So much was expected from Yankees slugger, Giancarlo Stanton, coming into this season and not much has yet to arrive. But is it too soon to push the panic button?
Being the reigning NL MVP, the Yankees and their fans alike, had their hopes set on a possible World Championship with the addition of Stanton; but after half a month of baseball, Stanton’s world seems to have been turned upside down.
After having a terrific 2017, posting career-high numbers across the board, including 59 home runs, a .281 batting average and 132 RBI, Stanton has yet to vanquish his newest challenge, acclimating to New York.
Many players experience changes of scenery throughout their career’s. However, Stanton joining the Bombers seems to be one of the more difficult the league has seen in some time.
Stanton is not the first to hit rough waters after joining the Yankees. New York is a proving ground — earning its distinction as one of the tougher places to play in professional sports.
In comparison to Stanton, Alex Rodriguez, one of the best players to ever play baseball*, took 15 games in his debut Yankee season to stabilize his batting average above .200. He also hit just two home runs during that span.
(*Rodriguez used steroids throughout most of his career, leaving him with an asterisk next to his name forever)
More from Yanks Go Yard
- Should Yankees toss short-term extension at Harrison Bader before 2023?
- Yankees chose worst possible player to ring in New Year on 2023 team calendar
- Yankees State of the Farm System Review: Josh Breaux
- Yankees make upside play, sign former Rangers top prospect outfielder
- MLB insider claims favorite emerging in Bryan Reynolds rumors (not Yankees)
A-Rod went on to flourish into an icon of the Yankees Universe, only to be defeated by the skeletons in his closet.
Another All-Star pickup that struggled through his first month or so of Bomber baseball was Mark Teixeira. A significant aid in the Yankees’ 2009 World Series title, Teixeira came in second in the MVP voting that year, after hitting .200 that April.
But what about those that didn’t perform up to snuff while in pinstripes? In this case, there are two types of players. Those who move on from the Yanks and succeed — and those that don’t.
Prime examples of the former would include pitchers A.J. Burnett and Esteban Loaiza. Both right-handers failed to produce in New York but saw success outside of the Bronx.
Burnett had a career ERA of 3.81 and two seasons of at least 200 punchouts before coming to New York. However, as soon as he joined the Yanks, his numbers plummeted. His three seasons in pinstripes resulted in a 4.79 ERA while hitting a career-high 19 batters in 2010.
As for Loaiza, well, he pitched just over 42 innings for the Yanks, only to allow 40 earned runs. That’s almost one run per inning! On top of that, he walked 26 batters and only struck out 34.
Loaiza went on the next season to start 34 games for the Nationals, striking out 173 batters in 217 innings to support a 3.77 ERA.
On the other hand, there are the handful of players whose careers have come to an end after their stints with the Yankees.
Jesse Barfield’s career ended with the Yanks at age 32, after four seasons. By his last go-around, Barfield hit .137 in 30 games.
While there is a variety of ways for Stanton’s Yankee-career to pan out, I doubt the team nor the fans will see a player as powerful as Stanton force his departure out of New York anytime soon.
The major difference between Stanton and others that have struggled is the excessive accumulation of strikeouts; as No. 27 has racked up 27 K’s in only 15 games.
However, Stanton will most likely bounce back just as his counterparts in Rodriguez and Teixeira did after their first months in a Yankees’ uniform. We should all continue to watch Stanton make adjustments to combat his high strikeout rate and lack of hits.