Stanton's father is Irish. And his mother is African-American and Puerto Rican. So Giancarlo is half Irish, one-quarter Puerto Rican, and one-quarter African-American. His parents just liked the Italian name Giancarlo.
Michael grew up in the Southern California town of Pacoima, California (Ritchie Valens' hometown).
He and his father, Mike Sr., would sneak onto the baseball field at a neighborhood church for batting practice. As Dad grooved fastballs, Stanton simply aimed for the stars, because the field hand no fence. "I just tried to hit it as far as I could," Mike said. His parents were both postal workers. They were divorced when he was 10 years old.
Stanton was asked when he first knew he wanted to play pro baseball: "When I was 10 or 11. I remember I was on the Cardinals, I was No. 25, I was on first base. I always tried to be Mark McGwire and hit homers like he did. I was kind of following his race, too, when he was trying to break the record.
Giancarlo said that at the end of his sophomore year of high school he was just 5-foot-11. But he was at 6-foot-4 by the time his junior year started.
In 2007, Stanton's senior year at Notre Dame Academy in Sherman Oaks, California, he committed to the University of Southern California.
Giancarlo was a three-sport star at Notre Dame Academy and widely regarded as the school's best such athlete since former big league outfielder Jorge Piedra. Stanton is considerably bigger than Piedra and was recruited by Southern Cal (and then-coach Pete Carroll) as a wide receiver/defensive back, as well as for his power-hitting ability on the baseball field. While UNLV offered Stanton a football scholarship and a chance to walk on to play baseball, USC wanted him on a baseball ride, with a chance to walk on in football. It became a moot point, because Mike got drafted by and signed with the Marlins (see below).
In 2008, Baseball America rated Stanton as 9th-best prospect in the Marlins' organization. Then, in the offseason before 2009 spring training, the magazine had Mike up to second best prospect in the Marlins' farm system, behind only OF Cameron Maybin. And in the winter before 2010 spring camps opened, they had Stanton as the #1 prospect in the Marlins' organization.
In 2008, Stanton easily led the South Atlantic League in home runs (39), extra-base hits (68), total bases (286) and slugging percentage (.611).
Mike is an exciting player—worth the price of admission. He runs out ever ball, never letting the score of the game keep him from playing his hardest. He has the presence of a Grady Sizemore, Derek Jeter, or David Wright—intelligent, well-spoken and respectful. During games you will find him at the home plate end of the dugout studying everything, taking notes.
Stanton has a strong work ethic. He is willing to work to improve even in the most humid conditions, even though his excellent talent and ability will already allow him to be a success. He is intelligent, inquisitive and driven. And he never lets the hype go to his head.
In 2010 spring training, NFL coach Bill Parcells gave Stanton the nickname "Big Worm."
Stanton finished second in the SL in home runs—despite playing just 53 Double-A games before the Marlins called him up on June 6. At the time, his 21 homers led the minors. At the end of the season, Baseball America rated Mike as #1 prospect in the Southern League for 2010.
MLB debut (June 8, 2010): Stanton went 3 for 5 with two runs scored. His father was in attendance to watch the Marlins lose to the Phillies 10-8 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
On June 18, 2010, Mike's first MLB home run was a grand slam with a bat he borrowed from teammate Dan Uggla.
In Stanton's rookie season (2010), he matched a Marlins franchise record with five hits in a game. He also became the second Marlin ever to have five hits and four RBIs in the same game. Gary Sheffield did it on September 17, 1995 in Colorado.
The name on Stanton's nameplate in the clubhouse is "Giancarlo" Stanton. Giancarlo is Stanton's birth name, but he has gone by Mike since he was a child. Giancarlo is also on his glove. (April 2011)
His Mom calls him Cruz. Teammates call him Bigfoot. Most baseball fans know him as Mike Stanton. He likes them all, but with spring training cranking up and Stanton touted as a future home-run champion, he said he prefers Giancarlo, which is actually his middle name.
For the first time, that's the way he's identified on the Marlins' roster. His full name is a mouthful: Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton.
Giancarlo was asked what some of the important lessons he's learned from playing baseball. "Not to think too much, not to jump to conclusions too much. It's a failure game; you fail the majority of the time—more than you are technically successful. Just patience—it's always a thing that you battle with and something you need to learn, but it will come," Stanton said in February 2013.
Alex Kim didn't give it much thought when he parked his car at the D-backs' spring training facility in March 2013. When he returned, though, he found his windshield was busted on the driver's side, thanks to a Giancarlo Stanton batting practice home run, hit during Team USA's final tune-up before the start of the World Baseball Classic.
"I was a little upset," Kim said. "My first reaction was I have to pay for a windshield that I didn't break."
A couple of Kim's co-workers suggested he talk to the good folks from Safelite, an auto glass company that happens to sponsor the D-backs. Kim called, and the company volunteered to replace the windshield for no cost.
The story doesn't end there. Following a rigorous weight-lifting session in the home clubhouse, Stanton graciously agreed to meet with Kim and sign the windshield.
"It was pretty tough, trying to get up underneath," Stanton said of trying to get the right angle. "But it was fun."
Kim's ordeal concluded with the Safelite staff replacing the windshield right there, on site. Only one question remained: what was he planning to do with his somewhat bulky keepsake?
"I guess make a coffee table out of it," Kim said. "It's a great talking piece. I'm going to tweet it, Facebook it. This is definitely a moment I'll never forget."
In July 2013, Stanton was one of 21 athletes who posed nude and answered questions about his body and exercise habits for ESPN the Magazine. Stanton and Mets pitcher Matt Harvey were the only MLB players featured.
"It was fun," Stanton said. "It was about eight hours straight. You can't eat much. Then you'd get a little bloated."
Stanton's photos included shots of the slugger being splashed with water, painted gold from head to toe, holding a bat above his head, and carrying a large globe in a pose inspired by character Atlas of Greek mythology.
When you're a buff, 6-foot-6, 250-pounder and belt a baseball as far as anyone on the planet, people take notice. Giancarlo clearly stands out. Not just because of his massive stature and his threat at the plate, but because he is looked upon to be an example.
The word "leader" to Stanton is empty if it is not backed by action. Stanton has been tabbed as one of the leaders in Miami's clubhouse. "A leader isn't self-proclaimed," Stanton said. "I shouldn't be answering if I'm a leader. You're a leader because of the person you are and how you carry yourself. Not by your performance or all that. You may be looked up to because of your performance, but you're not a leader just by that. There are other things that go into it."
What Stanton has been doing is speaking up when he has to. He isn't normally a big vocal guy, but the right fielder is telling teammates what he feels needs to be said.
"I'm more vocal, for sure, about things," Stanton said. "I'm not vocal about myself, I'm vocal about what we do. I like helping from what knowledge I have. You help out. You've got to be more vocal. If you see someone's swing is off, don't step on toes, but say, 'Hey, I did that too.' Or you help with ground balls in the outfield, or if someone is not doing what they're supposed to, take care of it." (Frisaro - mlb.com - 3/06/14)
Walk-Up Music: Stanton walks up to “Lord Knows” by Drake, as the rapper seemingly is warning pitchers, “It’s your worst nightmare . . . ”
In 2014, LeBron James' exit from the Miami Heat to the Cleveland Cavaliers removed arguably the biggest name in sports from South Florida.
"That's huge," Stanton said. "Obviously, it's the biggest thing in sports, for a while. It takes a lot of guts to do that. I know he wanted to go home. It means a lot more to do that, and win in a place you grew up, rather than just one of the teams you ended up on."
The Marlins feel they are an up-and-coming team, and Stanton is the squad's biggest star, and now perhaps the most imposing athlete in South Florida. But before Stanton feels he is the face of sports in South Florida, he points out that the Marlins have to do their part.
"We've got to start winning," he said. "Let's see it. We've got to be something now. I don't know what the future is for the Heat in terms of that." Stanton never met James, but he attended a number of Heat games and enjoyed watching one of the all-time greats. "I never really got to see [Michael] Jordan in his prime," Stanton said. "It was something I wanted to make sure I went and watched LeBron every time I could. I can now look back at it and say, 'I saw the best player in the world multiple times.'"
Being among the stars is something Stanton can certainly get used to. The Marlins' slugger, who wowed with his 510-foot blast in the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby, enjoyed the All-Star festivities at Target Field in Minneapolis.
"That's what we strive for," Stanton said. "You want to be there every year."
To be a perennial star, Stanton says he must maintain his strong preparation and his understanding about what it takes to play at such a high level.
"No one was given that opportunity to be there," Stanton said. "Everyone earned it with their play and with their years prior. For me, his towering upper-deck blast in the first round of the Derby. More people have talked about that shot more than the fact Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes won the event.
