Yankees Giancarlo Stanton will be more important than ever in 2020

Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees reacts to the dugout (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees reacts to the dugout (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /
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In what will be his third season in the Bronx, Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton will once again be under the microscope by the New York media and fans. After being plagued by several injuries, Stanton will look to get back on track and stay healthy in 2020.

With questions surrounding Aaron Hicks’ Tommy John surgery and who will be his replacement, Giancarlo Stanton finds himself even more critical to retaining a healthy status. There is no doubt that Stanton will never play center field, but he must be able to play left field and possibly even right field every now and then for the Yankees.

Stanton will see himself mainly as the DH for the Yanks in 2020, but he must be prepared for whatever comes his way.

The Yankees already have several names that can man the outfield next season with Aaron Judge, Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier, who are either under contract or will be entering arbitration. Brett Gardner continues to engage in talks with Brian Cashman and seems to be the ideal fit to return for his 13th season in pinstripes.

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The Yankees also have Jacoby Ellsbury continuing rehabilitation, but there is no timetable for his return. Ellsbury has not played in a major league game since 2017.

The outfield seems stocked with depth, but there is no such thing as too much of a good thing. Should any of the outfielders go down with an injury, particularly at the corners, Stanton will more than likely be the one to step in and play either left or right field.

Perhaps the most significant concern for Stanton is his ability to handle playing more frequently in the outfield in case of another injury. However, this is an area that fans should not be too concerned about.

Although limited by a quad injury himself, Stanton played the outfield during the playoffs since the DH spot was held by Edwin Encarnacion. Therefore, it is possible that he was playing at 60 to 70 percent and was still feeling much pain. This caused Stanton to be much slower tracking down balls in left field, which ultimately sidelined him for several games in the ALCS.

However, Stanton will be walking into spring training well-rested. As long as there is no further damage to his quad, rehab should put him close to 100 percent by March.

In addition to being critical to the outfield, his power at the plate will also be essential. Stanton had many solid at-bats during the playoffs, especially against the Twins. If Stanton can continue the plate discipline that he showed during the ALDS, he can have a massively positive effect on the Yankees offense.

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Again, if Stanton can remain healthy for the majority of the 2020 season, the Yankees will get a lot of productivity from the 30-year-old veteran. He can still be a critical part of the lineup for many years to come, both in the field and at the plate.