Giancarlo Stanton entered the 2023 campaign with a personal milestone in sight. After an All-Star year in 2022 that saw him belt 32 bombs, the former MVP sat only 22 away from joining the 400 Home Run Club. For a slugger as talented as Stanton, who can easily go yard even during slumps, the only question seemed to be if he could stay healthy to do it. The veteran did miss 43 games earlier in the season due to a hamstring strain, but he’s remained on the field since early June while slowly getting closer to 400.
No. 399 came just a few days ago during the Yankees’ impressive sweep in Houston that was understandably overshadowed by the youth movement. Stanton began the homestand on Tuesday hoping to check off that box, and he saved it for an opportune moment during the ballgame. With the game tied at 1-1 and José Cisnero on the bump for Detroit, Stanton launched an absolute bomb to hit 400:
The two-run shot put the Yankees in front, 3-1, and the fans gave him a curtain call afterward. Appropriately, it was a 451-foot mash from a man who has made his living crushing baseballs very, very far. The Yankees went on to win, 5-1, nailing down their fourth victory in a row.
Stanton is the 58th player in MLB history to reach 400 homers. He’s the fourth-fastest to do so, accomplishing the feat in just 1,520 games. Only Mark McGwire, Babe Ruth, and Alex Rodriguez ever got to the milestone faster than Stanton. Stanton’s also just the 10th Yankees player to hit No. 400 in pinstripes and the first since Mark Teixeira in 2016. With Miguel Cabrera retiring after 2023 and Nelson Cruz perhaps finally done as well, Stanton will probably be the active leader in homers for the foreseeable future.*
*Like Stanton, Mike Trout has had trouble staying on the field recently, but with 368 homers and at age-31, he’s the closest.
As any Yankees fan following the 2023 team knows, this season has been a struggle for the ballclub writ large, and Stanton has always been accountable about wanting to contribute to the team more than he actually has. His 400th homer put his triple slash at .206/.282/.449 with 22 homers and a 97 wRC+. No one should confuse those numbers with the likes of, say, Javier Báez, but it’s fair to want more from a DH and Stanton understands that.
Personally, as someone who has loved watching Stanton crush homers dating back to when he was a Marlins rookie going by “Mike Stanton,” I will always cheer for the guy, even in the tough times. The best of his home runs are downright comical in terms of distance, exit velocity, and most importantly, aesthetics. Until Aaron Judge’s 2022, I never thought that I’d see someone come as close to 60 as Stanton did during his swan song in Miami. Although Stanton has come under fire in New York as he’s battled injuries and strikeout-filled slumps, he has a 124 wRC+ and 133 homers on the whole, and with a .963 career playoff OPS with 11 homers in 27 games, he has not been the problem in October.
My homie big G, 4th fastest player to 400 homers please stop the disrespect— Cameron Maybin (@CameronMaybin) September 6, 2023
You tell ‘em, Cam!
So congratulations to Stanton on No. 400. I’m not entirely certain if his body is going to let him bolster his potential Hall of Fame case by reaching 500 homers, but I’m absolutely going to cross my fingers for him.