Remember a couple of years ago when the New York Yankees acquired the reigning National League MVP? The guy who looked to be chiseled out of granite and he hit 59 home runs while driving in 132 runs in a pitchers ballpark. This guy was supposed to come right in and hit over 100 combined home runs with Aaron Judge, and the Yankees were supposed to walk to a World Series. Well, neither of those things happened which left many Yankees fans incredibly disappointed. Now to be fair, Giancarlo Stanton actually had a very productive first year in pinstripes hitting 38 home runs and driving in 100, but that was not the expectation from fans. The Yankees fell short against Boston in the playoffs and Stanton was mostly invisible in that series. I defended Giancarlo a lot in 2018 because it reminded me a lot of Alex Rodriguez‘ first year with the Yankees. A-Rod came to New York after winning the MVP in Texas and his numbers dipped in his first year with the Yankees. A-Rod hit 11 fewer homers and drove in 12 fewer runs while his slash line was down across the board. In his second year, A-Rod returned to form and won the MVP. That is what I was hoping to see last year from Stanton. I was hoping to see a guy who played pissed off while smashing 50 bombs and leading the Yankees to a World Series. Yeah, that didn’t happen either.
Stanton was hurt virtually the entire season only playing in 18 total games. In those 18 games, Stanton only had 17 hits in 59 total plate appearances. Stanton injured his bicep, then he injured his shoulder, then he injured his knee. Stanton finally looked healthy when the Yankees took the field in the post season. He hit a home run in game one of the ALCS and the Yankees had the momentum. Then, like it had all season, the injury bug hit Stanton hard with a quad strain. Stanton just could not stay healthy last season and was one of the contributing factors to the Yankees not being able to overcome the Astros.
Expectations for 2020
So what should we expect this year as fans? Well I think Stanton is in the optimum position to change the minds of fans in 2020. It seems that the general consensus of Yankee fans really don’t believe in Stanton. They don’t feel that he’s made for New York and fans really aren’t expecting much. I can’t really say that I blame them. Stanton is facing the pressure of the dollar amount of his contract, but he’s not feeling the pressure from the fans expectations and I think he will show that this year. I would be shocked if Stanton made it through the entire season without a stop on the IL, but I’m expecting a big year from Giancarlo overall. My prediction for his stat line: .272 BA, 43 HRs, 108 RBIs, .352 OBP. I expect Stanton to have a huge impact on the Yankees this year, and I fully expect him to hit some shots that make fans jaws hit the ground. Would I be surprised if Stanton misses most of the season due to injuries? I suppose I wouldn’t considering what happened last year, but I’m ready to throw last year away and start fresh with my thoughts on Stanton. 2020 is the year Giancarlo Stanton shows why the Yankees went out and got him in the first place.