"It seems like I almost won the thing, with everyone talking about that," Stanton said. "It was cool with the crowd. Everyone kind of paused and stood up. It started getting loud after I hit that. That's when I really got into it. I was like a kid again, having fun in the backyard." (Joe Frisaro - MLB.com - 7/18/2014)
August 27, 2014: Speculation is coming at a rapid rate, but there is one constant about Giancarlo Stanton's stance when it comes to questions about his future. The Marlins slugger is dealing in the here and now. Anything else must wait.
Giancarlo wasn't leaning one way or the other about if he is interested in a multi-year deal with the Marlins. He was very consistent on this point, making it clear before 2014 Spring Training that he was taking a wait-and-see approach.
More speculation surfaced when Stanton was quoted in a story by Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports as saying: "Five months doesn't change five years."
That comment was taken as Stanton wants out of Miami. So Stanton clarified what he meant to Marlins beat reporters. He said he was summing up his mindset from when he was first called up in 2010 to now. There have been tough times, including three straight last-place finishes, plus a 100-loss season in 2013. Stanton says that doesn't mean he is unhappy in Miami or that he doesn't believe the organization can't become an attractive place to play. "That does not mean there's more bad to come," Stanton said. "That does not mean there's more good to come."
Stanton is being careful with his words because he doesn't want to come across as saying he wants to stay long term or leave. That topic is for another day.
The Marlins are expected to present Stanton's agent, Joel Wolfe, with a multi-year offer. If no extension is finalized, Stanton will be arbitration-eligible through 2016. The Marlins have no interest in trading the NL MVP candidate, even if a multi-year contract isn't reached.
"We're here," Stanton said. "Were in a good spot. This is where we are now. There is no, 'Am I staying forever, am I leaving forever?' There is no answer to that." (Joe Frisaro - MLB.com - 8/27/2014)
With the severity of the injuries sustained from taking an 88-mph Mike Fiers fastball on the left side of his face, Stanton understands his situation could have been much worse. Giancarlo did suffer a fracture to his orbital bone, but it didn't impair his vision.
"You hear about people losing their eye, or you lose vision," he said. "My jaw can be broken. I can lose as many teeth. As long as I'm able to see, that's the big career thing."
"I've wondered about my next at bat," Stanton said. "I think I'm in a great mental state for what has gone on. But to be able to be back into the box, and in competition, I'm not quite sure. I think when we decide the protection that will be on, I'll have more reassurance wearing that. I don't know."
For days after the incident, Stanton and Fiers exchanged some text messages. "He said, obviously, it wasn't on purpose," Stanton said. "He said how sorry he was. It's been tough to sleep the first few nights and stuff. It was a good message."
The Marlins have kept Stanton in their thoughts throughout, and have hung his No. 27 jersey in their dugout. "That was awesome, too. That was really cool," Stanton said. "I've seen it done before, but you never think your jersey would be there. The support from the team has been unbelievable."
Jason Heyward, who wears a protective guard on his helmet after being hit in the face by a pitch, also reached out to the Marlins star. Heyward gave Stanton advice on what kinds of foods he could be eating, as well as some words of encouragement. (Frisaro - mlb.com - 9/18/14)
September 2014: Stanton received the Marlins' MVP award for the third time in his career. The All-Star hit 37 homers, which tied a career high set in 2012, and knocked in a career-high 105 RBIs before being struck in the face by a pitch on Sept. 11. He also drew 94 walks, stole 13 bases and scored 89 runs.
In 2014, Stanton won the Hank Aaron Award, given annually to the most outstanding offensive performer in each league.
In 2014, Giancarlo was the NL Outstanding Player of the Year award-winner, as voted on via the Players Choice Awards.
January 2015: Stanton was chosen to be a judge for the "Miss Universe" contest.
Giancarlo was on the field at Marlins Park in a different capacity on February 16, 2015. The two-time All-Star was a guest coach during a fast-pitch RBI softball game for girls 18 and under.
Stanton and Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos each assisted for the seven-inning game, won, 8-7, by Team Ramos. The event helped launch Miami's Ayudan Caravan Week, which concludes with the annual Winter Warm-Up at Marlins Park. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has made connecting with youth a high priority.
"These days, it's video games and on your phone all day," Stanton said. "You've got to be outside, playing baseball, and sports in general. But we want to influence baseball into the younger generation."
Watching the players in the RBI game reminded Stanton not to forgot his upbringing. "Obviously, we can't be here every time," he said. "But it is a good place to start and to show we have not forgotten. We're not just playing in the big leagues and then forget how we got here, or the steps that it took, which included youth baseball." (Frisaro - mlb.com - 2/16/15)
February 2015: Stanton became the first ever body-painted athlete to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. It was a 12-hour process to complete the body painting before the photo session.
Stanton's not overly impressed either. He shops at Walmart, partly for the people-watching but mostly because, as he asks, "Where else can you get all your supplies in one place?"
Giancarlo rarely shows emotion, and it has become a contest for teammates to detect it when he does. Every once in a while, they claim, when he hit one that lands in a faraway place—like a camera well, high above the wall in dead center—he'll betray the thick bark of his professionalism with a slight smile.
Stanton was selected to start in the 2015 All-Star Game.
2015: If Stanton is to be the face of the Marlins, fans will have to look behind the customized mask he's been approved to wear, after a cringe-inducing beanball ended the season of Major League Baseball's highest paid player in 2014. The black, carbon-fiber face protector features a "G" that covers the left side of Stanton's face.
June 6, 2015: Remember all those eyebrows that were raised when the Marlins announced that Stanton was signed to a 13-year, $325 million deal? Well, he is only 25, and he already is the Marlins' all-time home runs leader.
The real debate is whether Stanton sold himself short, although he could opt out after 2020 and he would have made $107 million for six years with a chance to step out and test the free-agent market at the age of 30. Hey, at 25 he is creating quite a legacy. His 172 home runs are a Marlins franchise record. (T Ringolsby - MLB.com - June 6, 2015)
After a physically and mentally draining season, Stanton is doing what he normally does after eight months of baseball: He's getting away for a few weeks. Far away. Stanton, Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos, and Angels righthander Ricky Nolasco, a former Marlin, are vacationing in Brazil, where they posted on social media pictures of a mural they had painted in honor of Jose Fernandez. From Brazil, the trio plans to travel to other parts of the world, including Europe.
After the Marlins wrapped up their 79-82 season at Washington on Oct. 2, Stanton talked briefly about what he intended to do during his October vacation.
"Not say a word about baseball," Stanton said. "Not say a word about any physical activities for a little bit."
From the baseball side, he got back into a playing routine. But from a personal side, he was glad to be with his teammates, especially after the tragedy that claimed the lives of Fernandez and his two friends.
"If I wasn't out there [playing] during that time, and I could have been, I would have never forgiven myself," Stanton said. "I'm just glad I didn't let it go as if the season was over."
Overall, Stanton summed up his season in one word: "Brutal." But he was encouraged with how he felt physically and what he was working on at the plate during the final few weeks. "I like what came out of it," he said. "I like how I'm feeling." (J Frisaro - MLB.com - Oct 18, 2016)
January 25, 2017: Stanton committed to play for team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
January 28, 2017: One of the most feared sluggers in baseball says he's down to help Tim Tebow live his Major League dreams ... with Giancarlo Stanton telling TMZ Sports he'd give TT the tutelage he needs to make it.
Tebow wasn't invited to the Mets spring training camp ... a major blow to his chances of suiting up for the big league squad anytime soon. Giancarlo says Tebow probably has a lot more work to do before he's ready to really succeed in the sport ... and he's totally down to help Timmy do some of that work. (TMZ Sports)
2017: Stanton will represent the USA in the World Baseball Classic.
March 24, 2017: Riding the adrenaline of winning the World Baseball Classic title, Stanton returned to Marlins camp ready for the next step—the regular season. Stanton said the World Baseball Classic experience was the most fun they've ever had on a baseball field.
"Absolutely. Absolutely," Stanton said. "Besides being in Little League and wearing my jersey all day for a doubleheader. Yeah, for sure.
"Just the atmosphere," Stanton said. "Being around so many future Hall of Famers, All-Stars, MVPs. Seeing their work for two weeks, and just the atmosphere that all the countries brought. Everyone came and represented their country and represented their talent to show on the field in whichever way they thought was fit. I loved it." (J Frisaro - MLB.com - March 24, 2017)
We caught up with the Marlins slugger to find out just what he eats to fuel all of those home runs.
MLB.com: How do you monitor your diet?
Stanton: I don't count calories. I just try to see how hungry I am, see when was the last time I ate, because sometimes you get busy and you forget to eat or forget to catch up here and there. It depends on the day, on how much work I've done that day, if it's cold or hot or whatever. Vegetables and vitamins are the most important things to me, because it's easy to catch up on protein by drinking a shake.
