The last time all New York teams had homegrown young gunners was in the 1950s, when Mickey Mantle was at Yankee Stadium, Willie Mays was playing at the Polo Grounds with the Giants and Duke Snider was hitting home runs for the Brooklyns Dodgers. at Ebbets Field. Now the Big Apple only has two Major League clubs instead of three. And what happens with the Yankees and the Mets with Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso has never happened before.
So here’s a question about Alonso and Judge: If you could only pick one to add to your team, which one would you pick? Which team would you build a team around – not just for a year, but for the long haul?
This season, Alonso has hit 32 homers with 86 RBIs. He’s hitting .255 with an OPS of .849. Judge, who has been on fire lately, has 34 homers, 84 RBIs and a .289 average in 2021. His OPS is .913.
In his three major league seasons, Alonso averages 47 home runs, 110 RBIs and a .255 batting average per 162 games. Judge’s numbers for every 162 games are 45 homers, 103 RBIs and a .276 batting average.
Mets fans will always pick their gunner and Yankees fans will go for No. 99. But this is a conversation for baseball fans, if they could take on the role of general manager and had to choose.
Alonso, it is worth noting, has struck out “just” 116 times in 504 at-bats this season. Judge has 144 strikeouts in 494 at-bats. Alonso has traded 52 walks, Judge 66. And Judge has once again become the most indispensable position player for the Yankees, struggling to capture one of the AL Wild Cards.
What about the Mets? They still have some chances in their own fight for one of the Wilds, even three games under .500, and although their last nine losses have been by the slightest difference, a Major League record. The Queens team would not even have been in this position – both in the East of the National and in the Wild Card – without the contributions of Alonso, while they waited for the Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor to find the level that everyone is used to seeing, and before the also Puerto Rican Javier Báez arrived at Citi Field.
It was at the All-Star Game two months ago that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman described Alonso as “a special player,” high praise from a figure like Freeman. Judge also proved to be a special player on Monday, hitting a three-round home run in the eighth inning to tie the game against the Twins on a day when the Bombers erased a 5-0 deficit to triumph, and hitting his homer on Tuesday. number 36 against the Orioles. He did all of this after feeling dizzy that forced him to abandon Sunday’s engagement.
The gunner has now hit 153 homers in 555 games for the Yankees. Alonso has hit 102 in his first 355 meetings with the Mets.
Who do you prefer? And with free agency on the horizon for both (closer for Judge, who would be looming to enter the market after the 2022 season), who would be more willing to pay the kind of money the Yankees gave ace Gerrit? Cole, and what kind of contract did the Mets give Lindor?
Of course, there is another crucial statistic to consider, just because Judge has managed to stay on the field this season for the first time since 2017. Over the course of the three seasons Alonso has played with the Mets, he missed a game in in 2018, three in the short 2020 season, and he has been absent 10 this year. He’s clearly been a workhorse, playing 355 of the Mets’ last 369 games. Judge has been out of action in just 14 games this season, but lost 50 in 2018, 60 in 2019 and 32 of the 60 in 2020.
Alonso will turn 27 in December. Judge will turn 30 in April. Judge is the face of the Yankees again. Alonso is the face of the Mets, especially with ace Jacob deGrom’s injury.