TAMPA, Fla. -- In eight days, Giancarlo Stanton will dig into the bat rack and walk toward home plate at Rogers Centre, stepping into the box for the first official time as a member of the Yankees. After nearly six weeks of Spring Training, he can't wait to play in
TAMPA, Fla. -- In eight days, Giancarlo Stanton will dig into the bat rack and walk toward home plate at Rogers Centre, stepping into the box for the first official time as a member of the Yankees. After nearly six weeks of Spring Training, he can't wait to play in a game that counts.
"I've thought about it," Stanton said. "It's going to be a new exciting year for me. But at the same time, this ain't about me right now. I'm ready to just start the year, get the season going with the guys and get ready to go."
Stanton's time at George M. Steinbrenner Field has served as a primer for what the reigning National League MVP can expect when the bell rings for the regular season on March 29, and even more so for what awaits when he will jog to the first-base line prior to the Yankee Stadium home opener on April 2.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
After spending the first eight seasons of his big league life with the Marlins, Stanton uses adjectives like "fun" and "great" to describe his initial Yankees experience.
"It's pretty on par with what I've been told and what I thought," Stanton said. "Everything was run right. Get your work done, get ready to go and be ready for a week from now. Get this going."
In particular, Stanton has enjoyed spending time on the same side as his celebrated competitor from last year's T-Mobile Home Run Derby, sharing a batting-practice group with Aaron Judge. Stanton said that he sees greater accomplishments in the future for the reigning American League Rookie of the Year.
"He's not satisfied with last year, you could tell that," Stanton said. "He wants more and more and to get better, which is exactly what you need after a season like that. ... I think he'll be fine. He's got a good grip on the outside noise compared to inside the clubhouse and in between the lines."
Once it became clear that Stanton and the Marlins were heading for an acrimonious parting, there was a school of thought that the California-born Stanton -- who grew up cheering for the Dodgers -- might have preferred to be dealt to the West Coast. Not necessarily, he said.
"All that is random people's view of what I preferred," Stanton said. "I've always enjoyed New York, playing there. [I was] only there a couple days at a time before now, so it'll be good to live there and get used to it up there."
And Stanton will have a familiar face to guide him through Gotham. He plans to share a Manhattan apartment with Mets reliever AJ Ramos, and despite their disparate salaries, Stanton said that the former Marlins teammates plan to split the rent.
"We've roomed together for our career, pretty much," Stanton said. "It's a cool situation that we're in the same city. We decided, 'Why not?' We're not in the same town too often, but it doesn't matter. It's just something cool to do. I think we'll have a fun little rivalry when we play the Subway Series. It'll be nothing new for us."
With baseball locked in as his primary focus, Stanton believes that he is ready for the brighter spotlight that accompanies playing in New York, and he holds no trepidation about playing for a team with postseason aspirations.
"The good times will be magnified and so will the bad," Stanton said. "The fans expect a lot, so be prepared. I expect a lot, too, so we're in the same boat."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.