It wasn’t long ago that Red Sox Nation was collectively brought to its hands and knees, begging for Giancarlo Stanton. He has the power that the Sox need, and one can only imagine the damage he’d do at Fenway Park. He hit 59 home runs last season in Miami, which could translate to 70+ in Boston. It could’ve been a great fit, but this selling point wasn’t enough. Following in the footsteps of Alex Rodriguez, Stanton is now a New York Yankee. Missing out on Stanton is tough, but he isn’t looking like the $25,000,000 man he’s made out to be.
DISSECTING THE NUMBERS
Through 20 games and 91 plate appearances, Stanton has racked up a grand total of 15 hits. This accumulates to a .185 batting average, and his home run production doesn’t made him look any better. He has four home runs on the season, which puts him on pace for 32 by year’s end. This would be a 46% decrease from his total a year ago. It’s not a good look for the reigning home run champion. He has the potential to tear the cover off the ball, but it isn’t happening yet in New York. Hitting for power is his forte, so this is surely frustrating for the Yankees.
Stanton’s stats at home are particularly atrocious. As if things could get even worse, he has a dismal .100 average in front of his home fans. This is the last thing that the Yankees envisioned, but going 0 for 5 and 0 for 7 in the same week isn’t going to help the numbers. The strikeouts are also an issue. He’s currently averaging 1.6 strikeouts per game with a total of 32 K’s. This is way up from his 1.05 strikeouts per game through eight years in Miami. He really just seems out of sync from the player he’s been his whole career.
These aren’t numbers you’d expect out of Stanton, but he just seems uncomfortable all around. Striking out five times is in two separate games is unprecedented for a player of this caliber. This just goes to show how much he’s in his own head. His confidence is at rock bottom, and this isn’t helping anything.
ADAPTING TO THE CULTURE
If Stanton were to continue on this trajectory, he would finish his first season in New York hitting .185 with 32 home runs, 97 RBI’s, and 259 strikeouts. This isn’t what the Yankees are paying him to do. He is yet to earn a dime of his $25,000,000 salary, and the fans are letting him hear it. He’s been consistently showered with boos and as a result his production has declined even more. This is all part of playing in a New York, and Stanton needs to learn how to block out the noise.
The Yankees have a passionate fan base and Stanton needs to produce to get on their good side. If you don’t play up to your capabilities, the fans will be tough on you. It’s that simple. The same thing applies to Boston and the other major sports cities around the country. Nobody gets a free pass because of who they once were. You’re only as good as your last game, and Stanton is starting to figure that out. Things might be different once he gives the fans a real reason to cheer. Until then, he just has to roll with the punches.
He’ll snap out of it eventually, but Stanton has yet to prove than he can handle playing in a bigger market.