Yankees’ biggest offensive wild card using spring to make big adjustments

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees know that they will get tremendous production from Aaron Judge and Juan Soto at the top of the order, but they’re completely in the dark when it comes to Giancarlo Stone and the version of him they will see in 2024.

Stanton is coming off his worst season as a professional in 2023, hitting .191/.275/.420, including 24 homers and 60 RBIs, with a 29.9% strikeout rate. For the first time in his career, he posted a wRC+ below 100, settling in at 89, indicating he was 11% worse than the average MLB hitter.

To combat those declining numbers, Stanton dropped a ton of weight off-season and rebuilt his swing, which is still requiring plenty of time to adjust during spring training.

It is no surprise that Stanton is hitting .167/.286/.222 across seven spring training games, but this time to assimilate is critical to his success in the regular season.

“This is big,” Stanton said of how he performs this spring, via the NY Post. “Not the results, necessarily, but in terms of how I feel and the adjustments I’m making in the cage with seeing the ball, timing and everything.”

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The Yankees Are Seeing Signs of Life From Giancarlo Stanton

Stanton is a rhythm hitter, and injuries over the past few seasons have completely derailed his process and flow. Fortunately, the Yankees tasked him with changing his body to improve mobility and flexibility. That combination should decrease the likelihood of another injury, but of course, you can never rule it out.

On Sunday, Stanton posted two hits against the Atlanta Braves, a single and a double. His single traveled at 101.9 mph and smashed a 110 mph double to right field. This is exactly the type of momentum Stanton needs to be seeing with his new swing.

“It was good to get some balls on the barrel,” Stanton said. “It’s not everything. But it’s rewarding to go out there and do something decent.”

Even more important than Giancarlo producing offensive contributions is that he’s feeling great and 100% healthy.

The past few years have been essentially waiting for Stanton to get injured, which is exactly what Cashman said at the winter meetings several months ago. Clearly, Stanton took that personally, and he’s in great shape to turn back the clock and become a focal point in the Yankees’ batting order once again following three consecutive seasons of regression.

“I feel great,” Stanton said. “The swing is an interesting one. I’m back to being out there every day and I’m able to stay on my feet and legs.”

Despite trending in the right direction, it seems as if the Yankees will push Stanton down the batting order, possibly the six-hole, where he can begin climbing back up to the cleanup spot if his starts to catch fire.

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