Getty Images

With Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees lineup absolutely terrifying

60 Comments

The deal is not done yetGiancarlo Stanton has to approve it — but it’s hard not to get a little bit ahead of ourselves and imagine what the Yankees lineup would look like with the game’s best slugger right in the middle of it.

At the outset, let us note that the Yankees were not hurting for power to begin with. They led all of baseball with 241 home runs. They were second in runs scored, just behind the World Series champion Astros, and fourth in slugging percentage. The Bombers hit bombs even without Stanton.

And that was the case even though they didn’t have Gary Sanchez for a month of the season. And with Chris Carter wasting around 200 plate appearances at first base for the first couple months of the season. And with the promising Greg Bird missing almost all of the year. And Aaron Hicks missing a lot of time due to oblique injuries. Indeed, the Yankees lineup could’ve, with a couple of breaks, been even more impressive than it already was.

Now look at it:

CF Brett Gardner
LF Aaron Judge
RF Giancarlo Stanton
C Gary Sanchez
1B Greg Bird
SS Didi Gregorius
DH Aaron Hicks
3B Chase Headley
2B Gleyber Torres or Ronald Torreyes

There could obviously be some variations on all of this. Hicks could play center and Gardner could play left with Judge or Stanton DHing. Jacoby Ellsbury is knocking around the roster too, though he’d be even more marginalized with Stanton on the team than he already was at the end of 2017, when he was basically a fourth outfielder. Upshot: Aaron Boone will have the option of rotating Stanton, Judge, Hicks and Gardner through the outfield and DH as he sees fit.

While it’s hard to assume that Stanton and Judge will duplicate their astounding 2017 numbers, they’re certainly the two most potent power bats in the game. You can assume that Sanchez will improve his overall production if he avoids injury. And Greg Bird at first base all year presents an upgrade as well. If Torres is what he’s cracked up to be, the loss of Starlin Castro will not hurt all that much.

The optimal OF/DH rotation and forecasting the production of young players are all interesting to think about. But I prefer to look at the big picture here. The picture in which Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez go back-to-back-to-back in the Yankees lineup all season long. Last year the three of them combined for 144 home runs. to put that in perspective, the San Francisco Giants had 128 home runs in 2017. The entire San Francisco Giants team.

Yeah, I think the Yankees are gonna hit a little next year.

Ronald Acuna tops Keith Law’s top-100 prospect list

Getty Images
Leave a comment

ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.

After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”

Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.

Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.

For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.