Judge wins Baseball Digest player of year; Alcantara top arm

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge was chosen major league player of the year by Baseball Digest and eBay after setting an American League record with 62 home runs.

The New York Yankees slugger beat out two-way star Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, last year’s winner and the reigning AL MVP.

Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara was picked as pitcher of the year and New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz was voted the top reliever in awards announced Thursday.

Judge received 18 first-place votes in balloting by a 22-member panel of baseball writers and broadcasters that included several former players, managers and executives.

The other four first-place votes went to Ohtani for another remarkable season on the mound and at the plate. St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt finished third.

Judge broke the AL mark of 61 home runs established by Yankees outfielder Roger Maris in 1961, helping New York to the AL East title.

A four-time All-Star and the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year, the 30-year-old Judge also led the majors in runs (133), on-base percentage (.425), slugging percentage (.686), OPS (1.111), extra-base hits (90) and total bases (391). He tied Mets slugger Pete Alonso for most RBIs with 131 and finished second in the AL batting race with a .311 average to Minnesota’s Luis Arraez (.316).

In the 54-year history of Baseball Digest’s player of the year award, the only other Yankees to win were pitcher Ron Guidry (1978) and shortstop Derek Jeter (2006).

Judge can become a free agent after the World Series.

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