Giancarlo Stanton has struck out more than ever, and thus, heard more boos than ever.
But with roughly half the regular season remaining, the reigning NL MVP is right where he wants to be — and in position for another historic tear.
Homering on back-to-back days for the third time this season, Stanton powered the Yankees to a 6-2 win over the Braves with his three-run shot Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Despite struggles that threatened to stain his first season in New York, Stanton is now hitting .267 with 21 home runs and 51 RBIs in 83 games. At this point in last year’s award-winning season, Stanton was hitting .270 with 23 homers and 54 RBIs, before finishing with a career-high 59 homers and 132 RBIs.
So, how similar is he feeling to when he unleashed one of the greatest power surges in the sport’s history?
“Close,” Stanton said. “I’m getting there. I still have work to do, but it’s good for right now. … In the box, I feel pretty close to where I need to be.”
Stanton’s bat continues to warm with the weather. In April, the outfielder hit .218 with three home runs. In May, he hit .264 with six home runs. In June, he hit .298 with eight home runs.
Over the past 11 games, Stanton is hitting .378 (17-for-45) with three homers, four doubles and nine RBIs, and Aaron Boone said he believes the slugger hasn’t peaked yet.
“I think there’s another gear,” Boone said. “We’ve seen that other gear when he ran off and won the MVP. He won that MVP on the strength of a couple months that were historically great. I would never put anything past a guy with his ability and his talent and his skill set. Whether we see that kind of run, I don’t know, but all I know is we’re starting to see a consistent performer that I feel like is putting himself in a good position night in and night out.
“Does that mean he goes on a run like last year? That would be great, but who knows? It’s certainly in there. We’ve seen it.”
Stanton’s latest laser came in the third inning, when he blasted an 0-2 fastball from Julio Teheran deep to right field, giving the Yankees a 4-0 lead.
The crowd stood and cheered, showering love upon the player who doubled as the most unpopular person in the stadium not long ago.
Stanton said he continues to feel more comfortable in a new city and league, but credits his performance to preparation.
“I definitely feel a difference,” Stanton said. “[I have] better plans, better approach overall … letting the ball get deeper, and putting the barrel on it.
“As long as I keep my approach right and keep not giving away at-bats, the numbers should be there.”
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