MLB.com: What do you eat pre-workout?
Stanton: I don't lift early in the morning because I like to sleep, and I'm not too hungry in the morning, so I'll just do a nutritional shake or some protein when I wake up for breakfast. Something to make sure I have enough energy to get me through my workout, and then I'll have the meal post-workout. My favorite healthy meal would be salmon or grilled chicken and broccoli. I like broccoli and spinach, and that's about it for the green vegetables.
MLB.com: What do you eat pregame?
Stanton: I don't like to play feeling heavy or bloated, so if I'm hungry, I'll snack on fruit or granola. Usually I like fruit, because it feels like I didn't eat anything but I'm still full. But granola, that would be my go-to snack, with a bunch of cinnamon on it and raisins. It used to be Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Puffs, but that was before. Those were the days.
MLB.com: Has your diet changed over the years?
Stanton: I don't like to eat beef too often, unless it's grass-fed. And I don't eat beans.
MLB.com: What are your favorite cheat foods?
Stanton: On an off-day, I'll eat whatever I want. My favorite cheat meals are Oreo shakes, Cinnabons, and Kit Kats. Usually chocolate. And when I go home, my mom makes my old-school favorites. She always says, "Come over, I'll cook for you," and I say, "Don't cook, I'm in training!" She makes ranchera, which is a way of making beef with spices and salsa, and she makes my favorite potatoes. That's bad. I don't eat a lot of white potatoes. For carbohydrates, I'll eat sweet potatoes, rice, or fruit. (Lindsay Berra - MLB.com - April 12, 2017)
Like a giant that accidentally destroys entire cities with a single step, Giancarlo crushes baseballs at speeds and distances that should be impossible. His forearms are like tiny galaxies and his biceps are like mountain ranges. Frankly, Stanton is too strong for our world. He broke the Dodgers' fence!
He displayed that yet again as the Marlins played the Dodgers in May 2017. Though the ball evaded Stanton's reach when Joc Pederson blasted a home run in the fourth inning, the leap proved too much for the structural integrity of the fence. That should be covered in ballpark owner's insurance under "act of human giant." (Clair - mlb.com - 5/21/17)
It was the 7th anniversary of when, with great anticipation, Giancarlo burst on the big league scene with the reputation of launching awe-inspiring home runs in the Minors. The entire time, the three-time All-Star right fielder has been a force in the middle of the Marlins' order.
Known for crushing some of the longest home runs in the game, there's a bit of irony in Stanton's first game, because his first hit was a slow chopper up the middle that Chase Utley made a barehanded stab at.
"Probably the hardest hit of my career," Stanton quipped. "The 105-hopper up the middle."
Actually, it was more of a chopper over pitcher Kyle Hendricks' head and Utley charged, but couldn't come up cleanly with the ball, and Stanton had his first hit. Stanton made the leap from Double-A Jacksonville to the big leagues, and debuted on the same day as Washington's Stephen Strasburg. Both were highly touted on that day.
"It seems like it's been forever," Stanton said, "and it's flown by at the same time."
Stanton has since become the Marlins' all-time leader in home runs (223) and RBIs (579). Health has been the big issue for Stanton, who has been impactful, but has missed substantial time due to injuries.
In his debut, he went 3-for-5 with all singles, but he didn't think the big leagues would be easy. "I knew I had Roy Halladay the next day, so I knew it was going to be a challenge," Stanton said. (In his second game, Stanton went hitless in four at-bats, with two strikeouts.) (Frisaro - mlb.com - 6/8/17)
2017 season: In making a case as the best player that year in baseball, if Stanton's 59 home runs, the most in the Majors since 2001, don't grab your attention, then perhaps Stanton's MLB-high 132 RBIs will. Or how about his NL-leading .631 slugging percentage. Oh, and for good measure, he scored 123 runs, the second most in the NL.
Stanton let his record-setting numbers do the talking in 2017.
For years, Stanton flirted with big numbers, but injuries slowed him down. In 2014, Stanton finished second in the NL MVP Award voting to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. That year, the slugger paced the NL in home runs with 37. If not for getting struck in the face by a pitch and missing the final three weeks the season, Stanton may already have won the award.
This season (2017), Stanton stayed healthy, appearing in a personal-high 159 games, and his production was an eye-opening slash line of .281/.376/.631. He was also second in the Majors in OPS (1.007) and total bases (377). Stanton is already cleaning up this offseason. He has collected three prestigious honors -- the NL Hank Aaron Award, an NL Silver Slugger Award, and the Players Choice Award for Outstanding National League Player. He was also a Gold Glove finalist among NL right fielders.
Stanton's season really took off when he closed off his stance in June. Placing his front foot closer to the plate, he covered more of the plate, and he didn't chase as often out of the zone. It is hard to dispute the results, because Stanton improved as the season progressed.
"It put him in a good position to hit," said Marlins assistant hitting coach Frank Menechino. "It put him in position to get out of the way and gave him confidence. Gave him something less to worry about. Before we did that, he was stepping in the bucket and we couldn't stop it. He tried to fix it on his own. He tried to do a couple of different things, this and that.
"There was also historical significance to Stanton's numbers. His 18 home runs in August matched an MLB record, set in 1937, for the most ever in the month. Stanton also broke Gary Sheffield's Marlins record for most homers in a season (42 in 1996) in that same month. Additionally, Stanton established the club's RBIs mark, breaking Preston Wilson's previous mark of 121 in 2000. That sweeping production resulted in Stanton being tied with Anthony Rendon of the Nationals for the highest WAR in the NL (6.9). (Joe Frisaro - MLB.com-Nov. 15, 2017)
In 2017, Stanton won the NL MVP.
Stanton posed shirtless for the April 2018 issue of Men's Health magazine in a pair of workout pants while resting his bat upon his shoulders, Stanton's ripped image sold some magazines!
June 2, 2018: Bachelor and bachelorette parties are supposed to be a good time. Everyone who is friends with the bride or groom comes back together to celebrate how cool their friend is. The company alone is enough for a fun day or weekend, but some well-planned activities and surprises really make a bachelorette party one to remember.
During the third inning of the game against the Orioles, Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run home run to right field and gave a bachelorette party of Orioles fans quite the pleasant surprise. That's right, the homer went right to them.
Even though the dinger increased the Yankees' lead to 4-1, that didn't seem to get in the way of their excitement. In what could perhaps be read as perfect symbolism, Stanton's home run scored the Yankees two runs. At the very least, there's an incoherent book-club discussion to be had about what knocking in two runs with one swing has to say about the joining together of two individuals in marriage. (E Chesterton - MLB.com - June 2, 2018)
May 7, 2019: For some people—athletes and regular folk alike—New York City can be overwhelming. There's so much to do and, seemingly, so little time to do it that one can get caught up in trying to do it all—and lose sight of what brought him to the city in the first place. That is definitely not the case with Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton, as described in a profile in Haute Living Magazine. He's been with the Yankees for well over a year now after the team acquired him from the Marlins prior to the 2018 season. Yet, he hasn't really gotten a chance to explore the city all that much because of baseball's grueling regular-season schedule.
A life without exploring Manhattan's nightlife is not a life without interest, however. And this profile of Stanton contains a veritable treasure-trove of examples that prove that to be the case. Here's what we learned from this incredibly wide-ranging glimpse into Stanton.
He spends most evenings on his couch binge-watching Game of Thrones, but mixes in plenty of National Geographic, Planet Earth and Animal Planet for good measure. He loves traveling and seeing nature—in case you couldn't tell from his television preferences—so much that, if he weren't so good at baseball, he might have tried to make it as a travel blogger.
He is really looking forward to New York Fashion Week and expects to join fellow sports stars like Cam Newton, Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz in attending. “I do enjoy that stuff, so I think you will [see me there], actually,” he said. If you were wondering: He prefers brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior and Givenchy.
His high school nickname was "Scantron," after the Scantron test forms. Apparently, many of his oldest friends from back home still use that nickname to this day.
It's possible no one advised him on the geography of New York City when he moved there. He lives in Battery Park, which is on the opposite end of the island from Yankee Stadium. Nevertheless, he loves the area and has no plans to move closer to the Bronx. He often walks around the park at nights after games to clear his head.
His social circle includes teammates CC Sabathia, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge, as well as celebrities like Michael B. Jordan and Donald Glover.
