Aaron Judge of the Yankees bats in the first inning against...

Aaron Judge of the Yankees bats in the first inning against the Pirates during a Grapefruit League Spring Training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Monday in Tampa, Fla. Credit: Getty Images/Julio Aguilar

TAMPA, Fla. — Aaron Judge is coming off a year that will never be duplicated. Not even by him.

He toppled a single-season home run record that stood for 61 years, won the American League MVP and capped the whole thing off with a nine-year, $360 million contract, the most lucrative in history for a free agent. Oh, and that last part, which nearly doubled the Yankees’ Opening Day offer, came attached with the title of captain.

Judge had the kind of year that makes you believe that nothing is impossible for him, a 6-7 pinstriped superhero the likes of which the Bronx had never seen or likely will ever witness again.

But there is one achievement that remains tantalizingly beyond Judge’s larger-than-life reach, and unlike surpassing Roger Maris he can’t do it himself.

And that’s getting to a World Series, the prize that has eluded Judge through his first seven years, despite three trips to the ALCS. Here’s the tricky thing: No matter how many homers Judge smashes, or MVPs he collects, or piles of cash he earns, that won’t guarantee a spot in the Fall Classic.

You can’t really be a LeBron James or Tom Brady in baseball. Judge came pretty close to being that level of game-changer a year ago, carrying the Yankees on his shoulders for six months. The frustrating part? There are physical limitations on Judge’s influence — he doesn’t constantly have the ball in his hands like LeBron or Brady — which is why the challenge for him going forward is to identify more ways to win in the margins.

Becoming a more effective two-strike hitter (.194 BA last season, ranked 52nd overall). Sliding over to leftfield for the first time since his freshman season at Fresno State in order for Giancarlo Stanton to get more reps in right. Looking outside the lines to strengthen the other Yankees.

“That’s the one thing that’s crazy about basketball and those other sports,” Judge said. “You can just throw LeBron on any team and they’re going to be in the Finals. For me, it’s about just trying to be a leader and getting the most out of every player I can. If I know certain guys are struggling with certain things, just being there — as a friend, as a teammate — to help pick them up.”

Hal Steinbrenner anointing Judge as captain with that late-night December phone call to his parents’ house (a stopover en route to his wedding anniversary trip to Hawaii) was less about awarding the outfielder with the title than affirming what he always dutifully performed for the Yankees. Judge said being called “Cap” takes some getting used to, and he admits the responsibility is a bit daunting, based on the lineage before him, the last being a Hall of Famer with five rings in Derek Jeter.

“There’s going to be some work involved,” Judge said. “Because there’s really no handbook, there’s no drills I could work on to be a better captain. But I’m excited to grow in that role and be there for the guys.”

As for his more tangible on-field upgrades, Judge did specify his situational hitting, which he believes — on occasion — will benefit from him thinking smaller at the plate. That’s not what you’d expect to hear from a guy with an MLB-best .686 slugging percentage a year ago coming off a 62-homer season, but Judge sees opportunity here, using his AL-leading 131 RBIs as a floor, not a ceiling.

“RBIs are my main goal,” Judge said. “That’s what gets us more runs, and equals more wins for the Yankees. I think with some of the [new rule] shift changes, you don’t have everybody on one side of the field, there’s going to be a couple more open holes. If you just put the ball in play, you’re going to make something happen.

“For me, if I can consistently turn a couple of strikeouts into just a ball in play, you never know. It could squeak by, it could move a guy over. It’s a work in progress still, that’s why we’ve got all spring to work on it.”

The other impactful shift for Judge this season will be playing leftfield, and he’ll get his first start there Wednesday against the Cardinals in Tampa. Judge has been taking fly balls at the position the past few days, but it’s not as simple as merely switching corners, especially facing high exit-velo righty sluggers.

“It’s a little tougher getting used to the spin,” Judge said. “When lefties slice it you can read that pretty easily. It’s not coming off the bat 115, 120 mph. But imagine having someone like Giancarlo hitting hard line drives at me — you don’t know if you should come in, go back, is it kind of curling down?”

A star of Judge’s stature, happily entrenched at his home position, doesn’t automatically sign up for a move that could make him uncomfortable. But that’s not Judge.

“You know what kind of person he is,” Stanton said. “What he is for this team. Anything to help us win, he’s open to.”

And if there’s something he seemingly can’t do, Judge will keep trying.

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