Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton eager to regain his MVP form

Oct 7, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) celebrates with first baseman Luke Voit (59) after hitting a two run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning during game three of the 2020 ALDS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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 Marlins’ desire to trade his mammoth contract, the New York Yankees traded for the hulking outfielder.

The Yankees know, based on that jaw-droppíng 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 Yankees’ fans have grown frustrated at him. Injuries are not Stanton’s fault, and the current designated hitter is eager to come back strong and prove the doubters wrong.

The Yankees’ slugger is capable of big things if healthy

Don Mattingly, Stanton’s manager in that 2017 campaign, watched in awe how the slugger hit homer after homer. “He changed the way the other team approached him in the order,” Mattingly told MLB.com. “And he changed me as a manager trying to get him pitched to.”

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 hasn’t happened a lot in the last couple of years.

“We saw [in the playoffs] what I feel like, if [Stanton] had been healthy in ’19 and ’20, what we would have seen throughout those seasons,’’ Aaron Boone said recently. “If he can stay healthy, he’s gonna turn in a special season. I feel in a lot of ways, he’s a better hitter than when he won the MVP.”

We are just a couple of weeks away of finding out what those two can do in the same batting order.