The most important thing to him is winning a World Series, which is why his evenings are consumed with Game of Thrones instead of the vast social scene NYC has to offer. “Being a champion means you’re on top of the world," he said. "Everything you’ve worked towards for your life, really. You can say it doesn’t consume you, but the majority of the time we’re awake—for more than two-thirds of the year—is dedicated to trying to be a champion.” (E Cheszterton - MLB.com - May 7, 2019)
May 5, 2020: Joe Dolce and Isabelle Redman are among the countless couples around the world who have had to postpone their weddings due to the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily for them, Joe works as a script coordinator on "The Late Late Show with James Corden," which means they got video messages from a pair of baseball luminaries from their favorite teams to help soften the blow. The couple was already surprised when Corden Zoom called them during the "Late Late Show" taping. But Redman, a Red Sox fan, and Dolce, a Yankees fan, got another thrill when Corden shared the well wishes from J.D. Martinez and Giancarlo Stanton.
Both stars shared heartfelt messages acknowledging the couple's disappointment over the postponement before turning to the matter at hand: exchanging barbs about the intra-rivalry relationship.
Martinez apologized to Redman that she was marrying a Yankees fan, saying, "I know that can't be easy on you. But you know what, if you can get through this Isabelle, if you guys and this marriage can get through this, you can get through anything."
Stanton was upset he didn't score an invite to Dolce's bachelor party, but he was quick with support for a Bombers fan.
"Joe, I know you're a Yankees fan. That means you're smart," Stanton said. "So if you're half as smart at picking a spouse as you are at picking a team to support, I'm sure you're in good hands with Isabelle."
To top it off, Red Sox ownership chipped in with a pair of tickets to sit in the owner's box for the next Yankees-Red Sox matchup at Fenway Park, to the shocked couple's delight. Martinez and Stanton were also excited for Dolce and Redman for when they can finally tie the knot as intended.
"You can go ahead and put me down for the chicken entree," said Martinez. (A Werle - MLB.com - May 5, 2020)
Giancarlo delivered on a promise to his father with a Dodger Stadium home run. You know the one. In a Twitter thread, Stanton tells the backstory behind 2015’s mammoth homer in L.A.
The 2015 Marlins gave us Dee Gordon’s NL batting title, José Fernández’s return from Tommy John surgery and Dan Jennings’ kooky managerial antics. Beyond that, though, it was a relatively forgettable, non-contending season. After all, the team lost Stanton to a hand injury midway through and didn’t spend a single day above the .500 mark. However, when Stanton was healthy, he showed unlimited power that no Marlin before or since has matched.
The greatest manifestation of this came May 12 on the road facing the Dodgers. The Southern California native had been uncharacteristically vulnerable leading into the game—0-for-12 with 9 strikeouts over the previous three games—but he shook off that mini-slump with one swing against poor Mike Bolsinger, who had just been recalled from the minors. On May 11, 2020 the fifth anniversary of this 475-foot dinger, Stanton took to Twitter to share the full backstory.
"I was 10 yrs old running after batting practice homeruns in the LF bleachers of (Dodger) stadium. Fascinated by the woahs & ahhs of the crowd when they were hit . . .
"I told my dad that night, 'I’m going to hit one completely out of this stadium so I can see their reaction.' He laughed & said now that would be something. I said you WATCH! I had hit 4 over-the-fence little league homers in my life at this point.
“3 people had ever hit it out of this stadium & I have 4 homers so I’ll be the 4th,” was probably my logic [crying laughing emoji]. Kids say some wild things but I was dead serious. I thought about it every time I’d go there after that.
"Over the years, being booed for HRs in all opposing parks but especially LA always sparks a bursts of unique memories because it reminds me of the opposing hitters my pops would take me to see & want me to be like, as they would get booed rounding the bases as well.
"So since I didn’t see it land & I heard a buzz of cheering, I peeked to see if the ball got thrown back which usually sparks cheers. Then the realization Came around 3rd base of what I might’ve just done. I couldn’t believe it, just put my head down with that memory replaying in my mind, could barely jog straight. I got that crowd reaction 15 years in the making, & My pops was there to WATCH! I went straight to him after the game & we just started laughing!
"So I hope there were friends, families, parent & child bonds that were there to enjoy that or any baseball experience as well! Just an awesome moment in my timeline & thinking about possibly playing with no fans for a bit makes me appreciate this even more. This was 5 years ago today!" (Ely Sussman - May 13, 2020)
Growing up around Los Angeles, Stanton was just about 14 months old when Rodney King was beaten by police officers in a brutal incident captured on video. But every day, when Stanton would return to his mother’s house from school, he would pass right by the spot where the beating took place.
That legacy stays with you.
On Opening Day 2020, Giancarlo and Aaron Hicks both knelt during the national anthem.
After that July 25 game, Stanton was unequivocal about his decision, speaking with a depth that went far beyond anything he would ever offer about his on-field performance. He knew that his stance would make him a hero in some corners and a pariah in others. But buoyed by the support of his teammates, he was firm about his choice.
“It’s your right to have a problem with it,” he said. “It’s my right to kneel.”
“You wonder, when is it going to stop?” Stanton said that night. “When are people finally going to listen? When are you going to understand that you can help no matter what color you are, and that it’s not political?
"This is unacceptable, what’s been going on. And it hurts, man. I mean, the conversations with my mom, with my grandma, hearing their stories, hearing what they had to go through and then seeing the similarities of what’s going on now, it just hurts. It’s unacceptable, and it needs to be changed.” (Jon Schwartz - Yankees Magazine - 4/14/2021)
2021 Season: Health has been the recurring concern for the Bronx slugger, as he missed over half of the 2020 season and almost the entire 2019 campaign. However, the other three years within the past five (2017, 2018, and 2021), he has averaged 650 plate appearances, 44 home runs, and a .273 batting average.
He’s never even come close to a replacement-level bat, and as long as you’re okay with strikeouts, he’s a sure bet when healthy. Let’s not forget he’s still essentially the same hitter as the 2017 MVP was, and with a better lineup around him. He’s a lock for 30 home runs and a solid chance at 40-plus. It’s not easy to find someone with this much power who won’t kill you in the average department.
July 2022: Stanton got the start in the outfield for the AL at the MLB All-Star Game.
July 19, 2022: There was no more fitting place for Giancarlo Stanton’s first All-Star home run to land than the left-center-field seats at Dodger Stadium. After all, that’s where his love of baseball developed into a lifelong passion, one that helped him earn the Ted Williams Award as the Chevrolet All-Star Game Most Valuable Player.
“I can't really explain how special this is,” said Stanton, who grew up 30 minutes from Dodger Stadium and attended Notre Dame High School in nearby Sherman Oaks. “It's hard to put into words that this is reality right now. It's really cool. I'm soaking it all in.” (M Feinsand - MLB.com - July 20, 2022)
June 2007: The Marlins drafted Stanton in the second round, out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. He signed with scout Tim McDonnell for a bonus of $475,000.
January 17, 2014: Stanton and the Marlins avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $6.5 million contract for 2014.
November 17, 2014: Giancarlo and the Marlins agreed to a mega-deal that will pay the slugger $325 million over 13 years.
The contract is very back-loaded. Stanton has an opt-out after six years. For the first six years, the Marlins have totaled $107 million, an average of $17.8 million per season. The final seven seasons, he gets paid $218 million, or about $31 million per season. For Stanton, if the Marlins are not a top-notch team, he can bail/opt out on that money and sign with a better team.
The contract tops the $292 million, 10-year deal Miguel Cabrera agreed to with the Tigers in March. Alex Rodriguez signed the largest previous deal, a $275 million, 10-year contract with the Yankees before the 2008 season.
The last time the historically thrifty Marlins spent big was before a poor 2012 season, the first in their new ballpark. Their 2014 payroll of $52.3 million was the lowest in the Majors.
On the way to the Big Deal: Stanton and his agent, Joel Wolfe, met with the Marlins' brass in Bungalow 10A of the Beverly Hills Hotel on November 6, 2014 in Stanton's native L.A.
Early in the meeting, club president David Samson—who was representing the team, along with Loria, Redmond, president of baseball operations Mike Hill and GM Dan Jennings—slid a piece of paper over to Stanton printed with the outline of contractual terms that were unprecedented in both length and value.
"I think they were thinking I was going to be like, 'Oh, well, sign me up!'" Stanton says. He wasn't.
"I put the paper down, and I was like, 'I'll tell you right now that numbers don't mean anything,'" he recalls. "If you think you're just going to pay me a bunch of money, and I'm going to go live my lavish lifestyle, come to the park and get my ass kicked every day, and go back to my lavish lifestyle, you got another thing coming.' I said that straight to their faces. I was angered."
- Dec. 9, 2017: The Yankees acquired Stanton. Starlin Castro and two prospects went to the Marlins. The Yankees will be responsible for all but $30 million of the $295 million remaining on Stanton's contract.
|DOB:||11/8/1989||Agent:||Joel Wolfe - Wasserman|
|Birth City:||Panorama, CA|
|Draft:||Marlins #2 - 2007 - Out of high school (CA)|
Stanton is a five-tool player. He provides very solid power to all fields that comes from a big righthanded stroke. Scouts rate his power an 80. He has very good bat speed and superb leverage in that loose swing.
