Yankees’ $98 million slugger in the middle of another ice-cold stretch

MLB: Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ offense has seen its ups and downs in recent days, capturing wins in the middle two games of a four-game series against the Oakland Athletics but falling short in Thursday’s matchup with a score of 3-1.

Top of the Order Struggles

The inconsistency in the Yankees’ lineup has been evident, especially at the top of the order. Much attention has been given to Aaron Judge and his disappointing start to the 2024 season, with a batting average of .186, an on-base percentage of .322, and a slugging percentage of .371.

Syndication: Arizona Republic, aaron judge, yankees
Credit: Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Giancarlo Stanton’s Cold Streak and Impact on the Yankees

Another key slugger facing difficulties is Giancarlo Stanton, who started the season strong in early April but has since experienced a significant downturn.

Over his last seven games, Stanton has managed a meager .136 batting average with a .208 on-base percentage and an underwhelming 17 wRC+. For the season, the 34-year-old’s stats stand at .222/.276/.457, including five home runs and 12 RBIs, earning him a 112 wRC+. Despite these numbers, Stanton is encountering challenges in maintaining consistent on-base performance, evidenced by a 31% strikeout rate and a career-low 6.9% walk rate.

These indicators might improve as the season progresses, but current trends suggest another highly inconsistent year for Stanton. He possesses the power to alter the outcome of games dramatically—either propelling the team with his performance or hindering it with his slumps.

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
Sep 27, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a two RBI single against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Stanton’s contract with the Yankees extends until 2028, with a $10 million buyout option available at the end of the term. The team is committed to him for an additional $98 million, making his contribution crucial to their success. Although his slugging metrics are promising, enhancing his contact rates and plate discipline will be key to reversing his fortunes after what was one of his least productive seasons in 2023.

Given Stanton’s limited mobility and the need for him to remain effective, his role as the designated hitter is becoming increasingly vital. Should he continue to struggle at the plate, it could pose significant challenges for the Yankees moving forward.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: