To think, that may be the best game he enjoys for New York. Ever.
Stanton should be fine. He (probably) won’t suck like this forever.
The Yankees’ $300 million man is going to figure out what is ailing him at the plate in the early stages of the 2018 season. Stanton is contractually bound to the Yankees for 1,620 regular season games and surely some playoff games intermixed. It’s too early to make any assessments on his deal.
We can assess that these 14 games and 66 plate appearances have been pretty disastrous. And it’s funny to watch the level of uneasiness rise in New York as the strikeout totals get higher.
He’s showing no signs of stopping.
The most powerful hitter in MLB has 25 strikeouts. He’s on pace to break Mark Reynold’s strikeout record of 223. Stanton has the highest strikeout percentage (37.9) he has ever had in the majors. He has logged two five-strikeout games so far this season, which means he’s flirting with the league’s record of three in a single season. His batting average (.220) is a career-low, and his 0-for-5 outing against the Tigers didn’t help nor did his 0-for-7 game against the Orioles earlier this month. He can’t hit a fastball, according to Fangraphs. He’s struggling to make contact, particularly on pitches inside the zone. No one has walked him intentionally.
Getting the picture? It’s not pretty.
Yes, it’s just 14 games. That’s what makes it funny.
Stanton’s free agency process was fascinating and unique. There was the intrigue of the no-trade clause attached to the massive contract, the process of putting together the trade from Miami to New York and the fact that Derek Jeter was the man who engineered the trade. Stanton, the biggest prize last offseason had to offer, landed in New York City. Jeter, by the way, won’t even show his face at Yankee Stadium, perhaps due in part to the Stanton trade.
Even so, Stanton and the Yankees seemed like the perfect fit — even in the first game of the season when Stanton hit two home runs. The idea of Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius on the same team was incredible. Too much power. (And we should note that Sanchez is happy everyone is focusing on Stanton, because Sanchez has a .157 on-base percentage so far).
The last 13 games, however, have been the picture of dysfunction for Stanton. It would be unfair to call Stanton’s arrival in New York an anti-climax. It has been a wild ride.
He’s not always going to stink. He had a decent series against the Boston Red Sox, who were one of the teams that might have been in the mix to land Stanton. (They instead got J.D. Martinez, who has also been an early disappointment.) Stanton is too good to be a mess. But while he is one, we might as well point it out. And we might as well get in a laugh while it’s still happening.