Yankees’ super slugger starting 2023 on a hot note

giancarlo stanton, yankees

The Yankees get set to take on the Phillies tonight in what’ll be their first night game of the season. Nestor Cortes is on the bump, and the Yankees look to continue their success as they took a series victory over the Giants. One player who is off to a great start this season is Giancarlo Stanton. After a disappointing ’22 campaign, he’s already in the process of putting that all behind him. 

Giancarlo Stanton is dominating early in 2023:

Last year, Giancarlo Stanton had one of the worst seasons of his career. Even though he still clubbed 31 HR and posted a 115 wRC+, he finished with the worst wOBA & BABIP of his entire lengthy career. During the offseason, I was a firm believer that they would right themselves and that Stanton would have a big bounce-back year. Thus far, it’s looking like that was the safe bet. 

To start this season, Stanton already has a pair of homers — one of which was the second-longest of his career, at a staggering 485 feet — and has been putting barrel to the ball. He’s also got a base knock, making him 3/16 with two walks and three strikeouts up to this point. He’s got a 117 wRC+ and has enjoyed a few OF starts.

If the Yankees can get consistent outfield reps from Stanton, it will make him all that much more valuable as a player. His contract isn’t the most amazing contract, especially for a full-time DH, so any time in the outfield is a win for the organization. He still plays solid defense, and his arm will likely be a plus arm for the foreseeable future. Having him and Judge on at the same time is a huge positive for the team, and when they both homer, it’s even more impressive. 

The Yankees needed some defensive value from Stanton:

Giancarlo will likely suit up for roughly 60 or so games in the outfield if I were to give a guess. He’s going to be undoubtedly more valuable when he plays the field, and assuming he stays healthy this year, will be a massive part of the team’s success. Having Stanton play well, and having him healthy during the back half of the season, is something the Yankees desperately need. Last year, we saw how the offense fizzled out when he was injured and slumping. 

I’m not expecting Stanton to play every game, nor am I expecting him to be an elite hitter every day of the week. However, I am expecting his hot streaks to be hotter than most and for there to be fewer cold spells this season. He struggled last year, and no one is more open and upfront about that than he is. He’s certainly one of the most accountable guys in baseball, and he always answers questions with the utmost honesty and respect. 

Stanton’s been getting far too much hate for how talented of a player he is. He’s been a great Yankee, and while it hasn’t entirely worked out the way many fans expected when the Yanks acquired him, to say that’s all on him would be a disservice. He continues to hit the ball hard, train harder, and put in the time and effort to be the best player possible. Judge may be the early on favorite to repeat as AL MVP, but Stanton is a dark horse candidate. 

He’s already seen the exit velocities sit right in line with what he’s done his whole career, and he doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down any time soon. Stanton is one of the cornerstones of this team, and with the immersion of young talent in the lineup and pitching staff, it’s key to have veterans who know the game of baseball and want to help the team. He, Judge, Rizzo, and Cole are all leaders that this team has and looks up to. 

I believe Stanton will have a great season and that this successful opening day weekend for Big G is a welcome sight. He’ll be looking to build on this success and put together a season for the ages. He’s not going to bat .280, but he will make sure the .240/.250 avg he likely finishes with is filled with huge hits and massive home runs that fly off the bat. 2023 is underway, and Stanton is off to the races.

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