Scouts think of Pat Burrell or even Dave Winfield when they watch Stanton swing. He has tremendous athleticism. And the mechanics of his stroke are excellent—he is in sequence so well that he can create that excellent bat speed and torque and leverage for very impressive power.
Stanton doesn't have to cheat to hit for power, instead staying back and trusting his hands. He'll always strike out frequently because his long arms and power-oriented swing creates holes, but he makes adjustments well. (J.J. Cooper-10/07/09)
Stanton has improved his pitch recognition. He still chases a few pitches out of the zone and strikes out a lot. But he is maturing as a hitter.
Scouts differ as to why Stanton has a high strikeout rate. Some say he swings over or under pitches, while others say he's prone to chasing breaking balls out of the zone. But the scouts generally agree that there aren't any major issues with his swing.
He has the ability to stay back on breaking pitches and take them the other way with authority. His flat swing keeps the barrel in the hitting zone for a long time. And he has learned to study pitchers' plans of attack.
During the early days of the Arizona Fall League after the 2009 season, Marlins minor league hitting coordinator John Mallee worked with Stanton.
"Mike has a tendency to stride too far and have too much movement," Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Jim Fleming said. "We wanted to soften the stride and shorten the stride, and that's where it was in Jupiter. That's exactly where he got to. His pitch recognition was up and his ability to cover the strike zone went up. Some of the sliders and breaking balls away he wasn't getting to in Double-A, he was getting to there."
Stanton breaks a lot of bats.
FAST START TO CAREER
In 2011, as a 21-year-old, Stanton hit 34 homers. Just six other players in history have had as many jacks in a season at that age or younger. Five of them are Hall of Famers.
Stanton's 56 homers before his 22nd birthday tied Alex Rodriguez and trailed only Ken Griffey Jr.
In 2012, Stanton was second in the NL in home runs (with 37) while playing in 31 less games than Ryan Braun, who had 41 jacks. But Giancarlo did lead the league in slugging percentage (.608). Mike Redmond compared Stanton's force with that of Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire.
- Giancarlo was playing in only his 400th Major League game on June 17, 2013, Stanton hit his 99th and 100th career homers, lifting the 23-year-old into some rare air.
Stanton joined Bob Horner and Eddie Mathews as the only players in MLB history to make their big league debuts before their 21st birthdays and then hit at least 100 homers in their first 400 games. Age distinction aside, the outfielder became the ninth player and the first in franchise history to accomplish the feat. Ryan Howard and Ryan Braun are the only other active players to have done it.
August 25, 2014: Angel Stadium of Anaheim became the 21st different ballpark in which Stanton has homered. The blast was career No. 150 for the Miami slugger. Stanton became the 10th youngest player to reach the milestone, pushing Frank Robinson down the list to 11. Stanton connected at 24 years, 290 days old. Robinson did it at 24 years, 326 days old. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two active players were younger than Stanton to reach the 150-homer mark—Albert Pujols (24, 212 days) and Alex Rodriguez (24, 255).
LONG HOME RUNS
On August 6, 2016, Giacarlo hit the longest ball hit during the 2017 season, an amazing 507 feet.
Stanton generates his frightening power with a 6-foot-6, 240 pound frame that may well have made him a tight end in the NFL if he had stayed that course.
The lighter the bat, the farther the home runs for Stanton. To increase bat speed, Stanton uses a 34-inch, 32-ounce bat. Occasionally, the Miami slugger will drop weight to even 31 ounces, depending on the feel.
"I'd rather have a quicker bat," Stanton said. "The heavier it is, the harder it will be to get to [the pitch]."
In 2012, when Stanton pretty much stayed with the same bat size. "People always say, 'I thought you swung a 36 or something,'" Stanton said. Bat speed often separates power hitters.
At Citizens Bank Park, Stanton launched a drive that landed on the concourse, just in front of the Planet Hoagie food stand on September 19, 2013. According to ESPN's Hit Tracker site, Stanton's blast was estimated at 463 feet. The Marlins slugger is a bit miffed by that estimate, because it is 23 feet shy of a similar drive by Atlanta's Evan Gattis at Philadelphia on Sept. 8, 2013. Gattis's shot was more to dead center, while Stanton's was shaded toward left-center. Hit Tracker had Gattis's homer at 486 feet.
Stanton joked about having a recount on the two homers, because both were on the concourse, and the bleachers actually extended deeper to where his home run landed. Now, they also take into account wind, which was factored into Gattis's homer. (Frisaro - mlb.com - 9/19/13)
2013: Stanton hit a 484-foot home run onto the Budweiser Balcony at Marlins Park. It is the longest home run at Marlins Park.
Stanton is considered by most as the most powerful hitter in the MLB. In 2014, he had a ball clocked at coming off his bat at 120 MPH.
August 11, 2014: Stanton's intergalactic shots from the bat that make this guy the constant talk of the game. When his blast against the Cardinals' Shelby Miller landed in the far reaches of the Budweiser Balcony in left field, it was his second home run of the evening, and it also was his franchise-record 13th multi-home run game. Actually, it was more significant than that, because it was his seventh home run of the year of more than 450 feet.
Stanton's latest blast was estimated at 470 feet. In April, he sent another pitch toward that same area that went at least 14 feet farther away from home plate than this one. It's enough to make you wonder about a bunch of things involving his ability to become the closest thing to a 6-foot-6, 240-pound Godzilla whenever he steps into a batter's box. For instance: Is Stanton ever shocked by his own power after brutalizing a pitch?
"The only thing I do is just go by the reaction of people around me after I hit [a monster blast] as to knowing how it was, because when it comes to me, I really don't know," Stanton said. "I'm not looking at it that way. So when you hear teammates or other players from other teams or ex-players talk about a particular home run that you've hit, that's when you realize it's something special."
He always has crushed pitches, spanning from his prep days in Los Angeles through his time in the Minor Leagues that included one of his home runs soaring over a scoreboard in deep center field in Montgomery, Alabama, for an estimated 500 feet.
May 12, 2015: Stanton blasted a 467-foot home run out of Dodger Stadium, becoming only the fourth player to ever do so. The shot marked the sixth-longest homer in the Miami Marlins slugger's career.
August 6, 2016: Stanton hit a home run projected at 504 feet. Per Statcast, it was the longest home run hit in Coors Field history, bypassing Mike Piazza's 496-foot shot launched back in 1997.
April 24, 2016: Stanton hit a homer completely out of AT&T Park during batting practice.
May 6, 2016: Meet the new Statcast home run king, who happens to be the same as the old king. Stanton once again stands alone when it comes to pure home run distance. Statcast projected Stanton's laser at 475 feet off Phillies righthander Hector Neris with an exit velocity of 113 mph.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond said: "I think the scary thing is Giancarlo's still improving at becoming a hitter at the Major League level. He's gotten so much better from 2013 to 2014, in terms of pitch recognition and hitting pitches in the strike zone and his approach and all that stuff. "He's still a young guy," Redmond said.
"He's still a young Major League hitter. And that's scary to think about and what he's been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. There's still room to get better. When he continues to swing at strikes and gets pitches and gets into favorable counts ... wow, watch out. As much damage as he's doing now, he could do even more damage." (Frisaro - mlb.com - 5/27/14)
September 2, 2014: Stanton reached the 100-RBI mark for the first time in his career.
September 5, 2014: Though expectations were high for Stanton coming into the season, nobody was quite ready for the slugger's 2014 campaign.
With a player so hot, it's only natural that Stanton set off the Marlins Park fire alarms when he stepped to the plate on game night.
And how did Stanton's plate appearance end? With a double ... to go along with a single from earlier in the night.
But fire alarms alone aren't enough to alert people to Stanton's at-bats. What we really need are five-minute national holidays where people are legally required to stop working every time he comes to the plate. You know, for safety reasons. (Michael Clair - September 5, 2014)
September 8, 2014: Stanton's home run tied him with Dan Uggla for the most in Marlins' franchise history.
The 2014 Season: Missing the final 17 games of the season did not cost Giancarlo a chance to become the first player in Marlins' history to win the NL Home Run crown.
June 5, 2015: Stanton had the skeptics abuzz, months after coming back from a horrible beaning in the face late in 2014. It wasn't until the 10th game of the 2015 season that the defending NL home run champion finally went deep.
His name was being thrown in there with the likes of Tony Conigliaro and Dickie Thon, highly touted young players whose careers were detoured after they were hit in the face with a pitch.
The skeptics didn't know Stanton very well. He's not just big and physically strong. He has that football mentality. When he opted to sign with the Marlins as a second-round pick out of high school, he was weighing an offer to play football at UCLA.
