Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Without debate, the New York Yankees' trade for monster slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was the top story of the winter as it added arguably the best power hitter in the game to a lineup that already possessed another 50-homer bat in Aaron Judge.  Visions of a Mickey Mantle-Roger Maris middle of the order danced in the minds of Yankee fans and prospective fantasy baseball owners of both and admittedly from this peanut stand, a notion that 70 home runs was possible from Stanton now that he was moving from a pitching-dominant park in Miami to a launching pad in New York.  Well as often happens in such hyped scenarios, Stanton didn't exactly come out of the gates on fire as he dealt with typical pressures of trying to acclimate not only to a new league but also to a city that demands nothing but instant success.  Spiking in strikeouts and also seeing a dip in walks, Stanton scuffled to just a .230 average with 5 measly home runs in April as he heard some boos with the K's really piling up.  Since that rough first month though, Stanton has been on a firm upward trajectory as he upped those slashes to .264 with 6 bombs in May and then .298 with 8 more bombs in June.  July looking to be the fourth straight month of improvement as well as Stanton goes into Tuesday's games with a .342 average and 3 home runs in just 38 at-bats to bring his season totals to:

22 HR
52 RBI
55 R
2 SB
31.3 K/9
8.7 BB/9
.350 BABIP

Looking at those numbers, Stanton's power has been typically excellent and his runs and RBI remain very potent as well given his .344 OBP.  Those three categories were never really up for worry anyways and so no shock by anything we have seen there.  It is in the average and strikeouts department where we have seen some volatility as Stanton's old K habits are rearing their ugly head again.  Right now Stanton is right there as one of the more strikeout-prone players in the game as his 31.3 K/9 is a very nasty number and it has helped pull down his batting average until recently.  Alas, if not for his VERY lucky for a big man .350 BABIP, Stanton would likely be in the .255 range with his average.  As far as the BABIP, Stanton has not even had so much as a .300 BABIP in each of the last three seasons so we know a dip there is on its way and that will be a major hit to his average if the K's continue to flow.  Not to be overlooked, Stanton's walks are down by a decent margin as his BB/9 went from 12.3 a year ago to 8.7.  A lot of that has to do with Judge getting a bunch of those walks but still Stanton needs to get his number there back to the double-digit range. 

All in all, Stanton has been as advertised with the power but the average has taken a clear step back this season and that has hurt his stock a bit.  The first-round price tag this past March still seems worth the cost and better times seem to be ahead however given how hot Stanton is lately.  While 70 home runs admittedly was a foolish thought, 40 or more with all those runs and RBI will still make for a very good OF 1 season.

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