Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton’s post-All-Star Game power surge

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Giancarlo Stanton
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Giancarlo Stanton /

Giancarlo Stanton is on his usual post-All-Star Game tear. With Aaron Judge out, Stanton’s power surge couldn’t come at a better time as the Yankees make a push for the playoffs.

Up until the All-Star game, the New York Yankees Giancarlo Stanton was having only a mildly successful season. He was slashing .278/.346/.518 with 23 home runs and 55 RBIs at the midway break.

However, the reigning NL MVP had just come off a season where he hit 59 home runs — and moving to the Bronx, to the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, there was a possibility Stanton would eclipse the exclusive 60-homer mark.

While that number is likely out of reach, Stanton is making his usual post-All-Star Game charge, which could push him into the MVP race and drive the Yankees to the first postseason appearance of Stanton’s nine-year career.

By now we know that Stanton got off to a very slow start to the 2018 season. In April, he batted only .218 with 40 strikeouts and just three home runs in 101 at-bats. He struggled that first month mercilessly, getting peppered with boos by the Yankee faithful after numerous five-strikeout performances. But as the summer got hot, so did Stanton’s production.

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In June and July, Stanton slashed .298/.373/.577 and .323/.360/.515, respectively. Stanton has overcome the early season struggles to return to his slugging self. He also hit 13 home runs and drove in 35 runs. Since the All-Star Game, he’s hitting .310/.375/.621. With teammate Aaron Judge out since July 26th, the Yankees have relied heavily on Stanton, and he’s delivered in a big way.

In August, Stanton is sporting a .725 slugging percentage with six home runs and 25 RBIs. Stanton’s bat and health are critical at this time of the year. To hold down the first Wild Card spot, the Yanks need Stanton to keep up his torrid pace to fend off any potential rallies from the Seattle Mariners, Oakland A’s and possibly even the Houston Astros.

Foremost, Stanton has to hit better at Yankee Stadium. It is arguably the most hitter-friendly stadium in Major League Baseball, yet Stanton is only hitting .243 at home. His home vs. road stats are nearly identical in most fields including at-bats (243/244), home runs (17/15), and RBIs (both 40), but Stanton has slugged almost .100 points higher on the road (.590) than in the Bronx (.494).

The Yankees are only 11-10 this month, and if Stanton gets better at the plate, it should translate to more wins.

Stanton has to improve when batting behind in the count. At counts 0-2, 1-2 and 2-2, Stanton’s average drops to .176 and below. Also, over 50 percent of those at-bats result in a strikeout. If he gets down in the count, Stanton needs to adjust his swing and merely put the ball in play.

Also, Stanton would be wise to take advantage of the dimensions of Yankee Stadium — as it’s only 318 feet down the left field line (by contrast, Marlins Park was 344 down left field).

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If his August numbers are any indication of what to forecast, there should be another surge in September, and that couldn’t come at a better time for the Yankees as they look to lock up a postseason berth.