Giancarlo Stanton, one of the most criticized athletes in New York, is looking like an All-Star once again.
In the Yankees’ 10-4 victory over the White Sox Friday night, Stanton went 2-for-4 with a homerun and two RBI. It was his 10th HR of the season and his third in the last three games.
Before Friday, in Stanton’s previous seven games, he batted .308, with five home runs, 14 RBI, and an .885 slugging percentage with an on-base percentage of .385. For the season, he’s hitting .277, with nine homers, 28 RBI, a .311 OBP, and a slugging percentage of .527.
Stanton made his MLB debut back in 2010 with the then-Florida Marlins and it was a complete success. During his eight years with the Marlins, he batted .268, with an on-base percentage of .360, and a slugging percentage of .554. Giancarlo, who went by Mike back then, was a four-time All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger winner, a two-time recipient of the Hank Aaron Award, and was named NL MVP after hitting 59 home runs and knocking in 132 RBI in 2017 — his final year with the team.
Stanton was traded to the Yankees in December of 2017 for Starling Castro, Jorge Guzman, and Jose Devers. This was the second time in MLB history that a player who hit at least 50 home runs would be traded the following offseason and it came just three years after he had signed a 13-year, $325 million extension.
Stanton’s first season with the Yankees was not awful by any means. He played in 158 games with a .266 average, 38 home runs, 100 RBI, a .343 OBP and a slugging percentage of .509. However, he drew a lot of criticism due to his 211 strikeouts — the most by a single player in Yankees history.
The 2019 and shortened 2020 season were not successful campaigns in any way. Stanton only played 41 games total due to several injuries. The fans were at the height of discontent with him at that point.
In 2021, Stanton missed some games due to injury, but not to the extent of 2019. In 2021, he played 139 games, he had 35 home runs and 97 RBI, but ended up striking out 157 times — again averaging more than one strikeout in every game he played in. Stanton has not earned a single honor during his four years in the Bronx.
Thes biggest criticism of Stanton has been his strikeouts. In every season he has played with the Yankees, he averaged more than one strikeout per game.
Yankees fans and media are arguing that his play has not matched the money the team is paying him but what they fail to realize is that this is not just a Stanton problem…
This is a baseball problem.
Baseball has been increasingly valuing the home run, and while home runs have been going up, so have strikeouts. Players around the Majors are essentially going all-or-nothing when up to bat. Expect strikeouts to be more and more common for everyone as long as this trend continues.
The Yankees are one of the best teams in baseball this season. Stanton is a big part of their success and he is definitely off to a great start.
The question is whether or not he can be consistent throughout the entire season, stay healthy, and be one of the best players in baseball… which is what Yankees fans and media were expecting when they traded for him.