New York Yankees fans always have that one good player they hate. I’m guilty of this, thinking Giancarlo Stanton was a huge disappointment in 2018 at first until I looked beyond batting average and strikeouts and realized something. Giancarlo Stanton was pretty darn good in 2018, and on top of that will (if healthy) continue to slug and become that MVP caliber talent again in 2020.
“He Strikes Out Too Much”
This is a common problem gripe people have with Giancarlo Stanton, he happens to strike out a ton and that looks bad for people watching him. In 2018 he logged 211 strikeouts, which is a lot of swings and misses to say the least. The question I have is; Does it really matter if he misses? Think about it like this, as a compromise for missing pitches, when he does hit the ball, 50.5% (more than half) of them will be hit harder than 95 MPH.
Hitting the baseball hard will come with swings and misses, but that’s fine because the total amount of bases the player will gain will be much higher. Lower K% numbers don’t correlate to better hitting, but higher hard-hit % does correlate to better hitting. Examples of this are in 2019, the lowest K% numbers 1-5 were Hanser Alberto, David Fletcher, Yuli Gurriel, Michael Brantley, and Kevin Newman. Michael Brantley and Yuli Gurriel are the best hitters of the 5, but Gurriel was outperforming his expected stats, and Brantley was too, but not as much as Gurriel. The best hitters in baseball aren’t just players who make contact, but the ones who make the best type of contact.
Already Started Off Great
In 2018 Giancarlo Stanton posted a 129 wRC+ with a 4.3 fWAR and a 360 wOBA while clobbering 38 Home Runs. He had a dominant offensive season and there’s no way to say otherwise. He had regressed from his MVP season in 2017 in all areas but showed to still be a very good baseball player and definitely a star slugger. He saw a drag in his stats early on, wherefrom Opening Day to June 12th, he had only been able to slash .238/.315/.475 and had a 16.27 HR/AB ratio. After that? We saw the return of the monster we were hoping for, as after a 3-4 performance on June 13th, he kicked off a red hot tour where he slashed .281/.361/.531 and still maintaining a 16.22 HR/AB ratio. He showed progression and even his short stint in 2019 showed that same promise offensively
How Does Stanton Fit In the AL MVP Race?
While he isn’t even the best player on his team (That’d be Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole), he’s still a very good baseball player. While he wouldn’t be my pick for MVP, don’t be surprised if he can get innings in the outfield to help his fWAR (as he has good defensive metrics) and slugs his way into the talks at least. In my opinion Stanton will have a great season, and there is a lot in terms of numbers that indicate that as well.
For me Stanton is poised to post a 140-150 wRC+ with a 4.0 fWAR (due to a short season) and maintain a really good HR/AB ratio. Giancarlo Stanton is elite still, and if you’re going to say otherwise, then I’m sorry that you decide to be wrong about this great slugger.