It’s no secret that in Giancarlo Stanton’s time in the Bronx, he hasn’t exactly been the golden boy that was expected. Night after night, Stanton is showered with boos by Yankee fans. We as a whole act as if Stanton has played to the same level of Jonathan Davis as a Yankee.
It’s time for it to stop.
It’s time for us to embrace Giancarlo Stanton for exactly what he is – a good/great player, but not a superstar. Stanton has not been the perennial MVP candidate that we expected, but that’s okay. He’s been pretty damn good in his time here, and even carried us through stretches. See 2018 for reference.
THIS is Giancarlo Stanton’s Yankee moment! Go-ahead home run! pic.twitter.com/aj5kpA7gkP
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) August 13, 2021
So what has he done FOR us?
The only thing Yankee fans care about. What has he done for us lately? Well, over the last two weeks, Stanton is quietly putting together one of his hot streaks. Over the last 15, Stanton is slashing .333/.429/.537 with a couple massive homeruns.
On a macro-level though, Stanton is putting up another solid season. The exit-velo king is slashing .263/.363/.457. The narrative that Stanton is not a productive hitter has to come to an end. All of his stats this year, minus homeruns, are right on par with his career averages. We act like he came to New York and became the worst player in baseball.
STOP GIVING HIM THE SONNY GRAY TREATMENT.
The days of him putting up 50+ homeruns and playing gold glove defense are over. Get past that and be happy of what he gives us. Stanton is still a threat to hit a ball 500 feet at any time. He still routinely hits balls 110+ mph off the bat. This man can and will carry us for stretches over the length of his albatross contract. Does anyone remember his 2020 postseason? How do we collectively for get things like this?
Never forget how unstoppable Giancarlo Stanton was in the 2020 playoffs…
SIX home runs in the first five games! pic.twitter.com/MJsXXoilK9
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) December 2, 2020
For the record, I’m as guilty as the next fan of being harsh on Stanton at times. It’s time for us all to sit back and appreciate what we have, though. Teams would kill for this kind of production. Giancarlo Stanton is an excellent player for the Yankees – even if he isn’t a superstar anymore.
Stats by season:
2018 – .266/.343/.509 | 128 WRC+
2019 – .288/.403/.492 | 139 WRC+
2020 – .250/.387/.500 | 142 WRC+
2021 – .263/.363/.457 | 128 WRC+
For reference, his stats in Miami averaged out to .268/.360/.554 with a 147 WRC+. This narrative that we have created that he is some drastically different player is simply just wrong.
Cause for frustration
This isn’t to say that Giancarlo is the perfect player. I understand that he has a lot of flaws between his contract, his injuries, and his ugly strikeouts. It’s very easy to get mad at Stanton off the jump for his lack of the playing the field. Guess what though? He can’t control some of that stuff.
Again, I’m as guilty as the next for being overly critical. However, his contract for instance, is something that he cannot control. If someone dangled 325 million in front of you to play a game, would you take it? If you tell me no, then you’re either a liar or Jeff Bezos. I know it’s a lot, but if we’re going to get mad at anyone for this, get mad at the front office.
Another big knock on Stanton is his injury history. There’s no defending this one. He has been one of the more frequent flyers on the IL. He has to stay healthy. I truly believe that playing him in the field, like he has recently, will help keep him off the IL, at least a little. Stanton is a behemoth of a man. Having him swing that hard, cold, is just a recipe for disaster. Aaron Boone, if you’re reading this, LET HIM PLAY THE FIELD.
Wow. The Giancarlo Stanton injury has “Ellsbury” trending.
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) February 26, 2020
Yikes. Maybe the injury argument has some merit.
I believe what hurts his Yankee legacy the most, though, is just how ugly his strikeouts are. Look, strikeouts are just part of the deal. We signed up for a high K guy when we got him. It’s the fact that when he strikes out, nobody on the planet looks more lost.
2018 PitchingNinja Award for Strikeout/KO of the Year (tie) 🥊 🏆
Sean Reid-Foley winner by KO over Giancarlo Stanton (By 95mph Fastball). pic.twitter.com/ScSGHBxMhx
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) December 24, 2018
With swings like that, it’s hard to remember that all strikeouts count the same – even if it’s true.
I understand that Stanton is frustrating at times. But it’s time for us as Yankee fans to temper our expectations and give Stanton some love. He is not an MVP anymore and that is just fine. If we keep expecting this from him, it’s just going to A) drive us all crazy and B) make us miss greatness.
There is a pretty decent chance that Giancarlo Stanton winds up in the Hall of Fame one day. We take that for granted every single day as fans. Sit back, grab a beer, turn on the TV and enjoy him for what he is. Giancarlo is going to be here until 2029 — lets be honest, eight more years of anger just sounds exhausting. If you still want to be a hater, that’s fine, I totally get it. Stop booing the poor bastard every time he doesn’t hit a home run. If you fall in that crowd, just tune him out and awe at his mammoth homers.
For the rest of us, it’s time to finally embrace him for exactly what he is. A damn good baseball player.
Giancarlo Stanton – New York Yankees (19) pic.twitter.com/wD3OYeZ5Cv
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) August 18, 2021
As Champ Kind from Anchorman would say, “Whammy”.