New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is a very, very strong man, and the statistics — as well as his enormous arms — back that up.
Last year, when he was still a Miami Marlin, Stanton crushed a whopping 59 home runs on his way to being named the National League MVP. In fact, though he’s only 28 years old, he’s already blasted 276 career dingers.
So it didn’t come as a shock when Stanton accomplished a superhero-like feat on Tuesday during a 3-2 victory at home against the rival Boston Red Sox.
In the bottom of the second inning, facing Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz, Stanton turned on a high fastball clocked at around 92 miles per hour, driving it over the left-field fence for a solo home run.
Really, there were two things that stood out about this home run. First, it got out in a hurry, with MLB’s Statcast estimating that it had a hang time of just 3.8 seconds.
Second, Stanton’s swing on this home run was absolutely incredible. Normally, for a hitter to drive a ball out of the park, there needs to be some sort of upward motion (Statcast calls it a “launch angle”) on his swing.
But here, Stanton’s swing was remarkably level. In fact, Statcast estimated the home run’s launch angle to be just 17 degrees, “the lowest by a Yankee this season,” according to MLB.com. Despite the motion of his swing, the ball still left the slugger’s bat traveling at 111.5 mph, which is a testament to his amazing strength.
Unsurprisingly, his teammates in the dugout loved it, and veteran starting pitcher CC Sabathia could even be seen imitating Stanton’s swing.
After the game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was in awe, comparing his star player to a “superhero.”
“I just kind of looked and smiled. That’s weird,” Boone said, ESPN reported. “A superhero swing.”
“It just comes out, and when he connects, it comes off different,” the Yankees manager added.
Stanton’s fellow Yankees were also impressed, as they realized how difficult it is to hit a home run on such a high pitch.
“Pretty impressive, especially with Pomeranz going up there twice with a fastball in the zone,” said outfielder Aaron Judge. “For ‘G’ to get on top of that and keep it fair was impressive, and for him to go to right field, same thing. It’s incredible. Fun to be around.”
Shortstop Didi Gregorius, meanwhile, particularly took note of Stanton’s “incredible power.”
“You can only do that if you have incredible power,” he told the New York Post, while trying to imitate Stanton’s swing.
Stanton himself just said he was trying to keep his hands inside the ball and use a shorter swing so as to make solid contact. “It was an elevated pitch, so that’s like hitting the inside pitch,” he said. “You’ve got to get inside and be quicker to it and try to chop it down.”
Stanton’s home run was a sight to behold, but that wasn’t the only time he would make the fans at Yankee Stadium cheer. In the bottom of the fourth, he walloped another home run, this one to right field.
The defending NL MVP had gotten off to a very slow start in pinstripes, as he hit just .218 with three home runs in April. But he’s really picked it up since then, with four home runs so far in May and a much improved .273 batting average.
And as Stanton has heated up, so have the Yankees. Their win Tuesday was their 16th in their last 17 games. They’re currently tied for first place in the AL East with the Red Sox, setting up what should be a very exciting pennant race.
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