The Priciest Swings of 2023: Revealing the Shocking $128,632 Leader, Featuring Big Names Like Mike Trout and Giancarlo Stanton

Published 11/12/2023, 8:50 AM EST

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In the world of MLB, every swing of the bat carries a financial weight. It’s a weight that transcends the cheers and jeers from the stands. A look at the 2023 season reveals one defined not just by hits but by the staggering cost associated with each swing. Some of the most overpriced swings of the season have surfaced recently. Each player’s swing goes way beyond the typical scoreboard statistics. That’s a huge financial toll! 

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Prominent names, including Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout establish the value of some of their swings, bringing to notice the price tag on each of them. But here’s the catch! Pricey moves are not always synonymous with virtuoso performance. While there are mind-blowing price tags, there have also been equally contradictory performances. Now that this has been brought to notice, what are the franchises going to do to solve this problem? 

A Season With Many Costliest Swings

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Multiple analyses have been done so far and a few big budgeted swings stand filtered out. Speaking of conspicuous names, Mike Trout’s swings are known for providing outstanding value, but they are also exceedingly costly. Because of his large salary and limited playing time, the Angels lose more than $54,000 every time he takes a swing.

Not only him, Giancarlo Stanton batted less than 200, but his swings were valued at more than $43,000. An obvious illustration of the financial strain associated with keeping a prominent player on the team. If these figures are not shocking enough, the names that top the list will blow minds! 

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The list is topped by Anthony Rendon. A player whose hefty salary translates to a whopping cost of over $128,000 every time he takes a swing. Though Rendon is in a class by himself financially, his play begs one question. Is the team getting value for its money? 

Another name is Josh Donaldson who was recently released from the New York Yankees. With just a.150 average, Donaldson stands second on the list, costing the team more than $65,000 per swing. The world is not foreign to his below-par performance over the years, hence, the same concern looms. Hitting slumps can be expensive, and what’s the value of the team’s investments? 

While this question still remains unanswered, the other names that join the list of this season’s costliest swings are Joey Votto, Miguel Cabrera, Chris Bryant, Jason Heyward, and Carlos Correa. Their swings have reportedly ranged from $32,000 to $61,000. This brings one to the big question; what is the reason behind this? 

The Reason Behind It: From Injuries to Poor Form

MLB players sign contracts that specify their pay, with performance-based clauses, bonuses, and incentives frequently included. Teams are making sizable financial commitments to their players through these contracts. But it is too evident to ignore that these incentives that accompany swings have more often than not resulted in sad situations either due to injuries or due to performance from the hitters (or so says 2023). 

Starting with Josh Donaldson, who was acquired by the Bronx in a trade that didn’t quite click with the team, grew worse with age. Last year, he missed nearly a month of play, and in 2023, his hamstring injury kept him out of the game for the first five games. Simply put, he spent more time recovering than playing. The 37-year-old hadn’t performed well in the spring, and by the time he returned in June, his form was completely gone. He and Aaron Boone demonstrated that his bat speed was still reliable, but the other aspects of his swing just appeared worn out. Well, add another player to the poor games marred by injuries.

Mike Trout, owing to a wrist injury, saw his season end prematurely; he appeared in a mere 82 Los Angeles Angels games. The three-time AL MVP was placed on the 60-day injured list. This happened just ahead of their series finale against the Minnesota Twins. The 32-year-old broke his left wrist in early July after fouling a pitch-off against Nick Martinez of the San Diego Padres. He returned to action in late August, but claiming to have felt pain again, he returned to the injured list. Few other players share a disappointing story too, more so in terms of performance than injuries. 

How Teams Suffered Even After Paying More

Take Carlos Correa for instance. All things considered, for Correa, the 2023 season produced his lowest OPS since the 60-game 2020 season (.709) and his lowest batting average of his career. Evidently, the Minnesota Twins suffered greatly. That said, it does not spare the 34-year-old hitter and outfielder from the Bronx. 

Tanner Stokey, director of hitting at Driveline (the baseball facility that helped Mookie Betts, and JP Crawford) commented on Giancarlo Stanton. His words were, “His issue is more of a bat-to-ball skill issue. If you go a little bit deeper, his issue is he’s got some bat path problems.” Giancarlo had a down year for the Yankees in 2023. He batted just.191 and had a.275 OPS with 24 homers. Stanton admitted to slacking off and displayed a resolute intent to get ready for a better 2024. Los Angeles Angels also find themselves in a similar spot with their third baseman. 

Even though Anthony Rendon had an injury, he displayed an underwhelming play well before the injury, too. In 43 games, he had a.236 average, two home runs, and 22 RBIs. Since agreeing to a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels prior to the 2020 campaign, he has had difficulty avoiding injuries and has never appeared in more than 58 games in a single season.

All in all, it’s a pretty big deal to invest so much on swings given the uncertainty of how the season ensues for these players. It’s worthwhile to see how the organizations tackle this problem. 

Are Teams Doing Anything This Season to Tackle This Problem?

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Well, the rules of MLB are not in the control of the team themselves. However, what is in their control is how they plan the roster for the upcoming season. Multiple teams have already started tackling this problem. It began with the release of Josh Donaldson owing to his prolonged sub-par performance and injury-stained stint.

The Angles too are open to trading Mike Trout if he requests for a trade. What else could be the reason apart from his massive price tag? Additionally, there are a couple more actions taken. As per fansided.com, there is chatter that Anthony Rendon will be released. And Carlos Correa might choose to not play for the Minnesota Twins.

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As the teams take action to make more economical decisions for their teams, the importance of health and performance has never been higher. 

Watch This Story : SF Giants’ Rising Star Sets Sights On Shohei Ohtani, Aims To Make His Mark In MLB – “I’m On The Right Path!”

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Written by:

Kanishka Prakash

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Kanishka Prakash is an MLB writer for EssentiallySports. Being a sports enthusiast, she developed an interest in baseball during her college days. Eventually, her enthusiasm couldn’t be contained any longer, and EssentiallySports came to her rescue, offering an opportunity to write for her favorite sport.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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