Aaron Judge’s HR pace is on a historic level. With 27 homers in 67 games, which averages out to a homer every third game, Judge is on pace to finish his season with 63 jacks.
This would be just the ninth time in MLB history a player surpassed 60 in a season and just the third time outside of the Steroid Era.
So, if #99 continues at this pace, how would that compare to the other 5 players to ever do it?
By taking the best single-season from Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Maris, and Ruth to Judge’s projected 63 homers, and inflating all of them to the same league average, we see that Judge actually loses about 4 homers, bumping him out of the group.
This is not so much Judge’s fault, as everyone in the group falls on account of Ruth’s outlier season.
Since Ruth changed the game of baseball in 1927, the league average amount of homers has inflated 186%, even with this year showing below-average HR production.
Roger Maris’ 1961 campaign also came in a year where home runs were much less common. If he played in 2022, his home runs would inflate about 12%, giving him about 68 homers.
So, if we compare Judge’s current season just to the Steroid Era players, Judge would narrowly finish behind the group, finishing with 65 homers.
But, Judge still has plenty of time to alter his per-game pace. For example 67 games into Sammy Sosa’s season, he has just 25 homers. McGwire however has Judge beat up to this point with 33, and the “Homerun King” Barry Bonds was already off to a much higher pace with 38 bombs.
All things considered, Judge’s historic pace so far would be monumental, breaking a 21-year drought since Bonds hit 73.
To reach 60 in a season with down offensive production, especially when considered to the prime of the Steroid Era, would be quite a feat for the potential free agent after this season.