Giancarlo Stanton’s resurgence continues with homer in Yankees’ win

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Yankees optioned Jasson Dominguez on Wednesday afternoon, ending the top prospect’s rehab assignment and officially declaring that “The Martian” will remain with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre indefinitely.

Hours later, Giancarlo Stanton reminded why there is no ready-made spot for Dominguez in the major leagues.

The designated hitter swatted his second tape-measure home run in as many nights and continued to show his bat still has plenty of juice during an 11-5 win over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Giancarlo Stanton celebrates with teammates after blasting at two-run homer in the fifth inning of the Yankees' 11-5 win over the Royals.
Giancarlo Stanton celebrates with teammates after blasting at two-run homer in the fifth inning of the Yankees’ 11-5 win over the Royals. Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a disastrous, injury-plagued season in which he hit just .191 with a .695 OPS and was a consistent liability on the bases and in the field, Stanton had to show life in his bat to ensure he would stave off the Dominguezes of the world.

And he has, smacking 17 home runs in his 61 games, which was tied for the sixth-most in baseball upon the completion of the game.

There is room for improvement with a .288 on-base percentage, but Stanton’s sheer power has compensated.

“It’s been good,” Stanton said simply of his season, adding his biggest focus has been putting the ball in play with runners in scoring position. “Could always be better.”

Last year was worse. He made it just 13 games before a hamstring strain sidelined him for a month and a half in a season in which he never got going.

There was wonder whether the many injuries over his tenure with the Yankees had taken a toll, and whether the 34-year-old could approximate the slugger he used to be.

But Stanton entered spring training with a slimmed-down body that he hoped would bring more athleticism and more health.

Through two and a half months of this season, Stanton has not quite been vintage — his OPS sits at .779 — but he has been solid. And, of course, powerful.

On Tuesday, his missile launch to dead-center measured 446 feet. A night later he went 3 feet deeper with a no-doubter to left in the fifth inning off Daniel Lynch IV.

With Stanton holding down DH and a strong starting outfield — plus Trent Grisham coming off the bench, a role the Yankees do not want for the developing Dominguez — there is no place for the club’s No. 1 prospect.

“He’s been a real threat and a real presence in the middle of our lineup,” manager Aaron Boone said of Stanton. “Especially around what Juan [Soto] and Aaron [Judge] are doing, to kind of have another thumper there that you still got to account for, be aware of after you go through that.

“He’s been really good. He’s gotten a lot of big hits for us.”

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