Giancarlo Stanton’s power surge drives Judge to quip ‘a little mad at me’

Giancarlo Stanton celebrates with Aaron Judge after his three homers in the Yankees vs. Pirates spring game on March 20, 2024.

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Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton silenced any questions about his power during Wednesday night’s spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Steinbrenner Field. New York captain Aaron Judge’s reaction to his fiery performance immediately reflected how premature it would be to write off the power hitter.

Despite trimming down during the offseason, Giancarlo Stanton’s raw strength appeared undiminished. His first three trips to the plate produced a jaw-dropping total of 1,334 feet of home runs. Each mighty swing sent baseballs soaring into the night sky, with some even generating concerns for passing cars on nearby Dale Mabry Highway.

Opposing pitcher Marco Gonzales, a left-hander for the Pirates, might have felt like he was pitching batting practice. Giancarlo Stanton turned his at-bats into a personal launching pad, effortlessly crushing three home runs on pitches that seemed tailor-made for his potent swing. Each offering found itself right in Giancarlo Stanton’s wheelhouse, allowing him to unleash his power with pinpoint precision. Gonzales left searching for solutions, likely feeling like he was participating in a Home Run Derby, with the slugger showcasing his mastery of the long ball with each thunderous swing.

Giancarlo Stanton’s sizzling bat draws Judge’s playful observation

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Witnessing his resurgent performance, teammate Aaron Judge playfully admitted he might not have given his friend enough credit in the past. The captain expressed admiration for Giancarlo Stanton’s ability to regain his stride, overcoming moments of potential frustration, such as when tagging up on plays.

“I didn’t give him enough credit — I was tagging up on a couple of them, so I think he got a little mad at me about that,” Judge quipped. “Impressive to see him back doing what he does.”

Aaron Judge has been a key observer of the slugger’s improved performance this spring training. He noticed a distinct change in Giancarlo Stanton’s approach, particularly his ability to maintain a more controlled swing that stays in the strike zone for a longer duration. This allows the slugger to utilize the entire field, including the often-neglected right field.

While Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t launched any home runs to the right field yet, Judge, watching from various vantage points like the dugout or first base, observes his bat trajectory covering a wider zone effectively. Judge also commended his teammate’s dedication to offseason training, expressing optimism about his potential based on his hard work during that time.

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone pinpointed persistent leg injuries, both major and minor, as the primary factors hindering Giancarlo Stanton’s performance over the past two seasons. The skipper likened these setbacks to limitations on a high-caliber sports car like a Ferrari.

However, during Wednesday night’s game, Giancarlo Stanton exhibited flashes of his former dominance, reminding everyone of his true potential. His first home run, a majestic blast of 455 feet, soared majestically over the center field batter’s eye, potentially reaching the highway beyond the ballpark. His second homer, a grand slam, showcased his power with an impressive 453-foot trajectory, clearing the left-field scoreboard. Giancarlo Stanton’s third homer, though slightly shorter at 426 feet, still found its way deep into left-center field.

Even though Giancarlo Stanton narrowly missed out on a potential fourth home run, his sacrifice fly to center field in a high-pressure situation against a right-handed pitcher held significant value for both the team and Giancarlo Stanton himself, further emphasizing his impact on the game. This clutch play demonstrates the slugger’s well-rounded skillset beyond just pure power hitting.

Giancarlo Stanton’s spring training display serves as a beacon of hope for Yankees fans. While the regular season is yet to begin, his renewed focus on health and his ability to deliver in crucial moments suggest a potential return to form for the feared slugger.

Giancarlo Stanton hungry for success

While the 2023 season presented his toughest challenge yet, 34-year-old Giancarlo Stanton roared back to life with a dominant display of power in a recent Grapefruit League game, launching three home runs. However, the power hitter remains grounded, acknowledging that spring training heroics don’t guarantee regular-season success.

Following his impressive feat, Giancarlo Stanton acknowledged the rarity of hitting three homers in a single spring training game. He clearly enjoyed the display of power, but also realistically downplayed its long-term significance.

More importantly, Giancarlo Stanton’s performance underscores his renewed confidence and comfort at the plate, potentially fueled by his recent physical transformation. During the offseason, he revamped his workout regimen to emphasize overall athleticism and agility, aiming to recapture his status as a dynamic force on the field.

The results are tangible. Giancarlo Stanton has noticed a significant improvement in his mobility and stability, particularly evident in his ability to maintain a strong base while hitting. He emphasizes the importance of addressing past injuries, such as Achilles tendinitis and prioritizing long-term stability to maximize his on-field performance.

Giancarlo Stanton’s spring training display serves as a powerful reminder of his potential. While he acknowledges the volatility of pre-season performances, his focus on physical conditioning and long-term health suggests a determined veteran ready to reclaim his place among baseball’s elite power hitters.

Is it a sign of things to come?

Manager Aaron Boone, who has kept a close eye on Giancarlo Stanton’s at-bats, confirms Judge’s observations. He noted that Stanton approached the offseason with a clear determination, arriving at spring training with a renewed focus and unwavering commitment to improvement.

Boone specifically highlights Giancarlo Stanton’s control during his plate appearances, emphasizing a heightened level of concentration and precision in recent games. Boone adds that when the slugger exhibits this level of mastery at the plate, he becomes a nightmarish matchup for opposing pitchers.

Despite the impressive spring training home runs, Giancarlo Stanton himself remains grounded. He acknowledges these feats as a positive start, offering a glimpse of his potential in the upcoming season which begins in just a week. However, the real test lies ahead. As he himself says, “It’s a positive start, a glimpse of what’s to come in spring. Now, we have months ahead to maintain this momentum.”

Both Judge and Boone’s observations, along with his focus on improvement, paint a promising picture for the Yankees. Giancarlo Stanton’s dedication to his swing mechanics and offseason conditioning suggests he’s poised for a strong season, potentially returning to his former dominance at the plate.

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