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Giancarlo Stanton is good

The whole “next man up” thing for the Yankees has been pretty successful. This commanding lead in the division and the smashing of their own home run record with the likes of Cameron Maybin and Gio Urshela in their lineup pretty much exemplifies this Belichickian principal. In some strange way, it kind of feels as if a superstar the likes Giancarlo Stanton is the next man up, too.

The reason for this is simple. Here is this potential MVP candidate we all know can be a force, who became a stranger to us in 2019 while a guy like Mike Tauchman won over our full attention.

Let me know if you thought this was something you could say with a straight face coming out of spring training when he surprisingly grabbed Tyler Wade’s spot on the roster. Did you even think a video like this would end up pulling on your heart strings back then?

The thing that’s forgotten about  Stanton is that he’s good. In fact, he’s VERY good. That bares repeating in a world where the fanbase of a fledgling organization such as the Marlins would die to have him back, and a good portion of Yankee fans would die to keep him out of the lineup.

Don’t forget Stanton can tear the cover off a ball simply by making contact. (His half-ass swing is an A-swing for 90% of the league I would guess.) We saw flashes of this this year. On Opening Day, his 120.6 MPH single off Andrew Cashner is STILL the hardest hit ball of the year. (That was March. It was cold. We’re now in September. It’s cold again.) I remember sitting in the arctic tundra that is section 420C and thinking, “Okay that was a laser.”

Video courtesy of Statcast

Then you had his game against Houston for one of our Bronx Pinstripes events. Up until this point, Ryan Pressly was the most dominant reliever in the game when he came in in the 7th. (33.1 IP, .81 ERA, .162 AVG, .428 OPS).

With him on the bump, there were two outs, a man on second and third, and Stanton was up. In that moment, Yankee stadium was presented a gift of a pin-missile that shot right through Alex Bregman’s glove. Here is this elite third baseman, and he stood no shot. Both runs came in and we all got to see some chinks in the Stanton-Isn’t-Clutch armor.

Video courtesy of Statcast

That was a 96 MPH 4-seam fastball by Pressly. He’s in the top 87% percentile in fastball velocity and Stanton took his smoke and delivered back some smoke of his own.

What’s even more remarkable about this is he was able to get a massive hit off of one of the top relievers in the game after a two month absence and minimal at-bats down in AAA. After the Houston series, he played a few more games against Toronto before ultimately going down again. By all intents and purposes though, Stanton was beginning to heat up. He had a flied out against Aaron Sanchez that came off his bat at 103.2 MPH. In the next at-bat, he hit an absolute bomb at 111.1 MPH that went 445 feet. After that, he had a 91.3 MPH single which, by Big G standards, is pretty pedestrian.

Video courtesy of Statcast

Between those clutch hits against Houston and this bomb, it seemed as if Stanton was ready to roll. Unfortunately some more injuries put him back on the shelf.

Giancarlo Stanton is Still Good

JJ had a really great line in the last episode of George’s Box. He said that Giancarlo Stanton isn’t Luis Sojo. Which, given the disrespect this man has seen on the Twitter, Facebook and Insta-verse, it feels like this needs to be said over and over and over again.

Giancarlo Stanton isn’t just any kind of ball player the Yankees will plug into their playoff roster. Stanton is a freak athlete who could have played any sport he wanted to. Unlike Kyler Murray, who chose to get murdered down in the NFL, Stanton went with the money route of baseball and the money route has worked out AWESOMELY for Big G.

Look at these career numbers. Even with a few injury stints and him taking the year off, he’s still en route to the Hall of Fame.

306 HR
779 RBI
248 XBH
.268 AVG
.359 OBP
.574 SLG
142 wRC+

And that 2018 they called a down year wasn’t even really a down year. It was actually pretty damn elite.

Despite a hamstring injury that held him down in the last month of the year, Giancarlo Stanton hit 38 home runs, had 100 RBI’s and wore a .266 AVG that was twenty points higher than his XBA of .247. Yeah, there was that bad ALDS, but guess what. Aaron Judge also had a really bad first impression in the playoffs in 2017. This is how it went: 20 AB, 16 K’s, 4 BB, .050 AVG, .308 OPS, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 XBH. He was able to get another shot though and more than made up for it in the ALCS that year: 25 AB, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 XBH, 11 K’s, 4 BB, .250 AVG, 1.065 OPS.

Why can’t this happen to Stanton during the playoffs, too, once he gets another shot? The dude took two months off due to injuries and came back smoking balls against Houston, and one of their elite arms in Ryan Pressly. Chances are that can happen again for a dude that might be in the Hall of Fame, took up 18 of 50 spots in 2018’s Exit Velo leaderboard on statcast and, oh yeah, won an MVP two years ago.