When Giancarlo Stanton was brought to the Bronx in the biggest trade of the offseason, many salivated at the thought of baseball’s home run leader spraying titanic blasts into the seats of hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. So far, Stanton hasn’t made the Bronx his personal playground for monster home runs, and has seen the majority of his 2018 success come on the road.
In 2018, Stanton has a wRC+ of 83 at Yankee Stadium, compared to 152 in opposing ballparks. The Yankees are stacked with right-handed power, with Stanton perhaps being the greatest threat. In the Bronx, however, his power numbers have been somewhat subdued.
On the other side of the batter’s box, Aaron Hicks has gone through a similar struggle. The switch hitter has a wRC+ of 53 at home, compared to 171 on the road. From the left side at Yankee Stadium, Hicks is slugging just .268 with one home run over the short porch in right field. What should be an advantage for Hicks and Stanton have been the opposite through the first few months of the season, which the Yankees would like to see change.
It’s hard to nitpick issues with an offense that is currently the best in baseball, but in a home run park like Yankee Stadium, the Bombers could use more bombs from Stanton and Hicks. At the very least they would take some better overall production. With Stanton’s power, home runs to right field shouldn’t take much more than a flick of the wrists and the proper launch angle. He has shown an incredible ability to hit to all fields during his career, and 2018 has been no exception. His OPS on batted balls to right field is 1.311, higher than his mark on pulled balls. Still, he has just six homers at home compared to nine on the road.
Hicks finds himself with a similar issue, but from the left side. As a left-hander, Hicks has a wRC+ of 56 when pulling the ball towards the short porch. Judging by the numbers, his lack of home runs to the right field seats likely isn’t due to a lack of trying. Hicks has pulled over 50 percent of his batted balls against righties, compared to 29.4 percent against southpaws. If he can start generating more power from the pull side as a lefty, the Yankees’ potent lineup could become even more lethal.
Again, it’s hard to find many problems with the Yankees’ lineup nowadays, but with nine of the team’s next 10 games coming at home, it would be the perfect time for Hicks and Stanton to start settling in at their home field.