Aaron Boone has a well-earned reputation for being a player’s manager. His recent words about Giancarlo Stanton certainly back that up.
Giancarlo Stanton isn’t a perfect baseball player. He strikes out far too often and his defense in the outfield is average at best. That doesn’t mean he isn’t one of the best players in MLB. Yankees manager Aaron Boone is making it a priority to remind people of Stanton’s strengths.
Boone is keenly aware that some Yankee fans and media members regularly criticize Stanton whenever the team falls into anything resembling a slump. That’s why he made a special point to give his powerful outfielder credit after New York’s 7-5 win over Houston on Saturday. Specifically, he expressed his wish that everyone would “take note” of Stanton’s quality at-bats against the Astros. He may not have hit a homer in the game, but his four clutch RBIs were essential in his team’s big win.
The second-year manager correctly pointed out that people frequently “forget what a good player [Stanton] is.” That’s easy to do considering all of the star power regularly surrounding him in the Yankees lineup. The fact that he’s struggled considerably with injuries during his two seasons in the Bronx have only served to give firepower to his critics.
The truth is that Stanton’s contract may be a bigger issue than anything else. It’s highly unlikely he’ll ever live up to the 13-year, $325 million contract the Yankees inherited form the Marlins. It’s a deal that could easily look bad as it nears its completion in 2028.
Stanton also loses points in the eyes of fans because he didn’t grow up in the Yankees system. As a player, he isn’t all that different from Aaron Judge. Judge has the advantage of coming up through New York’s Minor League system. If Stanton was a home-grown player he might get a lot more appreciation from the team’s fan base.
In the end, Stanton, like every other big-name Yankees player is going to be judged on how many championships he can bring to the Bronx. If he ends his time in New York with multiple World Series rings, he’ll finish his career as a beloved Yankees slugger. If he can’t help end the team’s title drought, he’ll go down as the poster child for a series of Yankees teams that couldn’t manage to find their place in MLB history.
Boone’s public support of his outfielder is all designed to make sure he stays confident in an effort to take the Yankees to the promised land.