Top Bounce-Back Candidate: New York Yankees

We continue our look around the majors at the top bounce-back player for each team in 2023. Today, we focus on the New York Yankees. 

It's not often that a 31-HR hitter and an All-Star would be pegged as needing a "bounce-back", but we can make a case that Giancarlo Stanton is it for the Yankees. 

Stanton hit just .211 in 2022, over 50 points below his career norm, and also had a career-low in OPS, at just .759, over 130 points south of his lifetime mark. 

It was the second half of the season that did Stanton in in '22, as his left Achilles injury sidelined him for over a month. He batted .151 in the second half, with a .582 OPS, and hit just seven home runs, compared to 24 in the first half.

In addition, some random bad luck contributed to his poor season performance, as he had a very low .227 BABIP in 2022 (batting average on balls in play, which has some elements of luck to it). His career BABIP is .314. That is bound to normalize, as he was still making hard contact, which is one of the contributors to BABIP that can be controlled. Per Pinstripe Alley, Stanton ranked in the 99th percentile in average exit velocity and in the 100th percentile in max exit velocity. That's hard contact. 

He's still only 33, so as long as he's healthy, we should be able to expect the Yankee slugger to get his average back up to its normal .260 range, and his OPS back into the mid-800s at least. 

Stanton still has five seasons left on his mammoth 13-year, $325M contract; the Yankees are certainly hoping for that bounce-back. 

Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports