LATEST PAPER
73° Good Afternoon
73° Good Afternoon
Sports

Giancarlo Stanton can be a force for Yankees ... when he’s healthy

The Yanks’ big offseason acquisition is a prodigious power hitter, but he’s suffered several injuries over the years.

Giancarlo Stanton was acquired from the Marlins on

Giancarlo Stanton was acquired from the Marlins on Dec. 11 for Starlin Castro and prospects. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Only five men ever have hit more home runs in a season than Giancarlo Stanton’s 59 last year. Three are admitted or suspected users of performance-enhancing drugs; the other two wore pinstripes.

There’s little reason to believe Stanton, 28, is a drug cheat, but he’ll definitely be joining Babe Ruth and Roger Maris in a long line of New York Yankees sluggers this season after the Dec. 11 blockbuster trade that brought him to the Bronx from the Miami Marlins — courtesy of their new owner, Yanks legend Derek Jeter.

Naturally, offseason excitement about pairing each league’s home run kings from 2017 in one lineup. Aaron Judge, the runner-up for AL MVP as a rookie, swatted 52 homers and now gets to bat in the same lineup as the reigning NL MVP. Oh, and Gary Sanchez launched 33 bombs in 122 games for the Yankees, too.

Stanton’s prodigious power is nothing new, as his 267 career homers can attest. His home run ratio (13.4 ABs per HR) ranks second behind Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew among players with at least 250 through age 27.

More rare for the 6-foot-6 Stanton has been staying on the field. Last year was just the second time he played in at least 150 games as he set a career high with 159. Since his first full season as a major-leaguer in 2011, the California native has missed 247 games — about 22 percent — due to various injuries.

  • 2012: Knee and abdominal issues (played 123 games)
  • 2013: Hamstring and shoulder trouble (played 116 games)
  • 2014: Took a pitch to the face (played 145 games)
  • 2015: Broke a bone in his hand (played 74 games)
  • 2016: Suffered groin strain (played 119 games)

While Stanton’s 2014 facial fracture was a freak accident, which led to him using a face guard on his helmet, his history is cause to temper expectations. New manager Aaron Boone is expected to use the outfielder as a designated hitter — something he couldn’t do with the Marlins — and may schedule more days off to keep him fresh for the postseason. As long as his big bat is in the lineup in October, that’s all that really matters.

Top Photos & Videos