In the 2017 season, his last with the Miami Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton played like an MVP, hitting .281 and smashing 59 home runs while playing half of his games in the pitching-friendly home of the Fish. That year, he slugged .631, drove in 132 runs and scored 123. Seeing that kind of production and taking advantage of the Marlinsâ€™ desire to trade his mammoth contract, the New York Yankees traded for the hulking outfielder.
The Yankees know, based on that jaw-droppÃng 2017 season, that Stanton can play at an MVP level. He was very good in 2018 in the Bronx, but not quite productive as four years ago.
The 2019 and 2020 seasons were mostly lost due to injuries for Stanton, and some Yankeesâ€™ fans have grown frustrated at him. Injuries are not Stantonâ€™s fault, and the current designated hitter is eager to come back strong and prove the doubters wrong.
The Yankeesâ€™ slugger is capable of big things if healthy
Don Mattingly, Stantonâ€™s manager in that 2017 campaign, watched in awe how the slugger hit homer after homer. â€œHe changed the way the other team approached him in the order,â€ Mattingly told MLB.com. â€œAnd he changed me as a manager trying to get him pitched to.â€
Right now, Stanton is fully healthy, just like fellow injury-prone slugger Aaron Judge. The Yankees are rejoicing at the opportunity to have them both at the same time in the lineup, something that hasnâ€™t happened a lot in the last couple of years.
â€œWe saw [in the playoffs] what I feel like, if [Stanton] had been healthy in â€™19 and â€™20, what we would have seen throughout those seasons,â€™â€™ Aaron Boone said recently. â€œIf he can stay healthy, heâ€™s gonna turn in a special season. I feel in a lot of ways, heâ€™s a better hitter than when he won the MVP.â€
We are just a couple of weeks away of finding out what those two can do in the same batting order.