Yankees’ veteran slugger could be the catalyst for a World Series

MLB: New York Yankees at San Diego Padres
David Frerker-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ aspirations for a World Series run hinge significantly on their entire offense performing at a peak level. While Aaron Judge and Juan Soto consistently deliver elite performances, the variability in Giancarlo Stanton’s productivity remains a wildcard each season.

Stanton’s Impact on the Yankees’ Lineup

This year, the 2024 season has started promisingly for Stanton, showcasing his offensive prowess despite a continued struggle with on-base percentage, which remains below 30% for the third year running. Following a challenging 2023, where he hit a career-low .191 with a .275 OBP, Stanton has shown marked improvement.

Currently, he boasts a .246 average with a .295 OBP and a robust .520 slugging percentage, having already hit 13 home runs and driven in 29 RBIs. At this rate, he is on track to hit 35 home runs for the season, which would be a significant achievement given his recent inconsistencies.

MLB: New York Yankees at San Diego Padres
Credit: David Frerker-USA TODAY Sports

Performance Shift and Strategic Batting Order Changes

In a recent game against the San Diego Padres, Stanton’s prowess was on full display as he launched another home run, adding two RBIs to his season tally.

“It was pretty awesome, actually,” manager Aaron Boone said of the third inning. “You get those moments every now and then in the regular season that are, ‘Man, that was pretty cool.’ When Juan kind of took the air out of it right there and Judgey follows it right up, and then here we go Verdugo and then here we go Stanton, one of those cool ones during the season that you get to be a part of.”

His performance with runners in scoring positions has been particularly impressive, batting .317/.391/.585, with two homers and 16 RBIs, and only 10 strikeouts.

The Yankees have adjusted his position in the batting order from the cleanup spot to the fifth, recognizing the need to maximize Stanton’s output. This shift has yielded positive results: while batting cleanup, Stanton’s stats were .200/.246 in OBP; however, in the fifth spot, he improved to .272/.324 OBP with a .984 OPS. As Stanton no longer plays in the field, his contribution is solely with the bat, which is crucial for propelling the Yankees toward their first World Series appearance in over a decade.

This strategic lineup adjustment appears to be paying dividends, supporting the team’s high-stakes efforts to field one of the most formidable offenses in Major League Baseball this season.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: