Hey Boston, Judge, Soto are coming ... and don't forget about Stanton

June 14th, 2024

, who once hit 62 home runs in a season, has hit more homers this season than , who once hit 59 for the Marlins. Judge has 25 so far, Stanton now has 17. But the thing they share in common is that they continue to hit them really, really far. Both of them just did that in Kansas City in the Yankees-Royals series that just ended. Now they go to Boston for the weekend, where they might just try to break Fenway Park.

Oh, and by the way? The two sluggers in the Yankees' batting order will be bringing with them. Soto’s got the same number of home runs as Stanton does, and he’ll show up in Boston with a gaudy slugging percentage of .592 and an OPS of a fast 1.025.

Maybe you’ve heard. The Yankees being the Bronx Bombers is kind of a thing again.

Judge’s 25th traveled 436 feet in Kansas City. Stanton hit two homers in that series. One of them traveled 446. The other traveled 449. When you saw the replays, the distances on both of them frankly looked low. If Judge and Stanton hit them like that in Fenway over the next three nights, in the first Yankees-Red Sox series of the season, the baseballs are going to end up in Cambridge. Or perhaps New Hampshire.

Going into Friday night’s game, Soto and Judge and Stanton have combined for 59 home runs and 156 RBIs in the 71 games the Yankees have played. And if you like Soto’s slugging percentage, here you go with Judge’s in the season that’s been played so far: .690.

If Judge stays on his current home run pace and stays on the field the way he did for 157 games when he broke Yankees and American League records in ’22, he is going to chase 60 again at the end of the summer. Now he has Soto batting in front of him, and Stanton behind him in the order. Stanton is looking as dangerous when he connects as he used to be with the Marlins, appearing like the consistent and dangerous long-ball threat he was in Miami until he couldn’t manage to stay on the field in New York, when he missed games in record numbers the way he used to hit home runs.

So Soto-Judge-Stanton have all hit 17 or more homers for the Yankees. The home run leader for the Red Sox is Rafael Devers with 13. Tyler O’Neill is next with 12. No other hitter the Red Sox have is in double figures. And not only are the three Bronx Bombers coming to town -- Bronx Bombers 3.0 then? -- the Red Sox just threw their best starter, Tanner Houck, against the Phillies to win the rubber game of that series on Thursday.

The Yankees knew what to expect, and fully, when they got Soto -- as complete a hitter as there is in the game. They sure have seen what Judge can do when they can keep him on the field, something that didn’t happen last season when he ran into that outfield door at Dodger Stadium in early June, suffered a tendon injury in his big right toe and then missed 56 games as the Yankees’ season slowly disappeared like water in a drain.

But they had no way of knowing Stanton would stay on the field this season, because he’s really only done that twice since the Yankees swung the trade for him. In the six seasons he played for the Yankees before this one, Stanton missed 310 regular-season games out of the team’s total of 870. It’s not just a lot. It is, in all ways, an awful lot.

But so far this season, so good. He came in looking leaner than he ever has, isn’t running the bases looking as afraid the earth might suddenly move under his feet and send him right back to the IL and is back to hitting big flies. Two more against the Royals, traveling nearly 900 feet combined.

“He’s been a real threat and real presence in the middle of our lineup,” Aaron Boone said the other day. “Especially around what Juan and Aaron are doing, to have another thumper there you still need to account for and beware of after you go through [Soto and Judge]. So it’s been really good. He’s gotten a lot of big hits for us. Obviously hitting the ball out of the ballpark. But I feel like he’s just day in and day out consistently having a presence with his at-bats.”

Here is what Stanton said in Kansas City:

“If I’m out there and available and putting the bat on the ball, good things can happen.”

Then he spoke about the Yankees jumping on the Royals for six first-inning runs on their way to a 10-1 victory on Tuesday night:

“Come out blazing. Put the pressure on early. All day and all night.”

It looks and feels like what he and Judge and Soto have done all day and all night all season. Now the season finally takes Boone’s thumpers into Fenway Park. Hello, Green Monster. Nobody has broken the place yet. But you never know. First time for everything.