Major League Baseball released its list of top jersey sales for 2019 and for a third straight year, the Yankees slugger sits at the top. Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper rode an offseason fo media attention and a new contract to a second-place finish.
Judge took baseball by storm as a rookie two seasons ago, putting on a legendary display at the MLB All-Star Homer Derby in D.C. Then he elevated himself to the face of baseball by setting the rookie homer record of 52 that was broken by Mets rookie Peter Alonzo this season.
Despite the huge contracts and media attention awarded Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado in the offseason, Judge is still baseball’s big dawg when it comes to being the most recognizable and marketable face in the game.
The popularity of most players suffers when they miss significant time on the field. However, the 6-foot-7 Yankees star still has the No. 1 highest selling jersey despite playing just 100 games in 2018 due to a broken wrist and just 112 games this season due to a pulled oblique and some other naggies injuries.
While most players who miss significant time lose popularity, when it comes to Judge’s personal relationship with MLB fans, his absence seems to make their hearts grow fonder.
Trout — the guy who is universally recognized as the best player in the sport — once again took a backseat to Judge, who still managed to stroke 27 homers in limited duty. In fact, Trout gets all of the accolades and awards from baseball, but he only had the ninth-best-selling jersey this season.
Trout is a favorite to win his third AL MVP award as he leads the AL in a number of categories, including home runs (45), on-base percentage (.438), slugging percentage (.645) and OPS (1.083). Problem is, nobody seems to really care, because he lacks that magnetism, charisma, and off the field celebrity that Judge enjoys.
Judge also provides MLB with a minority face to attract more young African-American athletes to the game. His presence alone provides the inspiration and credibility for baseball’s diversity initiatives.
Baseball needs to listen to the market and the fans with purchasing power. They want to see more of Aaron Judge in commercials and MLB promotions. There’s no bigger indication of a baller’s popularity than jersey sales and Judge continues to have that on smash.
Top 20 Most Popular MLB Jerseys
- Aaron Judge, Yankees
- Bryce Harper, Phillies
- Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
- Javier Baez, Cubs
- Christian Yelich, Brewers
- Ronald Acuna, Braves
- Mookie Betts, Red Sox
- Jose Altuve, Astros
- Mike Trout, Angels
- Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
- Yadier Molina, Cardinals
- Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
- Alex Bregman, Astros
- Pete Alonso, Mets
- Freddie Freeman, Braves
- Kris Bryant, Cubs
- Francisco Lindor, Indians
- Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
- Jacob deGrom, Mets
- George Springer, Astros