Coming off one of the best individual seasons we’ve ever seen, it’s official that Aaron Judge is coming back to the Yankees.
After signing a 9-year, $360,000,000 contract, averaging to about $40 million a year, Judge also earned the title of 16th Captain in Yankees franchise history.
But, what is to be expected from number 99 in these next 9 years?
Let’s look at his projected numbers with the expected inflation of the league over the duration of his contract.
Judging these numbers based on Judge’s career games played per season of 77.2%, he would be on pace for 353 more home runs in his Yankees career, ending his career with 573 jacks.
His projected numbers do expect his batting average to fall below .250 for the next 9 years, but after posting a career-best .311 this last year (24 points higher than his previous best), his contact tool could be a consistency we see when his power begins to falter.
This contact tool would also help to mitigate his strikeouts, which is the biggest question mark for the final portion of his career. Currently, he is on pace to add over 2,000 strikeouts for the remainder of his career, which would put him in the top-5 list of all-time in punchouts.
But these are all just speculations as to the future of Judge’s career, as we’ve never truly seen a player of Judge’s size and abilities play this late into their career.
In fact, according to Tom Verducci of MLB Network, Aaron Judge has the chance to be just the second player in MLB history to hit a home run in their age 37 season or later while weighing over 270 pounds.
The other to do so? Bartolo Colon.
So, these projections are exactly that, as Judge may be one of the most difficult players to accurately predict how their future will unfold.
But after one of the best bet-on-yourself seasons the game has ever seen, Judge earned himself not only $40 million a year, and it gave him a paycheck into his age 39 seasons, thus overcoming the shortfalls constantly seen by late bloomers missing out on their payday.
No matter which side of the home run record you fall, it’s difficult to not consider the regular season from #99 as one of the best in MLB history.