On Wednesday, Giancarlo Stanton hit a Julio Teheran fastball, during the third inning, at 111 mph exit velocity out of the park, for his 21st home run. The response by the Yankees faithful to Stanton’s home run appears to show the slugger has finally won over New York fans.
Stanton told reporters following his team’s 6-2 victory on July 4 over the Atlanta Braves that he is finally “getting there.” He was quick to add he has work still left to do, but the feeling is good at this time.
One facet of his game he needs improvement on is strikeouts. The Yankees designated hitter has 115 strikeouts after just 8 games.
New York will need Stanton even more over the next few weeks after the team put 21-year old Gleyber Torres on the disabled list due to a hip strain. Torres has become a vital part of the Yankees offense and will be missed while his hip recovers.
Stanton’s home run on Independence Day was his second in two days and 19th since the start of June. He has elevated his batting average from a low of .222 to his current .267.
Despite having an inconsistent start to the season; Stanton’s overall numbers are almost identical to last season at this point. Last year on July 4, Stanton was hitting .265 with 21 homers, 52 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .523. Following Wednesday’s Yankees victory, Stanton has a batting average of .267 with 21 home runs 51 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .515.
The first half stats for Stanton in 2017 were good, but the second half numbers are what earned the slugger the National League MVP award. Last season from July 4 through the end of the season, Stanton hit 38 home runs over a period of 78 games to lead the league with 59.
Stanton has seen an increase in production since May 2, when his batting average reached its lowest point at .222. Over the 54 games played since that day, Stanton has averaged .292 and hit 11 doubles, 16 home runs and knocked in 36 runs.
Before May 2, Stanton had three strikeouts or more in five of 29 games, but since has only struck out three times or more in three games in a 54-game stretch.
Stanton pointed out after the Yankees win that whatever helps the team win is what he want and the numbers do not really matter, it is helping the team win that counts.