New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge may be baseball’s newest superstar, but his mammoth home run swing was no match for Jackie Bradley Jr. on Sunday night.
In the midst of a heated Yankees-Red Sox American League East rivalry game that was being aired on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, the former South Carolina outfielder stole the spotlight from Mr. Judge. If only for a moment.
In what many are considering the catch of the year, Bradley traced a Judge bomb all the way to the famous triangle in deep center field at Fenway Park and went full extension on a lead over the wall to bring the baseball back into the field of a play for an out.
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Former Vanderbilt ace David Price was on the mound, and he was very animated in his happiness at the sight of the grab, which helped the first-place Red Sox to a 3-0 victory against the hated Yankees. Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts told reporters watching the play made the hair on his arms stand up.
“It’s one of those balls you just try to time up,” Bradley told MLB.com’s Ian Browne and Bryan Hoch. “It was in the air. Those are the type of plays that rarely happen. A lot of different things have got to go the right way. Gotta be just far enough over the wall, but short enough where you can grab it. And you’ve got to be able to get back there in time.”
MLB.com’s Statcast measured the ball struck by Judge, who leads all of baseball with 30 home runs this season, at an exit velocity of 107.5 mph and a launch angle of 32 degrees. According to MLB.com’s Brown and Hoch, “more than nine times out of 10, a ball struck in that fashion is a homer.”