The Yankees New Dynasty Has Woken Up
There is a lot to be said about what the Yankees have accomplished this past month. They have gone 19-3 since April 20th and set a pace to win a tremendous amount of games this season. They are now tied with the Red Sox, for the MLB’s best record with 28 wins and 12 losses. The belief around the league is that the Yankees are even better than the numbers suggest. Part of the reasoning is the quality of teams that they’ve been winning against. They took three of four from both the Red Sox and World Champion Houston Astros and swept both the LA Dodgers and Cleveland Indians.
The Yankees didn’t start off the season to the exact spark their expectations garnered. The perfect player to act as a microcosm, demonstrating the team’s early struggles and spring dominance is that of Giancarlo Stanton. With a salary that makes him the highest paid athlete in the world (that’s right, not just baseball player but athlete), Stanton was expected to come right into Yankee Stadium and take the young and talented line-up to the next level. Instead, he began the season by striking out at a record pace, creating speculation that he couldn’t handle the pressure that comes from going from one of the league’s most nondescript teams in the Miami Marlins to the Juggernaut that is that Yankees. But Giancarlo Stanton has been heating up over the course of the past two weeks, going from what looked like a bust, to hitting his 10th homer vs the A’s on Sunday.
Stanton’s 10th homer makes him the fourth yankee to hit 10 hr’s this year. The significance of this stat is that the Yankees never had four hitters hit 10 homeruns this early in the season (40 games in). They actually never accomplished this feat 50 games into the season in their history, for the that matter. The other three players to hit 10 homeruns are Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, all of which are young players expected to be great for a long time.
This is the first time we’re seeing a taste of the potential, what happens when great talent comes into itself after a long development process. Barring any health problems or catastrophic future issues, this might just be the team that marks the beginning of a new dynasty. It has the congruous theme that all major baseball dynasties have had in the past- undiluted talent with no pure focal point. You can’t point to any one player on the roster and say definitively that he’s the main guy. You can make a point for almost any of the aforementioned hitters on why their the Yankees’ MVP. In this way, Stanton isn’t just a microcosm of the team’s performance, but also of their potential. Potential that makes the richest man in the league just another talented roleplayer instead of the team’s figurehead.