Yankees’ former MVP slugger and All-Star Pitcher rising to the occasion despite criticism

May 18, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a solo home run against the Chicago White Sox during the third inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have two veteran stars who entered the year with question marks around their name that may conclude the year with renaissance campaigns.

Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Rodon are rising to the occasion this season

SNY’s Baseball Night in New York panel appraised Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton and star right-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon on how good they can be for the franchise this season in their quest to win the World Series. Dave Lennon gave this take on if Stanton is still good or not:

“Yes, 100 percent,” Lennon confidently declared before delving into his special qualities at age 34.

“It’s bat speed. It’s exit velo. It’s all the top percentiles in the league, as far as rating what he can do, physically, and he can murder a baseball when he’s healthy.”

Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton’s power is still eye-opening in 2024 at 34-years-old

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees, giancarlo stanton
Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The California native is sporting a 93.5 mph average exit velocity which trumps his 92 mph marker from his 2017 NL MVP campaign and places him in the 96th percentile in 2024. He also owns a hard-hit percentage of 54.1 percent that ranks in the 95th percentile. As for baseball’s newest advanced metric, the Yankees’ designated hitter swings at an average bat speed of 80.5 percent, putting him in the 100th percentile.

David Adler of MLB.com revealed that Stanton delivered the two hardest-hit home runs of the year against the Astros in back-to-back games on May 7 and 8, the latter of which clocked in at a staggering 119.9 mph.

Stanton’s power is still nonpareil even with his advanced age and injury history taken into account. When he connects on pitches, the Yankees thrive. New York is 8-1 when Stanton registers multiple hits in a game and is an even more impressive 10-1 when he hits a home run. Stanton is still good. Stanton is still spry. Stanton helps put the Yankees in the win column when he delivers.

Carlos Rodon looks more like himself in his last three starts after brief slump

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees, carlos rodon
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As for Rodon, he received some flack from SNY’s Sal Licata, who called for him to play well against a Baltimore Orioles team he expects him to dominate every time out at the time of the show’s airing.

Rodon followed up Licata’s criticism by going 3-0 since losing to the Orioles. He’s allowed only five earned runs in that time frame while striking out 19 batters and walking only two. The two-time All-Star is back on track after a brief cold spell and has brought himself to a brag-worthy 3.27 ERA on the year.

The Florida native has been one of the Yankees’ best starters this season. He’ll look to sharpen up his stuff on the mound and help New York secure pivotal wins in the regular season, the third-lowest of his career.

The Yankees are in good hands with Stanton and Rodon. Both are still showing they’ve got it despite age and attrition, but should also be watched with a close eye by the team’s management should injuries resurface for either of them.

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