Stanton finally connected off the Mets' on April 16 for his first home run of 2015. And he has become comfortable enough at the plate that he has quit using a special faceguard against lefthanded pitchers and righthanders who drop down.
His weakness: Giancarlo has trouble with fastballs that are 95+ mph. He also is weak vs. pitches up and in, and his biggest weakness: breaking balls on the outer edge and off the outside corner.
2016 Spring Training: Giancarlo is open to experimenting with various bat handles. At the Marlins first full-squad workout, Stanton used an Axe bat from Victus, which features the handle designed in the shape of a regular ax.
March 16, 2016: Barry Bonds, the new hitting coach for the Marlins, outslugged Stanton in a hitting contest during spring training. In Jupiter, Fla., Stanton and Bonds showed off their home run prowess. What began as an exercise in hitting breaking balls evolved into Stanton and the home run king teeing off for homers on the back fields at the Roger Dean Stadium.
How did Stanton rank in stats after the first season of Statcast, which was 2015?
Stanton had the three hardest tracked batted balls in baseball last year, and eight of the top 10. He had the highest average exit velocity, with his 99.1 mph leading second-place Miguel Cabrera by four mph. Looking at the percentage of Stanton's balls in play that were hit at 100 mph or more, his 43.8 mark easily outranked Nelson Cruz's 38.8.
Stanton topped 110 mph 45 times. The Phillies, Braves, Reds and Giants combined did so only 44 times.
But there's an important caveat to remember here: Stanton's hand injury ended his year on June 26, in the Marlins' 75th game of the season. Stanton stopped putting up numbers weeks before the season's midpoint, and he still ended up crushing more balls over 110 mph than entire other rosters did in a full season. (The Braves had 6,034 plate appearances, nearly 20 times as many as Stanton did.)
With that in mind, we're left to wonder what Stanton might be able to accomplish if he were able to stay healthy for a full season. (Mike Petriello - MLB.com - March 28, 2016)
- April 11, 2016: Stanton hit a run-scoring single that was tracked by Statcast™ at a blazing 120.1 mph, making it the highest exit velocity reading of the young season.
"That was one of the hardest balls I've ever seen hit," said Marlins third-base coach Lenny Harris, who played 18 years in the big leagues. "I didn't even move, and as soon as I looked up, it was in left field already. It was really a pistol."
The blistered grounder also ranks second of any baseball Statcast™ has tracked over the past two seasons. Not surprisingly, Stanton also holds the all-time mark of 120.3 mph, which came on a single off Mike Bolsinger of the Dodgers on May 12, 2015.
- July 6, 2016: Stanton blistered two home runs giving him a stretch of four at-bats in a row with a blast to equal an all-time record, and he reached 200 career homers in the process.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Stanton became the 40th player to hit four home runs in four straight at-bats. (Joe Frisaro - MLB.com)
July 11, 2016: Stanton won the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby. He defeated Todd Frazier in the final round (20 home runs to 13).
Stanton’s average exit velocity in 2016 was 95.1 mph, according to Statcast, harder than almost everybody. He hit balls even harder (98.6 mph) in 2015.
April 19, 2017: Stanton's hit his fourth home run of the season, and it put him in rare statistical territory. Stanton was tied with Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies for the most homers in the Statcast era with distance of at least 440 feet (18). Thirty-one percent of Stanton's homers in that time have gone 440 feet or more, which is the highest in the Major Leagues in that span with a minimum of 10 homers hit.
Also, Stanton plays his home games in pitcher-friendly Marlins Park, while Gonzalez plays his home games in the high altitude of Coors Field. (Doug Miller- MLB.com.)
June 1, 2017: Stanton's home run off Patrick Corbin in the fifth inning of the Marlins' 7-5 win over the D-backs at Marlins Park had franchise significance because it established the 27-year-old slugger as the franchise's all-time RBI leader.
After circling the bases, Stanton had his 579th career RBI, passing Mike Lowell (578) for most in club history.
July 2017: Stanton participated in the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby.
August 4, 2017: Stanton crushed a 78-mph knuckleball from righthander R.A. Dickey a projected 477 feet, making it the farthest-hit ball at SunTrust Park in Atlanta.
Giancarlo connected on an opposite-field home run off right-hander German Marquez in the third inning in the Marlins' 5-3 win over the Rockies for his 42nd of the 2017 season, matching Gary Sheffield's total in 1996.
The homer also marked the 250th of Stanton's career, making him the sixth-fastest player (in terms of games played - 941) to reach that benchmark since 1913. (Frisaro - mlb.com - 8/13/17)
August 14, 2017: Stanton crushes 43rd HR, setting a new Marlins franchise single-season record. With the franchise record now under his belt, Giancarlo is taking aim at another MLB mark—most consecutive games with a home run. He homered for the sixth straight game in Miami's 9-4 loss to the Giants at Marlins Park.
The Major League record for the most consecutive games in which a home run has been hit by a player is eight (held by Ken Griffey Jr., Dale Long and current Marlins manager Don Mattingly).
"These kinds of streaks are fun," Mattingly said. "His has been prolonged. Mine was a little 'eight-dayer'. It's just one of those things, you're feeling good up there. I'd like to see him beat it, really, because that means the first two games in New York he homers, and he homers tomorrow. We're trying to win games, and the last thing I'm going to do is root against him hitting homers. I'm all for it." (Frisaro - mlb.com - 8/15/17)
2017 Improvements: Giancarlo Stanton had half an hour, and he was about to remake himself as a hitter. It was June 19 in Miami, and the Marlins were preparing to host the NL East-leading Nationals. Beneath a closed Marlins Park roof, Stanton began his experiment. He had watched endless video clips, and he was ready to test what he'd envisioned: He closed his stance.
"I just said I was going to try it. Honestly, I had about 30 minutes of work, maybe 45 minutes, before the game," Stanton told MLB.com, when he crushed his Major League-leading 45th home run against the Mets at Citi Field. "And then 10 minutes before the game, I was like, 'This feels more comfortable.'"
When Stanton stepped into the batter's box in the first inning, he positioned himself in a way he hadn't all season. His front foot was closed off—nearer to the inside edge of the box than his back foot, angling his 6-foot-6 frame acutely toward the imaginary line connecting the pitcher to home plate, rather than parallel to it. For his first 66 games in 2017, Stanton had been predominantly square to the pitcher.
Stanton's closing of his batting stance has correlated with his massive power surge. On June 18, he had 17 home runs in 282 plate appearances; since June 19, he has 28 in 236. Stanton has homered in 11 of his past 16 games, including a run of six straight (as of August 22, 2017).
Stanton has generally used either a square or open stance type, vacillating between the two—his front foot either straight to the pitcher or barely ajar toward third base. Last season, he used mainly the slightly open style that has become ubiquitous in the modern game. When Stanton hits from those positions, his front side can come open before the pitch arrives, leaving him exploitable.
With his adjusted stance, Stanton has been driving the ball in the air more often. His rate of fly balls and line drives, per Statcast, has risen from 41.5 percent prior to June 19 to 50.3 percent since. Stanton's average exit velocity on those balls has increased from 97.6 mph to 100.8 mph, the highest in the Majors over that time.
"I knew it could work. Not very many people did it. But I know people like Hawk and them did it in the old days—and it worked for them, too."
It was a matter of taking the plunge and joining the outliers. Stanton might not stick with his closed stance forever, but the ends have been justifying the means for two months now. He's on pace to easily become the National League's first 50-homer hitter this decade . . . and there have been whispers of 60. (David Adler- MLB.com -August 21, 2017)
August 27, 2017: Stanton became the first player since 2001 to reach 50 HRs by the end of August.
August 29, 2017: A mark that stood for 80 years was no barrier for Giancarlo Stanton. He connected on a home run off Edwin Jackson in the Marlins' 8-3 loss to Washington at Nationals Park. The drive to left field was Stanton's 51st homer of the season and his 18 in August, matching a Major League record for the month that was set by Rudy York in 1937.
Sept 23, 2017: Stanton connected on his MLB-leading 57th home run, and drove in four runs to gain sole possession of the franchise's RBI mark. Stanton finished with three hits, and the four RBIs give him 125. The slugger entered the night tied with Preston Wilson, who had 121 in 2000, for the most in club history.
Finishing with 59 home runs is no small consolation for Giancarlo. With the eyes of the baseball world following his every at-bat on 2017's final regular season game, Stanton had two hits in five at-bats and drove in a run, but he was unable to belt home run No. 60 at Marlins Park.
"It was tough not to think about," Stanton said. "But at the same time, if I hit 60, you guys would be sitting here saying, why didn't I hit 61 or 62? I'm fine with the way my season went."
