Yankees fans shouldn’t worry about Stanton’s slow start
It’s no secret the prized offseason acquisition in Giancarlo Stanton has struggled massively throughout his first ten games with the Yankees. However, fans shouldn’t jump to conclusions just yet on how last year’s NL MVP will perform in pinstripes.
It’s certainly been ugly, there’s no denying it. Over just 48 plate appearances, Stanton has slashed a mere .167/.271/.429 while striking out 20 times, measuring at around a 42% K rate.
Following two separate “platinum sombrero” performances across a six-game homestand, the boo birds would not let up on the struggling outfielder after he whiffed on a 93 MPH fastball with the bases loaded to end a 12-inning matinee of misery.
Even when you ignore the numbers, watching Stanton’s at-bats is starting to become somewhat brutal at this point. At times he has looked purely overmatched, and Stanton himself hasn’t really denied it.
"“You just gotta look at it as a bad week,” Stanton said following his 0-7 performance Sunday per Randy Miller of NJ.com. “The seasons much longer than a week. A couple good games can turn it around and help us win.”"
Despite what was honestly a putrid performance this homestand, Stanton still owns a career .267/.359/.553 slash. As a 146 OPS+ player over eight big league seasons, he’s not going to all of the sudden flick a switch and turn into a sub .200 hitter due to a uniform change.
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His struggles can be explained by a common but simple phrase. A slow start. A slow start that has the media and fans going crazy when it’s just over a ten game span. Ten games. Seriously?
Let me remind you of a former Yankee you may recall. Alex Rodriguez was slashing just .189/.286/.351 through his first ten games as a Yankee in 2004. He went on to post an OPS+ of 131 while hitting 36 home runs and driving in over 100. So it’s safe to say the first week or two of the season had little impact on the output he would ultimately produce.
Another example being the recently retired Mark Teixeira. A .179/.333/.464 ten game start to the 2009 season, his first in pinstripes, would lead to a 5.3 WAR, .292/.383/.565 campaign that saw him finish 2nd in the AL MVP voting.
Next: Stanton's Bat as Cold as New York's Weather
Bottom line is it’s only ten games. Ten out of 162. That means the 2017 NL MVP has “only” 150 games left to turn things around and get hot. Sounds rather easy for a 28-year-old in his prime, fresh off a 59 homer campaign.