Yankees’ slugger is heating up at the right time

mlb: houston astros at new york yankees, giancarlo stanton
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are in the thick of a playoff race, making a determined push up the Wild Card standings. Despite a recent loss and trailing by 3.5 games, the team is dependent on their sluggers to maintain momentum.

The Vital Role of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton

Without Aaron Judge in the lineup, the Yankees would struggle significantly. Nevertheless, the silver lining is that veteran outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is regaining form at this crucial time following months of inconsistent performance.

Stanton, who has only featured in 60 games this year due to a hamstring injury, currently boasts a .205 batting average with a .280 OBP, including 17 home runs, a 24.3% strikeout rate, and an 8.6% walk rate. Prior to Friday’s defeat, Stanton’s wRC+ fell below 100 for the first time in his career. Fortunately, he proved his worth as an average offensive player, hitting a home run in his third consecutive game.

Stanton: A Player Powered by Rhythm and Flow

For Stanton, consistent rhythm and flow are key. Despite injuries disrupting his momentum in the past, he’s showing signs of seeing the ball well again and hitting home runs at an impressive rate.

July saw Stanton hit only .198 with a .293 OBP. However, August has shown significant improvements. Across four games (admittedly a small sample size) and 12 at-bats, he’s notched up a .333 batting average, a .385 OBP, a 1.083 slugging percentage, and a 1.468 OPS, with four hits, three home runs, and seven RBIs.

Stanton as Designated Hitter: A Key Player in the Yankees’ Lineup

While regular defensive play is no longer a viable option for Stanton, he continues to feature as the team’s designated hitter. The Yankees have patiently waited for him to regain his form, and now with momentum building, they’re relying on him to fill the void. This becomes especially important as Judge requires significant rest time to recuperate from a toe injury.

At 33, Stanton still boasts impressive stats: a 49.7% hard-hit rate, a 16.1% barrel rate, a 93.7 average exit velocity, and a 118.3 max exit velocity. His power, a key factor in his career success, doesn’t seem to be dwindling — an encouraging sign for the team’s playoff aspirations.

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