21st: YES. Judge’s closest competition now is Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. After strong nights for both, Judge is ahead by the slimmest of margins. The leaderboards will show them both at .317, but Judge’s average is a bit higher if you go further down the decimals.
Make this more interesting? The Yankees and Red Sox begin a four-game series on Thursday in the Bronx.
Tuesday, September 20th: YES. On the same night he crushed home run #60 — and sparked a game-winning rally — Judge moved into the lead for the AL batting title for the first time. He started the evening behind Luis Arrarez and Xander Bogaerts before pulling ahead thanks to his ninth-inning blast.