The 27-year-old ended up with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs, and he became the first Marlin to pace the Majors in both categories in the same year. The four-time All-Star also was the MLB leader in slugging percentage (.631). (Frisaro - mlb.com - 10/1/17)
2017 season: A strong case can be made that the four-time All-Star had the greatest personal season by a Marlin. Gary Sheffield hit 42 home runs in 1996, which was a mark that stood for nearly 21 years before Stanton broke it on Aug. 14. Stanton matched an MLB mark with 18 home runs in August, and he kept going. He also set the franchise season RBI record, which was 121 set by Preston Wilson in 2000.
In 2017, Stanton won his second Silver Slugger Award.
March 29, 2018: Stanton is the third player since 1961 to homer in his first at-bat as a Yankee on Opening Day, joining Curtis Granderson (2010) and Jimmy Wynn (1977).
May 15, 2018: Stanton collected the 1,000th hit of his career. Of Stanton's 1,000 career hits, 499 have been for extra bases: 211 doubles, 11 triples and 277 homers.
He is one of three players in history with at least 499 extra-base hits through his first 1,000 hits, joining Babe Ruth (517) and Adam Dunn (507), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. (Hoch - mlb.com)
June 24, 2018: Stanton finished his day 5-for-5 with a home run, two RBIs, two doubles and two runs scored. It was the second five-hit game of Stanton's career and the first time a Yankee had accomplished the feat since Curtis Granderson on April 19, 2012.
August 30, 2018: Stanton hit his 300th home run. The milestone was reached in Stanton's 1,119th career game; only Ralph Kiner (1,087), Ryan Howard (1,093), Juan Gonzalez (1,096) and Alex Rodriguez (1,117) reached 300 homers faster than Stanton, who hit 267 homers for the Marlins before being traded to New York in the offseason.
At 28 years and 295 days old, Stanton was the ninth-youngest player in Major League history to hit his 300th home run. A-Rod was the youngest, having been 27 years and 249 days old when he hit No. 300 off the Angels' Ramon Ortiz on April 2, 2003.
Stanton also owns the hardest-hit homer in Statcast history, a blast off the Rangers’ Ariel Jurado that had a 121.7 mph exit velocity on Aug. 9, 2018, at Yankee Stadium.
Oct. 8, 2020: After homering in each of New York’s playoff games so far this season, Stanton joins Daniel Murphy (six in 2015), Carlos Beltrán (five in 2004) and George Springer (five in 2017-2018) as the only players in postseason history to homer in five consecutive games. He's also the first player ever to homer in each of his team's first five games of a postseason.
HELP FROM CRESSEY
Feb 5, 2021: Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have both dramatically altered their winter workout programs in hopes of remaining on the field throughout the upcoming season, according to Eric Cressey, the Yankees’ director of player health and performance.
“In both cases, they’ve lifted less than they have in the past,” Cressey said on the YES Network. “Aaron in particular has really taken a heavy interest in a lot of yoga. We have to be mindful of the stresses on guys who are 6-foot-7, 6-foot-8, big dudes who are standing around for long periods of time in cleats. Those are things that normal people don’t encounter.”
Cressey said that Judge has been working with Dana Santas, a yoga instructor who has assisted the club during Spring Training in years past. Luke Voit, Mike Ford, Thairo Estrada and Nick Nelson are among the other players participating in yoga sessions at the Yankees’ player development complex in Tampa.
“Anytime you see an athlete who has some chronic stuff, there is a perception that they’re not working hard,” Cressey said, referring to Judge and Stanton. “It couldn’t be further from the truth. Those guys are rock stars in every aspect of their preparation, from how they come into the training room to the work they put in in the weight room.”
In 2020, Judge was limited to 28 games due to a right calf strain initially sustained on Aug. 11. Stanton played in 23 games, missing time due to a strained left hamstring, but the slugger was a force in the postseason. Stanton hit six homers in 26 playoff at-bats, driving in 13 runs against the Indians and Rays.
“Prior to Game 5 of the ALDS, he was out doing some sprint work and it was as athletic as I had ever seen him,” Cressey said of Stanton. “I was confident that he could have gone out to play the outfield for us that night. It was super encouraging.”
The Yankees hired Cressey after a 2019 season in which they set Major League records by having 30 players serve 39 stints on the injured list. Though an overhaul of the strength and conditioning programs was interrupted by the March shutdown, then again by the July ramp-up for Summer Camp, Cressey said that there was improvement made—something he believes will continue into 2021.
“2020 was a little bit of a dumpster fire in terms of Major League Baseball injuries,” Cressey said. “What baseball really learned last year above all else is you can’t do Spring Training in three weeks. There’s a very skill-specific aspect of preparation that takes time for that adaptation to kick in. I’m very confident that baseball understands that now, and regardless of what happens with Spring Training, everything will have a little bit more of a gradual on-ramp.” (B Hoch - MLB.com - Feb 5, 2021) (Editor's note: In 2021, Stanton played in 139 games and was on the IL for only a couple of weeks in May.)
Sept. 2021: Stanton went deep three times this past weekend. He also drove in 10 runs during the Yankees’ sweep of the Red Sox, making him the fourth player in franchise history to record at least three homers and 10 RBIs in a three-game span against the Red Sox. The other players on that list are Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth.
- April 9, 2022: As Stanton's 112-mph rocket sailed to the bleacher seats in left field, it marked the sixth game in a row (including the postseason) where Stanton has homered off the Red Sox.
That's more than just a hot streak. It's historic.
Stanton is the only player in baseball history to homer in six consecutive games against Boston, including games in the playoffs. Jim Thome, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mickey Mantle are the only other players to homer in five straight games against the Red Sox. (Max Goodman)
April 27, 2022: Stanton hit his 350th career homer. He is the seventh fastest player to 350 homers, getting there in 1,341 games.
- As of the start of the 2022 season, Stanton's career Major League stats were: .268 batting average, 347 home runs and 1,299 hits, with 893 RBI in 4,839 at-bats.
- Stanton can play any outfield position, with an above average arm that could be suited to right field. He also covers a pretty good amount of ground in center. But he is best used at one of the corner outfield spots.
- Stanton has real good athleticism. His range is slightly above average.
- In 2012, Stanton played a spectacular right field all season, posting a .974 fielding percentage. Showcasing his arm, he added six assists.
His assists totals could have been more, but Stanton was hampered by injuries, limiting him to 123 games, with 117 in right field. In 2012, he was named the Marlins' recipient of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Stanton was blessed with a strong throwing arm, but he's made himself a more proficient outfielder through long hours in the offseason with Marlins instructor Tarrik Brock. They have a level of comfort and familiarity that allows them to have a frank exchange of information, good or bad.
"It's always good to be close to someone like that," Stanton said. "You don't get offended if they say, 'Hey, you suck at this.' I like being straight up. Don't tell me it 'was an OK job' when it was terrible. Tell me exactly how it is and I won't get offended, because it's the truth."
On August 12, 2014, Giancarlo made one of the most ridiculous catches of the season. After he ran forever in right field at Marlins Park, he dived toward the wall, stretched his glove so far while flying through the air that you thought his left arm might fall off and snagged the ball as he slid across the warning track.
Ho-hum. What else is new? Stanton is turning the impossible into the routine on the baseball diamond. Then again, such things happen when you're pretty good. His glove is impressive, and so is his arm. He also can hit a little. (8/12/14)
July 16, 2017: Playing good defense often comes down to effort and the willingness to make sacrifices, whether on a dive, running into a wall or falling into the stands. During a game against the Dodgers, Giancarlo sacrificed his glove in his defensive efforts.
Leading off the top of the 4th inning, Chris Taylor hit a fly ball out to the right-field wall that Stanton had to leap to try to catch. The ball bounced off the wall, but Stanton's glove went over it. (Chesterton & Pinak - mlb.com)
September 12, 2017: Having scrounged back from a five-run deficit in the final three innings, the Phillies were poised on the doorstep of a comeback victory with the bases loaded, down by two.
A Hyun Soo Kim single through the right side by a diving Dee Gordon looked to have sealed the deal, but a cannon of a throw home from Giancarlo Stanton cut down a charging Cesar Hernandez to send the game into extras. Eventually, Nick Williams hit a walk-off double in the 15th for a 9-8 Phillies' victory.
It was Stanton's third outfield assist of the game. He had five in all of 2016 and five on the season entering the game. Stanton's howitzer throw measured in at 96.5 mph and 212 feet, according to Statcast, a perfect throw to awaiting catcher J.T. Realmuto, who applied the tag. The throw was the hardest from a Marlins outfielder this season and hardest on a Marlins' outfield assist since Statcast began tracking such throws.
As much as that downhill throw home caught his teammates' attention, Stanton's two other assists perked up some ears as well.
