With the weird news continuing to come in about Giancarlo Stanton’s injuries, I have seen some people on social media stating they don’t care if he returns to the Yankees. I’ve seen people talking about making him part of a trade package to unload him to another team this year. I’ve seen people spend time focusing on one negative part of his stats from last year to try and say this team is not better off with him. So this piece is in defense of Giancarlo Stanton and why I believe this team absolutely needs him.
This is what his stats looked like last year: .250/.343/.509. In 617 at-bats, he had 164 hits, including 34 doubles, 40 home runs, and 100 RBIs. He drew 70 walks. He also had 211 strikeouts. Most important to this equation, however, and something that the numbers alone don’t tell you is, Stanton not only joined a new team last year, but he joined a new league, with new pitchers, many of whom he had never seen before. Let that sink in for a minute. Stanton adjusted to a new team and new league last year and still hit 40 home runs and had 100 RBIs.
Now let’s look at the Yankees’ overall stats last year. We all know, as a team, they hit 267 home runs. They also had 821 RBIs. Let’s take Giancarlo’s numbers out of those totals and the Yankees would have hit 219 home runs as a team and 721 RBIs. Still very good, no doubt, but
the Seattle Mariners would still hold the team single-season home run record, and who knows if the Yankees would have made the postseason last year without his numbers in this lineup.
I’ve seen people talk about his performance last postseason in their defense of why this team doesn’t need him. You’re using his performance in his very first postseason to decide the Yankees don’t need him? Remember, Stanton commented last year that it was the first time he played meaningful baseball after May (if you’ve paid any attention to the Marlins over the last few years, you know that wasn’t an exaggeration). Again, let that sink in. Stanton has been in the major leagues since 2010 and last year was the first time he had ever been in the postseason. I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s an adjustment to playing in your first ever postseason, after never having been there before.