Before the season, New York Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge rejected a seven-year, $213.5 million contract offer from the club, raising several eyebrows in the process. Many believed Judge was making a mistake, given his injury history.

However, it looks like the decision to bet on himself is paying off, as he has been absolutely on fire to start the 2022 MLB season, with a .325 batting average as well as a league-leading 17 homers, 35 runs scored, 34 RBI and two stolen bases. Somehow, those numbers don't even capture just how good Judge has been.

The Yankees star is tied for second with Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout with 2.8 Offensive Wins Above Replacement. The hot start has many around baseball thinking that an American League MVP trophy- as well as a monster payday- could be headed Judge's way.

While both of those things are well withing the range of possibilities, why stop there? What else could the Yankees' slugger accomplish in the 2022 MLB season?

That's what we'll discuss here, in the boldest of terms. Here are three bold Aaron Judge predictions for the remainder of the 2022 season.

3 Bold Aaron Judge Predictions For Rest Of 2022 MLB Season

3. Judge bats over .300 for the first time in his career 

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This is certainly bold, as Judge owns a career .279 average in seven seasons. However, there are a few reasons to believe that the Yankee star's .325 average through 40 games this season is no fluke.

Per Fangraphs, Judge has retained the plate discipline improvements he made during the 2021 season, as he currently owns the second-lowest strikeout rate of his career while still walking at an above average rate. But that's not the only thing that has made him a far more dangerous hitter than when he first entered the league.

Judge's 76.3 percent contact rate is also the best mark of his career, building on last year's impressive number. The statistics point to a hitter becoming better by the year.

The Yankees star is harder to pitch around than ever before. Not only does he still see the plate with a stingy eye, but he has also cut down on the strikeouts that so often plagued him at the beginning of his career.

When the dust settles on the 2022 MLB season, Judge's batting average will be north of .300.

2. Judge will eclipse his 52 homers from 2017

At the time of print, Judge is on pace for 60-plus homers. He is just the fifth Yankees player to club 17 homers through the first 42 games of a season, joining Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Tino Martinez and Alex Rodriguez, per Byran Hoch of

Of those five great seasons by Yankees sluggers, each ended with 40-plus homer totals- three with 50-plus. That bodes well for Judge's final total, provided he can stay healthy.

When Judge belted 52 homers in 2017, he ranked among the league's best in some of the most telling Statcast metrics for power numbers, such as barrel rate, average exit velocity and hard-hit rate.

So far in 2022, Judge is somehow far outpacing his 2017 metrics. The Yankees star ranks first in baseball in barrels per plate appearance, first in hard-hit rate and second in average exit velocity to teammate Giancarlo Stanton.

Putting aside the numbers for a moment, Judge has something else going for him this year that he didn't have in 2017: added motivation.

The Yankees, whether intentional or not, basically indirectly told him that they didn't think he was worth the contract he was desiring. That is a powerful motivator for a player.

Judge will use it as a tool to put up not only the best power numbers in the league, but the best of his career in the 2022 MLB season.

1. Judge will win the AL MVP

Judge will do what he didn't do in 2017: win the American League MVP award. It certainly won't be easy, with the likes of Trout and Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez also in the running.

However, the Yankees slugger has two things working for him. First, the MVP voters could have fatigue from awarding Trout, who has won it three times, so frequently in his career. Secondly, the Yankees currently own the best record, which has historically played a role in the voting.

If one of the league's most valuable players also happens to play for the team with the best record, there's a good chance the voters will be inclined to choose that player.

That player very well could be Judge in 2022. When it's all said and done, Judge will secure the AL MVP award for the first time in his career in the 2022 MLB season.