Yankees’ $98 million outfielder in ‘overdrive’ to stay healthy in 2024

mlb: milwaukee brewers at new york yankees, giancarlo stanton

If the Yankees can even get even an ounce of what Giancarlo Stanton offered during the 2021 season, they will be World Series bound. Stanton is only two years removed from hitting .273/.354/.516, including 35 home runs, 97 RBIs, and a 138 wRC+.

Unfortunately, over the past two seasons, Stanton has seen his statistics take a nosedive. With declining bat speed and a lack of durability, he played a maximum of 110 games, with most of those reps coming as the team’s designated hitter. A lack of mobility has limited his contributions defensively, but Stanton is trying to change that narrative this off-season, slimming down a bit and hoping to avoid further injury.

In fact, manager Aaron Boone indicated that Stanton is working diligently to get back to his normal self in 2024. Of course, he stands behind his star slugger, even after the acquisition of Juan Soto.

“All I can tell you is, he is getting after it,” Boone said. “He’s always a very focused person and player. I would say that’s on overdrive to make sure he’s in a really good spot heading into Spring Training. I think he’s consumed with making sure that he goes out there and has a Giancarlo-like season. I think G’s got a big year in him, I really do.”

Can the Yankees Get the Elite Version of Stanton Back?

Stanton is owed $98 million over the next few seasons, which includes a $10 million buyout in 2028. The Yankees need him to turn things around. Otherwise, he will once again be a liability. While they can depend on Aaron Judge and Soto to help carry the offense, Stanton bouncing back with a big year would give the Yankees one of the most intimidating lineups in baseball.

Just imagine having Judge, Soto, and Stanton in the top four batters — there aren’t many pitchers who would be able to survive that gauntlet multiple times.

Fortunately, the only way for Stanton to go is up. He hit .191/.275/.420 last season across 101 games. He contributed 24 homers, 60 RBIs, a 29.9% strikeout rate, and 89 wRC+. His walk rate dropped below double digits for the first time since 2018.

Slimming down, increasing his bat speed marginally and being a bit more patient in the batters box would work wonders. The hope is that he can also help as a defensive asset next season, allowing the Yankees to give some of their prominent players rest. The outfield turned from a weakness to a strength in one off-season, but Stanton could be the key to unlocking an offense that could break records.

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