"The throw he made to second base, I didn't know the throw was going to make it in the air," said Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas, the man on the receiving end of Stanton's fifth-inning laser that cut down Williams trying to leg out a double. Stanton cut off the ball in the corner, spun counter-clockwise about 180 degrees, and let loose a rope to Rojas.
"It's unbelievable the kind of arm he shows," Rojas said. "He doesn't look like he's trying to throw the ball hard, but he gets really good carry on it."
The game-extending throw home to get Hernandez, a speedy runner, and the throw to get Williams, the fastest player on the Phillies, were both solo jobs. Stanton needed no cut-off man.
But the inning after throwing out Williams at second, Stanton erased a would-be triple from Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford, this time aided by a crisp relay throw from Gordon. (Harris - mlb.com - 9/12/17)
- Mike has very good speed. He can be a formidable baserunner.
- Midway through the 2011 season, Marlins manager Jack McKeon said he was impressed by Stanton's first step and feels he can be a formidable baserunner.
"I gave him the steal sign one night a while back, and he stood there standing up," McKeon said. "I was like, 'Get in position to steal.' All of a sudden, 'Boom!' He steals it easy. This guy has such explosive speed. His first step, you can't believe.
"The way he can burst that initial first step ... he also was a wide receiver. He's quick out of the chute."
2009: Early in the season, shoulder tendinitis affected Mike's throwing, but he worked through it and it soon went away.
- October 23, 2009: Stanton was shut down with a sore back in a precautionary measure. He was hitting .478 in 23 at-bats.
February 27, 2011: Mike strained his right quad in his second at-bat of spring training. He had homered his first trip to the plate. This time, after chopping a ground ball to Miami Hurricanes pitcher Michael Rudman, Stanton sprinted down the line but pulled up. He stumbled at the bag and fell to the ground.
The Marlins were hoping Stanton could play the final week of spring training and be ready for the season opener on April 1. And he played on Opening Day, but he suffered a mild left hamstring strain that sidelined him for a week.
- July 8-August 7, 2012: Giancarlo underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body from his right knee, by Dr. Lee Kaplan, the Marlins' physician. Stanton was projected to be out for from four to six weeks. He endeavored to battle through the sore knee, but the discomfort became too disruptive.
February 20, 2013: Stanton was hit in the back of his helmet in a Marlins instar-squad matchup, by pitcher Jose Fernandez. Giancarlo remained on his feet but left the game and said the beaning affected his eyesight.
"I wasn't dizzy," he said. "I saw a little grayness and fuzziness on the outside of my eyes, but it's subsiding now."
Stanton bruised the back of his neck, and X-rays were planned, but there was no sign of a concussion. Fernandez sat alone at his locker with his head down. He said the pitch slipped from his hand but still had plenty of velocity.
"Over 95 mph, I know it was. It's a scary moment," Fernandez said. "My hands were sweating a lot. It was just not a good pitch. I feel bad. It's not a good feeling, I promise you."
April 30-June 10, 2013: Stanton went on the disabled list with a Grade 2 strain to his right hamstring. He injured it running to first base.
September 11, 2014: Stanton suffered multiple facial fractures, dental damage, and a facial laceration requiring stitches after being hit in the face by a pitch from Brewers starter Mike Fiers.
Fiers' swings his left arm, Stanton sees the ball, but not until it was two-thirds of the way to the plate—far too late. He's on the ground, searching his gums for his teeth with his tongue and finding little pieces of them.
He is in the ambulance, desperate to fall asleep to escape the pain, obeying the paramedics' instructions that he must not.
Marlins' owner Jeff Loria said, "Seconds after I saw it on television and was able to pull myself together, I called the commissioner (Bud Selig) and said, 'We need to get a plastic surgeon. This good-looking kid is not going to end up having a mistake made in an emergency room treatment.'"
Everyone who was there remembers the sickening sound of the 88-mph fastball striking Stanton's face, breaking his nose, his cheek and his orbital bone, shattering his incisor, and chipping a half-dozen other teeth.
They also remember: "It was not just a little bit of blood," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. "It was a lot of blood."
Stanton lay motionless on the field at home plate for several minutes as he was attended to by medical personnel. He was placed on a gurney and taken from the field on an ambulance cart. Stanton underwent X-rays and a CT scan at a local hospital, the Marlins announced.
"He didn't lose consciousness out on the field, but he was bleeding heavily out of his mouth," Redmond said before learning the extent of Stanton's injuries. When asked if he thought Stanton was out for the remainder of the season, Redmond said: "I don't know. It's not looking good, that's for sure. It's devastating for us. Devastating. For his season to end like that, that's not good."
September 12, 2014: In a medical follow-up, Stanton returned in good spirits to Miami. The two-time All-Star will undergo more tests, but it appears he will not need major surgery. He did receive some plastic surgery, and he will undergo a battery of tests to make sure he doesn't have any concussion symptoms.
Stanton's injuries required stitches to repair facial lacerations, and he lost some teeth.
Giancarlo accompanied by his father, Mike, and Marlins trainer Sean Cunningham, flew on team owner Jeffrey Loria's private plane to Miami.
Stanton tweeted: "The amount of support I have received from you guys has been tremendous & Heartfelt. I'm much better today & deeply appreciate your prayers!" (Joe Frisaro - MLB.com - 9/12/2014)
September 16, 2014: Stanton underwent another series of checkups in Miami and did not return to the field that season.
June 27-end of 2015 season: Giancarlo had a broken hamate bone in his left wrist. Surgery was required.
Stanton initially hurt the wrist on a swing and miss. Stanton's hand appeared swollen, and he said it hurt where he grips the bat. Stanton indicated the pain grew worse as the game progressed. He grimaced in pain with his final swing in the ninth inning and said that was "the icing on the cake."
July 10, 2015: Speaking publicly for the first time since breaking his hand, Stanton is in good spirits and optimistic. "I'm good. I think I'm right on track," Stanton said. "The swelling is just about all the way down."
Stanton added he doesn't have his full range of motion yet. Until he can make a fist, he isn't guessing on when he will return to the lineup.
"It was a smooth procedure," the slugger said. "They said I had a lot of blood in there. Usually when you break something, you don't keep going after it. That's what I did—a few extra swings. So there was a lot of blood that wouldn't normally be there. But it was smooth after that." (J Frisaro - MLB.com - July 9, 2015)
Aug 14-Sept 6, 2016: Stanton was on the DL with left groin strain. An MRI taken revealed Stanton has a Grade 3 groin strain.
- April 1-June 18, 2019: Stanton was on the IL with left biceps strain.
May 21-June 18, 2019: Giancarlo Stanton was scratched from what would have been his second Minor League rehabilitation game with Class A Advanced Tampa due to tightness in his left knee. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that Stanton was hit by a pitch during a live batting-practice session.
June 25, 2019: Stanton was removed from a game with what was announced as a right knee contusion, and was sent for an MRI.
"At this point, I'm hoping for a bone bruise," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I think tomorrow will be a better indicator. When he comes in, we'll look at the swelling and evaluate it better then."
Stanton told Boone that he sustained the injury while running the bases in the bottom of the first inning. Stanton reached on a first-inning single, then was tagged out at third base on the back end of a double play as he dove headfirst into the bag. Replays showed that Stanton banged his knee onto the infield dirt.
June 26-Sept 18, 2019: Stanton was on the IL with right knee sprain.
March 3, 2020: Stanton is recovering from a Grade 1 right calf strain sustained while performing defensive drills on Feb. 25. Cashman said that he believes Stanton will be ready to play sometime in April, setting the recovery time at four to six weeks from the date of injury.
“My gut would be that he wouldn't be ready by Opening Day; doesn't mean I'm right,” Cashman said. “I would say it's better to assume he won't be ready.
Aug 8, 2020: Stanton was removed from a game against the Rays after experiencing tightness in his left hamstring. Aaron Boone said that Stanton would have an MRI.
“I’m hurting for him,” Boone said. “I know what he's done to be here. His play speaks for itself. Hopefully it's something that doesn't end up keeping him down too long.”
According to Boone, Stanton experienced the tightness while advancing to second base on a fourth-inning wild pitch. Stanton grimaced when he slid into the base.
Aug 11-Sept 15, 2020: Boone announced that Stanton has a Grade 1 strain and went on the IL.
May 14-28, 2021: Stanton was on the IL with left quad strain.
May 25-June 4, 2022: The Yankees placed Stanton on the 10-day injured list due to a right calf strain.
July 24-Aug 25: 2022: Stanton landed on the IL with left Achilles tendinitis.
Aug 23, 2022: He faced right-hander Luis Severino in a live batting practice session at Yankee Stadium, then went through a full pregame workout that included some outfield play. Stanton said there is still some minor discomfort with his left Achilles tendon.