3 Yankees poised to start strong in shortened season

Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

A look at three Yankees set to explode once the 2020 season begins

RF Giancarlo Stanton

Last season, Giancarlo Stanton was on the verge of breaking out and proving to the ever-demanding Yankees fanbase that he belonged in pinstripes.

After returning from an early-season injury, Stanton played well for a handful of games in June, before a freak incident on the basepaths sent him to the injured list for another three months.

As Yankees fans and Stanton grew frustrated with setback after setback, he played well through the end of September and looked ready to contribute in the postseason. Stanton, who failed to make his mark against the Boston Red Sox in the 2018 Division Series, sought redemption.

It looked like redemption was in his grasp. He worked counts, found himself on-base plenty (.455 OBP in the ALDS) and finally broke through against Zack Greinke in the ALCS with a monstrous home run.

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Injuries would yet again hamper his redemption tour.

All reports indicate Stanton will be 100 percent once baseball is back. With Aaron Judge’s availability still in question, the Yankees will need Stanton more than ever as their quest for a 28th World Series begins.

Perhaps short stints during an injury-plagued season won’t create much optimism for some. However, using Stanton’s 2018 season, in which he played 158 games, could help project what fans can expect from Stanton in 2020.

Looking at the first half of 2018, which included a rough April, Stanton still accumulated a .278/.346/.518 line, with 23 homers and 55 RBI in 94 games.

With health on his side, Stanton will be able to duplicate those numbers in a fragmented 2020 season. After barely making an impact last year, Stanton is set for a loud return.