The New York Yankees Need to Keep Giancarlo Stanton

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton’s acquisition by the New York Yankees was largely viewed by everyone, including me, as confusing. The Yankees did not need to get Giancarlo Stanton after the 2017 season. But, you know what? The Yankees are a better team with Giancarlo in the lineup.

Stanton Represents Power and Consistency Ellsbury Never Had

Excluding Ellsbury’s injuries, which I’ve documented, Ellsbury was never that great of an offensive presence, even in Boston. He averaged 14 home runs per season, with 67 RBI’s, and a .284/.342/.417 slash line. Stanton’s career batting average is lower, but his OBP, slugging and OPS are higher than Ellsbury (which isn’t great for when we’re talking about a career leadoff hitter in Ellsbury). And of course, he averages more home runs and RBI’s per season (42 and 109). He also gets more walks than Ellsbury does, meaning he has a great eye for a power hitter. (baseball-reference.com 

His Biggest Problem is the Same Problem Facing Baseball

Stanton, like most power hitters today, strikes out a lot. But it’s no worse than others already on the team. Stanton averages 192 strikeouts per season in his 10-year career. In Gary Sanchez’s 5 year career, he averages 173 strikeouts per season, and we know how hurt he’s been. In Aaron Judge’s 4 year career, Judge averages over 200 K’s per season. He even lead the league in strikeouts during his Rookie of the Year campaign. And with his injury-shortened 2018/2019, he’s still averaging 222 K’s a season. And the league average for strikeouts per batter seems to be sitting between 140 and 160 K’s per batter. So this is a widespread problem that’s holding all of baseball back. Not just Stanton. (mlb.com



The Yankees Have a Murderers Row You Can’t Quit On

Aaron Judge has averaged 42 home runs a season over his 4 years. Sanchez is averaging 46, and Stanton is over 40 as well. The biggest problem with all three is keeping them healthy for an entire season. Judge was shut down in 2016 over a lat injury, we know of his broke wrist in 2018, and saw how long it took him to come back from his April lat injury. Sanchez has trouble staying on the field too. And we saw just how hard it is for someone with the physiology of  Stanton to come back from soft muscle injuries this year.

But these are 3 hitters who will strike fear in the heart of any and all pitchers across both leagues. One full season with all three playing a full season, and cutting the number of strikeouts they average in half? Good lord, it would be the most formidable lineup in baseball. The added benefit in keeping Stanton is the fact that he’s a better fielder than people give him credit. And that’s excluding a lineup including DJ, Andujar, Urshela, and Torres.

He’s More Than Just a Hitter

The man has a career fielding percentage of .980, compared to Aaron Judge (considered a much better fielder) career .987. By every metric, he’s more your average outfielder, giving credence to putting him out there. He’s saved 55 runs in his career as an outfielder, so this isn’t the sign of a slouch outfielder. Relatively, Clint Frazier, someone Yankees fans want to see start over Stanton, has given up 18 runs in his brief tenure with the team. That’s not the vote of confidence you want for a young outfielder.

The caveat for every great player is how healthy can they stay season to season. Even with some of his injury-shortened seasons, Stanton is a player you don’t quit on. He’s still in his prime as a hitter, so I think it’s safe to say this is the cornerstone of our DH spot for the next 9 seasons.