Yanks star Stanton off to strong start after smashing finish

Full Screen
1 / 3

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

New York Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton catches a ball during a spring training baseball workout Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Giancarlo Stanton is picking up where he ended the postseason last year.

Healthy and hard hitting.

The New York Yankees slugger homered in each of his first five playoff games in 2020, a stretch that brought flashbacks of his spectacular 2017 NL MVP season and hopes that several injury-impacted years were behind him.

Stanton finished with six homers and 13 RBIs in seven postseason games, including a tough five-game Division Series loss to the AL champion Tampa Bay Rays.

Stanton is 7 for 21 during spring training with two doubles and a homer that had an exit velocity of 115 mph. He also hit an 120 mph liner that was caught for an out.

“Ready to rock,” Stanton said. “The time of spring where it is, can we get things going here. You refine any last bits of swing and timing and all that to be ready to go.”

The Yankees open the regular season April 1 at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Stanton, 31, hasn’t played a full season since 2018 when he had 38 homers and 100 RBIs for the Yankees. That came one season after he led the NL with 59 homers and 132 RBIs in his final year with the Miami Marlins before being traded to the Bronx.