BALTIMORE — Aaron Judge apparently is a hit with fans beyond those in the Bronx.
In the first release of the balloting for this year’s All-Star Game, the Yankees rookie ranked second to the Angels Mike Trout among American League outfielders. According to results released Wednesday by MLB, Trout, scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb on Wednesday, led the way with 776,937 votes. Judge was next at 730,438, the third-highest vote total overall with only Bryce Harper and Trout ahead of him.
“Pretty surreal to be honest,” Judge said before Wednesday night’s game against the Orioles. “Pretty crazy. I really don’t have any words for it . . . hearing I’m third in the All-Star voting, never would have thought something like that.”
He quickly added: “It’s a great accomplishment, but I have a job to do on the field. That’s where 100 percent of my focus is.”
Perhaps it’s surreal to the 25-year-old Judge, but not unexpected given his performance so far. Entering Wednesday, Judge was hitting .323/.423/.689 with a major league-leading 17 homers.
“I’m living the dream,” Judge said. “I’m getting paid to play a game, a kid’s game, a game I’ve played since I was a little kid playing T-ball. And I’m here with the New York Yankees and we’re in first place. I enjoy every day I come to the ballpark. I’m blessed to be in this situation.”
The Yankees did have one leader in the voting, second baseman Starlin Castro (516,268), who held a narrow lead over the Astros’ Jose Altuve (515,732).
Gary Sanchez was fourth among catchers with 267,683 votes, trailing the Royals’ Salvador Perez, who was at 420,268.
Judge is sure to be invited to participate in the Home Run Derby and he’s already on record as saying it’s something he would be interested in (he won a college version of it in 2012 while at Fresno State). He is not concerned, as some can be, about the Derby hurting his swing, should he choose to participate.
“It’s just BP, to be honest,” he smiled. “With a bunch of people watching.”