The Yankees have waited a long time for the real Giancarlo Stanton to emerge. Imagine if the wait is over and another MVP season is brewing…
No player, save perhaps Gary Sanchez, on the Yankees has been pounded on by the media and fans more than Giancarlo Stanton since his arrival in the Bronx via a trade with the Marlins in 2018.
Thought to be a coup at the time, executed perfectly by Brian Cashman when he was riding high, the Marlins new owner Derek Jeter received only Starlin Castro in return while uploading Stanton’s gargantuan contract on the Yankees.
Yankees fans recall that Stanton rebounded well from his previous MVP season in the National League, hammering 38 home runs while driving in and even 100, and scoring 102 runs himself.
Visions of sugarplums and World Championships danced in our heads as we imagined the decade ahead when Stanton would be teamed with Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, smack in the middle of the Yankees lineup.
Yankees: And Then came The Crash
Alas, we know what followed with the rash of this that and the other injuries that kept Stanton from the Yankees lineup, along with rightful wondering about the Yankees being “had”, and saddled with the remaining portion of a $325 million contract until 2028 when Stanton would be limping to at age 38.
Still, the Yankees and most of their fan base were convinced that Stanton could still play this game at the highest of levels – if only he could find a way to remain on the field.
We have an inkling this year as to what has been missed.
I’m sure you’ve heard that Stanton is currently batting .312 with nine home runs and 23 RBI – which puts him on pace for 54 homers and 138 RBI.
Qualifying as one of the hottest hitters in baseball, from the time Stanton hit two homers in an April 23 game he hasn’t looked back, hitting .500 (24-for-48) with five homers, four doubles, 10 RBIs, two walks, eight strikeouts, and an OPS of 1.416.
Not surprisingly, Stanton’s explosion has coincided with a resurgence by the Yankees over the same period.
Writing for the New York Post, columnist Dan Martin attributes those numbers to a change Aaron Boone made in his lineup, moving Stanton into the two-hole. Boone explains:
“He went into the two-hole and started really raking,’’ Boone said with a smile. “I look at it more as a really good hitter getting it rolling.
Had he been hitting two, four, three, whatever, I feel like we’d be in the same position. With that being said, there’s no denying what he’s meant in that two-hole and I think I’m gonna keep him there for a little bit.”
Aaron Boone: Keep Your Mojo Working
Whether it was a move of desperation or a stroke of luck by Boone, why is there to bother trying to figure it out – it’s working.
Mindful of Stanton’s health history, Boone has also quietly taken it upon himself to give Stanton a day off here and there, even though the bulk of his time is spent as the Yankees’ DH.
He’s doing the same for Aaron Judge as well, and as they say, the proof is in the pudding as both remain healthy and productive.
The question that looms, of course, is if both players can keep up the pace, and most of all stay healthy over the course of 162 games, plus another X number of games in the postseason.
The two, three, and four combinations when Luke Voit returns sometime next week returns those visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads, with Voit, last year’s HR King, being another bomber behind Stanton and Boone.
Couple that with Gleyber Torres‘s current though modest upswing, Clint Frazier‘s return to the hitter we all know he can be, the gradual but almost assured rise of DJ LeMahieu to last year’s heights – and the Yankees offense finally looks ready to kick in gear to support their pitching.
Yankees: Banking On The Offense And Stanton
Only three-and-a-half games separate first place from the last place in the AL East Standings, with the Yankees having Toronto, Tampa Bay, and Boston ahead of them.
The Yankee’s five-game win streak has been snapped, but two consecutive series wins, the latest over the Astros, spells the recipe for the Yankees from here on in. Win series one at a time and all of a sudden you establish a consistency that was the calling card of Joe Torre‘s teams.
The story remains Giancarlo Stanton though, and the numbers he is putting up this year. All bets against the Yankees are off if it continues…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Don’t get ahead of your self with Stanton
He needs to be dominant for the next 5 years to make this trade worth it. Sorry but that is my humble opinion (HMO).