Opposing pitchers don’t have an answer for Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton lately.
The New York Yankees got off to a slow start this season. But if there is one bright spot so far in 2021, it’s that Giancarlo Stanton is back to being the MVP candidate, home run bashing, pitcher’s nightmare slugger the Yankees always thought he would be.
Stanton hit another home run, his eighth of the season, on Wednesday night in Yankee Stadium against the Houston Astros. Facing Astros starter Luis Garcia with two outs in the third inning, Stanton got a 92 mph fastball down the middle of the plate and sent it 435 feet into the left-field bleachers for a two-run shot.
The sight of Stanton back healthy and electrifying the home crowd with mammoth home runs is a welcome one for the Yankees. Stanton has spent the better part of two years watching the Yankees from the dugout, appearing in only 18 percent of the games in 2019 and 2020. He’s already played more games this season than he did in either of those years and has more home runs than he did the last two seasons combined.
Giancarlo Stanton is a problem for opposing pitchers
Stanton’s return to prominence has mirrored the Yankees’ changes in fortune. On April 26, the Yankees were 9-13 and in last place in the AL East. They’ve won six of their last seven since and are currently in second in the division. At the same time, Stanton has been unstoppable at the plate.
In his last 11 games, Stanton is batting .478 with five home runs and eight extra-base hits. It would be his best 11-game stretch since 2014 when he was with the Miami Marlins. He’s 15 for his last 25 dating back to April 28.
His home run on Wednesday was his 56th in the Statcast era measured at 435 feet or more. That’s nine more than any other player despite him missing nearly two full seasons. No one else this season has more than three batted balls hit at least 115 mph; Stanton has three in just the last week and 17 on the year. He is, in short, back to being the most feared power hitter in the game.
“You know what he’s capable of,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after Stanton went 4-5 with a home run on Tuesday. “This is what we’ve seen kind of brewing from him going back the last couple of years. Just, obviously, hasn’t been able to be out there enough. I just love his mindset, his preparation, his game plan, his process. And he’s going out there and carrying that out and finding results with it.”
When the Yankees acquired Stanton from the Marlins before the 2018 season, they expected him to team up with Aaron Judge in a modern-day version of the ‘Bash Brothers.’ They haven’t seen much of it since 2019 as he suffers through a host of injuries.
That stage of his career, at least for now, appears to be behind him, and opposing pitchers are worse off because of it.