The Yankees’ offense is getting a huge boost from slugger everyone thought was washed

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Yankees
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the 2024 season, the Yankees were hoping that former MVP and slugger Giancarlo Stanton would hit for average. The first few games of the season were disappointing, to say the least, as he struggled to pick up fastballs and find his groove.

However, Stanton’s last three games have showcased that he isn’t only a contributor but can also be a key component in the Yankees’ offense. Over nine games this season, Stanton is hitting .250/.270/.556, including three homers, six RBIs, and a 136 wRC+.

While Stanton is trying to reduce his 43.2% strike-out rate and boost his 2.7% walk rate, nobody is complaining about his recent production. Over the last three games, he’s collected six hits, including two homers, four runs, and five RBIs. He hasn’t posted a wRC+ below 253 over that small sample, logging an average exit velocity of 101.5 mph against the Miami Marlins on Monday evening.

The Yankees Are Getting a Different Version of Stanton

The interesting thing is that Stanton isn’t only aiming for home runs; he’s also picking up hits and playing the game with a bit more diversity, not focusing on mashing balls out of the park. His hard-hit percentage is now up to 45% and has a 15% barrel rate, but his launch angle is at a career low of 4.7°. That is an interesting development, indicating that Stanton is trying to drive the ball into the field of play rather than out of the stadium.

That strategy could be resulting in more balls in play, and when you have a player capable of hitting the ball over 110 mph for a single, the probability of a hit increases substantially. With runners in scoring position this season, Stanton is still looking to boost his numbers.

In 2023, Stanton’s kryptonite was mostly breaking balls, and he hit .191 against them with a 40.4% whiff rate and 24.4% put-away rate. Over nine games this season, including 53 pitches, he’s hitting .400 against breaking pitches, including a homer and four hits. He is still trying to catch up to some fastballs, but with more reps under his belt, the Yankees are finally starting to see his potential.

Injury has been Stanton’s biggest enemy over the past few seasons. Still, the Yankees had him drop a significant amount of weight and work on his flexibility and mobility to reduce the probability of going down yet again. Stanton is more than capable of being an elite offensive weapon, and the heart of the Yankees’ order depends on him playing at a high level.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: