Giancarlo Stanton gets ‘balls on barrel,’ promises to stay more ‘grounded’

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton reacts during a game against the Braves in Tampa on March 11, 2014.

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When Giancarlo Stanton joined the Yankees from the Miami Marlins before the 2018 season, he and Aaron Judge were expected to form a formidable duo in the heart of the team’s batting order. The prospect of Giancarlo Stanton and Judge hitting back-to-back was seen as a nightmare scenario for opposing pitchers, as their combined power had the potential to dominate games.

Unfortunately, injuries and inconsistent performances from both players prevented them from fully living up to their potential as teammates. As a result, Juan Soto has now emerged as Judge’s primary offensive partner, taking on the role that Stanton was once expected to fill.

Despite the unexpected turn of events, Giancarlo Stanton remains resolute in his determination to succeed. At 34 years old and entering his 15th season in Major League Baseball, the slugger understands the increased significance of this year’s spring training. He is visibly focused on regaining his top form and making a meaningful contribution to a resurgent Yankees lineup.

“There is no past,” Giancarlo Stanton said. “There’s just now.”

Giancarlo Stanton prioritizes progress over results in spring

The slugger of the New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton
UPI

After a difficult season in which he was hampered by injuries and posted career-worst numbers, including a .191 batting average and a .695 OPS in 101 games, Giancarlo Stanton is using this year’s spring training to focus on making progress rather than worrying about immediate results.

Although his current stat line may not be particularly impressive, with just one hit in 15 at-bats entering Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, Giancarlo Stanton is concentrating on more important aspects of his game. He is prioritizing his physical comfort at the plate, fine-tuning the timing of his swing, and evaluating the effectiveness of the adjustments he is making to his hitting approach. Giancarlo Stanton recognizes that these factors are essential for achieving long-term success.

Despite the lack of early hits, Giancarlo Stanton remains committed to putting in the necessary work and is determined to rediscover his optimal form as spring training continues. This dedicated approach has the potential to set the stage for a resurgent season for the veteran slugger.

In Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, Giancarlo Stanton exhibited promising signs of a potential turnaround. During his first at-bat, he unleashed a towering double to right-center field, with the ball leaving his bat at an impressive 110 mph, showcasing his immense power.

Giancarlo Stanton maintained his strong performance in his subsequent plate appearance, hitting a deep fly ball to right field, demonstrating his ability to make consistent solid contact. He then displayed patience at the plate, drawing a walk after a four-pitch battle. To round out his day, Giancarlo Stanton laced a single to left field, once again making hard contact with the ball traveling over 100 mph.

After the game, Giancarlo Stanton expressed contentment with his ability to consistently make solid contact throughout the day. While he acknowledged the significance of achieving positive results on the field, he also emphasized the confidence that comes with feeling locked in at the plate. This overall performance serves as an encouraging indication of his progress toward regaining his top form.

“I feel great,” he said. “The swing is an interesting one. I’m back to being out there every day and I’m able to stay on my feet and legs. It’s about “balance. I’m trying to be more grounded, as opposed to trying to do too much.”

Determined to rebound

After a challenging 2023 season, Giancarlo Stanton is determined to produce better results. He dedicated his offseason to making significant changes, both in terms of his physical conditioning and his swing mechanics.

Giancarlo Stanton himself is feeling great and is excited about the potential of his revamped swing. He is particularly enthusiastic about participating in regular fielding drills once again, noting the improved stability he feels in his legs and feet. Finding the right balance appears to be crucial for Giancarlo Stanton. He is actively working on maintaining a more controlled approach at the plate, striving to avoid the overexertion that may have hindered his performance in the past.

Sunday’s game noticed a distinct improvement in Giancarlo Stanton’s stance and balance compared to recent seasons. He had a newfound level of comfort at the plate. While concerns persist over his ability to stay healthy throughout an entire season, the slugger’s ability to generate high-velocity hits makes him a formidable asset.

Giancarlo Stanton, player of the New York Yankees.
Jason Szenes / New York Post

Giancarlo Stanton’s struggles at the plate have been widely noted. His batting average has declined, and his barrel rate reached a career-low of 15.7% last season.

With the addition of Juan Soto to the Yankees‘ lineup and assuming all hitters remain healthy, Giancarlo Stanton found himself batting sixth in the order on Sunday. Manager Aaron Boone suggested that this positioning could become a regular occurrence throughout the season. This implies that Giancarlo Stanton may frequently find himself in the bottom half of the lineup, with powerful hitters like Soto, Judge, Rizzo, LeMahieu, and Torres batting ahead of him.

Despite this potential change in his batting order position, Giancarlo Stanton remains unfazed and refuses to dwell on his 2023 performance. “The past is irrelevant,” Stanton stated, emphasizing his focus on the present moment. The Yankees, naturally, are eager to see him rediscover his previous dominant form.

Aaron Judge, recognizing Stanton’s past MVP-caliber performances, highlighted his consistent ability to deliver over 30 home runs and 100 RBIs when placed in the heart of the lineup. He commended Giancarlo Stanton’s intelligence and experience, emphasizing his ability to handle any pitcher and perform well in clutch situations with composure. Judge concluded by stressing the significant boost that a healthy and productive Stanton provides to the team’s overall offensive depth.

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