The Yankees’ offense could be special if declining slugger has vintage season

MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Yankees
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees‘ offense in 2024 should be rather special simply because of Juan Soto and Aaron Judge, but if declining slugger Giancarlo Stanton can have a vintage season, the unit could be something truly remarkable.

Stanton has seen a decline in each of his last three seasons, hitting a career-worst .191/.275/.420 last season while still slugging 24 homers with 60 RBIs. His strikeout rate dipped below 10% for the first time since 2018, and he hosted an 89 wRC+, indicating that he was below average for the first time in his career.

With his bat speed slowing down and a lack of confidence, Stanton could not get anything going during the 2023 season, but he’s taking strides in the right direction, slimming down this off-season and showcasing a balanced approach.

The Yankees Are Seeing Great Momentum From Stanton

This spring, Stanton is hitting .314/.359/.714, including four homers and 10 RBIs. He hit three homers against the Pittsburgh Pirates several days ago, showcasing his elite power and offensive upside.

In fact, over his last four spring appearances, Stanton has eight hits, including 10 RBIs with only one strikeout. He’s finally seeing enough pitches and experienced enough bats to find a rhythm and display his qualities when healthy.

The most important variable for Stanton is maintaining his health, which is why dropping some weight and improving his flexibility should promote his stamina. There’s no reason for him to be built like a bodybuilder, which increases his probability of injury due to a lack of mobility.

The Bombers are happy about his frame, considering he hasn’t lost an ounce of power but is clearly moving much better and showing more confidence in the batter’s box compared to recent seasons.

The Yankees still owe him $98 million, including a $10 million buyout clause during the 2028 off-season, so they’re on the hook for a substantial amount of money. If he struggles this upcoming year, they could just eat his salary, replacing him with Jason Dominguez and Spencer Jones, but if he plays up to par, the Yankees will certainly have a significant number of outfielders to work with in 2025, assuming they bring back Soto on a long-term extension.

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