Baseball is back!
Three words fans have been dying to hear since the announcement of the delayed season back in March. Obviously, it isn’t going to be a normal season, but in a sport like baseball, normal isn’t all too common anyways. The “60 game sprint” started earlier this week, with some players benefiting much more than others.
One such player who will take advantage of the shortened season is Yankee’s slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Ever since he stepped into the league as Mike Stanton, he’s been raking. Stanton hit 267 home runs in his tenure with the Marlins, including a ridiculous 59 home run campaign in 2017. Whether he goes by Mike or Giancarlo, the man hits rockets. And yet, 2017 stands out among the rest.
In what would be his last year as a Marlin, Stanton put on an absolute clinic. Along with the 59 home runs, he complied 132 RBIs, .631 slugging, and a 169 OPS (all led the majors). He would go on to win NL MVP after a historically impressive season. Sadly for Marlins fans, they weren’t winning with him, and they needed to dump salary.
Along with dumping 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich, Miami also got rid of Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon, and obviously Stanton.
Stanton was traded to the Yankees in a huge package after the 2017 season, giving the Yankees more than they probably bargained for. Stanton came with a ridiculously large contract that he signed back in 2014, keeping him locked up through 2028. Not only does he have a staggering contract, but a dangerous injury history.
Giancarlo Stanton and injuries seem to go together like the Astros and trash cans. He’s dealt with his fair share, including hamstring, calf, and shoulder problems, as well as a torn bicep. Various injuries kept him sidelined for the vast majority of the 2019 season, with him playing in only 18 games. His second season as a Yankee was obviously a major disappointment, as he barely got to see any action at all.
Moreover, his first season with the Bronx Bombers was a major step back from his MVP year, but it was by no means a bad season. He still hit 38 homers and had 100 RBIs, while the Yankees made it all the way to the ALDS. But as we all know, his second season was injury-plagued and made even the most confident Yanks’ fans nervous.
What had they gotten themselves into?
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, as the shortened season could turn out to be a blessing for Stanton. Playing in fewer games is clearly going to decrease his chance of injury, and the lessened workload will be great in his bounce-back season. If he gets hot, he could stay hot through all 60 games leading to another MVP season.
Through 2 games he is leading the majors in batting average, home runs, OBP, slugging, and OPS. Although it’s an incredibly small sample size, it could be a sign of more positive things to come. He made history as the first player to hit a home run while DHing in a National League ballpark, and then for his second home run he nearly hit it to the moon. His power is there, and his consistency has been thus far.
Stanton is hot right now, and if he stays hot, every other team in baseball should be terrified. We saw what he did in 2017, and now he’s on a contender with plenty of other pieces. With a repeat of that historic season, nobody else would stand a chance against New York.
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