Since 2019, one of the great debates in baseball has been Aaron Judge vs Pete Alonso. These are two of the best power hitters in baseball and they just so happen to both play in New York, making the Judge vs Alonso comparison inevitable.
While it’s easy to say that both are among the top hitters in baseball, with the Mets and Yankees being involved in one of the biggest baseball rivalries, we thought we’d pick a side once and for all.
Aaron Judge vs Pete Alonso comparison
Obviously, New York fans are biased one way or another based on their rooting interest. But for neutrals, the Aaron Judge vs Pete Alonso debate is a tough one.
Both won Rookie of the Year and led their respective league in homers as a rookie. Both have also won the Home Run Derby and been named an All-MLB First Team performer. With so many similarities, let’s dive deeper into the Judge vs Alonso comparison and pick what player is just a little better than the other.
The Aaron Judge vs Pete Alonso power comparison is almost destined to be a wash. Both guys hit home runs, and both guys hit home runs that get out of the park in a hurry and go far beyond the outfield wall. Obviously, Judge set the bar high with 52 home runs as a rookie, only for Alonso to hit 53 the following year, doing so without any big league experience the previous year.
Judge’s home run numbers declined a little bit after that because he missed time with injuries. Meanwhile, Alonso smashed 16 homers in the shortened 2020 season and 37 in 2021, which was just his second full season in the majors. However, Judge does have a slightly higher career slugging percentage, so he’s arguably been more productive when he’s been able to stay healthy.
While Alonso has shown the potential to be a high-average hitter and surely does more than just hit home runs, Judge has been a little more consistent in this area. Outside of the shortened 2020 campaign and his first taste of the majors in 2016, Judge has hit at least .272 in every season with his career average being just a little higher.
Meanwhile, Alonso has fallen short of that number. He batted .260 as a rookie in 2019 and just .262 in 2021. His average in the shortened 2020 season was a mere .231. Granted, Alonso has shown some improvement in his approach and ability to hit for a better average, Judge still has the edge in this area.
Defense is another category where Judge is a little ahead of Alonso, although Alonso is showing potential in that area. While Judge doesn’t look like the fastest or fleet of foot outfielder because of his size, he’s able to cover a lot of ground in the outfield. The Yankees have even used him in center field at times because he can cover ground.
Of course, Judge also has one of the best arms of any right fielder in the majors right now, which is part of the reason why he won the Fielding Bible in 2021. Meanwhile, Alonso came to the big leagues with the reputation of someone being a liability defensively.
But nothing could be further from the truth. While he’s unlikely to ever win a Gold Glove, Alonso strives to do so. He’s worked hard to improve his defense at first base and now ranks as an above-average defensive player despite still being one of the most underrated first basemen in baseball when it comes to his defense.
Part of what makes the Judge vs Alonso comparison so difficult and both such great players is that both possess intangibles that have a positive impact on their team. As young players, both Judge and Alonso came into the New York market with massive expectations and appeared to handle the pressure without flinching.
They both found a way to embrace the pressure and use it to their advantage rather than running away from it, which isn’t a trait that’s found in most young players.
Likewise, both Judge and Alonso have grown into leadership roles with their respective teams, which is also not something that’s always common with young players. In fact, their ability to adapt to playing in New York and welcome a leadership role in the clubhouse are also reasons why both Judge and Alonso have excelled on the field.
Frankly, there is no wrong choice when making a Judge vs Alonso comparison.
If you were starting a team and wanted to build around one of them, Alonso would likely be the choice because he’s three years younger. But in terms of career accomplishments and the player they are today, Judge is the better slugger and the better overall player.
Judge hits the same towering home runs that Alonso does but he does so with a better average while also bringing more to the table defensively. But the gap between Judge and Alonso is small and one that Alonso could make even smaller moving forward.
The Mets’ first baseman is getting better at hitting for a high average and improving defensively and is closer than most people think at matching Judge in those areas. For now, Judge is the winner, but the battle is far from over.