He’s back, he’s 20 pounds down, and he’s a force at the plate this season.
Whether it’s hitting or on the basepaths, New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has set the tone early after being sidelined for much of 2019 by a lingering calf injury.
So far Stanton has been batting a near .300 by going 8-for-27 with two homers, six RBI, and is keeping a good eye at the plate by drawing seven walks through nine games within the designated hitter role.
“I feel like I’m having good at-bats, good approach, I’ve just got to stay in the strike zone and continue to do that,” he told reporters ahead of Sunday night’s game against the Red Sox.
Stanton also addressed his new and leaner form, saying he wanted to enter 2020 losing “a good bit.”
“I had a lot of time to think over last year and I just wanted to cover all my bases,” he said.
“I tried a lot, tried to figure out what’s the best way for me to say on the field, what’s the best way for me to progress so I thought I’d give this a try,” Stanton added, saying he was closer to the weight of his younger years.
Stanton’s lighter, more youthful approach proved efficient when he had a late-game steal of second base Monday night in the Yankees’ 6-3 win over Philadelphia.
Fellow outfielder Aaron Judge let on that the two have also been doing some collaborative work that focused on their more than solid hitting games this year as well.
“I was kind of talking to him about breaking pitches…the next day he came in he said ‘hey man, I was watching some video man if you just keep your head down there just a click longer you’ll stay through the baseball a little better,'” Judge said following his historic night against Boston on Sunday.
For Stanton to keep on his A-game he says it’s all about being able to “stick to his zone.”
“Just keep it rolling, make quick, smart adjustments and keep learning after every game even if I have a great game just to learn what could have been a little bit better,” he said.
Stanton and the Yankees play again Wednesday in a seven-inning doubleheader against the Phillies in Philadelphia at 4:05 p.m. ET