New York Yankee Analysis: Giancarlo Stanton gets a bad rap, he’s a Yankees star unrealized

Oct 7, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) celebrates with first baseman Luke Voit (59) after hitting a two run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning during game three of the 2020 ALDS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankee’s Giancarlo Stanton is often criticized for not being the MVP player he was in 2017. The Yankees paid big for the star when he was traded for Starlin Castro before the 2018 season. Because of that, the Yankee fans have expected him to be that 2017 star every year with the Yankees. My friends, that is just unrealistic, especially for an unprecedented big-money 13-year contract that the Yankees took over from the Miami Marlins.

The Yankees probably shouldn’t have made that deal; it was for too much money and for too long a contact that was misguided for the Marlins as well. But at the time, the Yankee faithful heralded the deal. Now that the Yankees have so many needs going into the 2021 season, they are placing that burden on Giancarlo Stanton‘s back because the team owes him $29 million this year and prevents them from spending the money on beefing up their pitching, which is so badly needed. It is also seen by many as preventing them from meeting DJ Lemahieu’s demand for a big dollar contract and more years than they want. That isn’t fair.

Giancarlo Stanton has the potential to be the Yankee’s powerhouse, and it’s biggest star. It just hasn’t turned out that way. During 2019 and 2020, Stanton has been sidelined with injuries, seeing him play in only 41 games over the span. It’s unfortunate for the Yankees, but the injuries are not his fault. Detractors have called him the “glass man” for his many injuries, and to a degree, that has been the case during the last two seasons. But a healthy Stanton is the opposing team’s nightmare.

It’s common sense to realize that near the end of his contract in 2027, he will not be the player he was at age 27. That’s not a practice expectation for any player. But at 31, there is still a lot of life in that bat. The 2020 shortened baseball season’s microcosm is an example of the kind of season that Stanton can have. You have to keep in mind that the New York Yankee 2020 season can’t be used as a standard of what anyone can do in a full 162 game season. Yes, he had an average season in 2020; he hit only 4 home runs and hit to a .250 batting average with 19 hits and 11 RBI’s. 23 games played in a season is a very short sample. Players like Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge had forgiven for worse. Giancarlo Stanton has not, and that is just not fair for any player.

Even at age 31, Stanton has shown how good a player he can be when healthy. In the New York Yankee’s 2020 postseason, he in seven games hit six home runs and drove in 13 runs, and that’s for only 26 at-bats. No Yankee player came within a half of that RBI total.  Conversely, DJ LeMahieu had only four RBIs and no home runs with 32 at-bats. DJ also had a .281 batting average to Stanton’s .308. You also cannot expect Giancarlo to be a contact hitter, something he never was. Stanton, when healthy, can be a weapon any team would dream about.

To summarize, you can’t blame Stanton for his injuries, his big-money contract, or the length of that contract, which the latter was a decision the Yankees were willing to accept at the time. The secret that challenges the Yankees is how to keep the star healthy. The Yankees have chosen to make him the everyday DH in that effort. I don’t know if that is the right decision or not. It seems that a player can injure himself running the bases just as well as in the outfield when they have more time to react.  It’s up to the newly hired Brett McCabe, the Yankee’s health and conditioning coach, his assistant Donovan Santas and Eric Cressey, who oversees their training and conditioning, to keep Stanton healthy. If they can accomplish that, the Yankee fans have the huge star they thought they were getting.