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Stanton sent down


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By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

 

03/24/10 12:11 PM ET

 

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mike Stanton came as advertised.

 

The 20-year-old showed power. He demonstrated plate discipline and even sparkled in right field with his athleticism.

 

As much as the Marlins would like to see more of Stanton, they also recognized that a little more seasoning is required before he brings his talents to the big leagues.

 

So on Wednesday, Stanton was reassigned to Minor League camp. The young slugger, who was one of the main stories for Florida this spring, will open the season at Double-A Jacksonville.

 

Although Stanton will not be with the club on Opening Day, he clearly indicated that he is not far away from breaking into the big leagues.

 

"We sent him down, but he will let us know when he's ready," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It's a matter of him getting his at-bats and putting up his numbers."

 

An impressive-looking 6-foot-5, 230-pounder, Stanton's power is special. Ranked No. 3 on MLB.com's Top 50 Prospects List, Stanton provided some glimpses of it with three Grapefruit League homers. All were belted off Major League pitchers -- Bobby Parnell (Mets), Wandy Rodriguez (Astros) and Francisco Liriano (Twins).

 

In seven Grapefruit League games, Stanton batted .333 with a .407 on-base and a .833 slugging percentage. He had 22 at-bats and drove in eight runs.

 

Recently, Marlins first-base coach Dave Collins said Stanton could post big numbers while learning the league.

 

"Dave Collins about two weeks ago said, 'This guy may hit 20 homers and drive in 70 just figuring it out in the big leagues,'" Gonzalez said. "He may. He's that talented. He has that kind of character.

 

"I'd have loved to see him play a little bit more. But I don't think it would have made as big a difference."

 

Stanton projects to be called up sometime in 2010.

 

 

 

 

Now, there are a couple of factors weighing on when the right fielder makes his debut. The fact remains that he has just 79 games and 299 at-bats at Double-A. And he did struggle there, with a .231 batting average at Jacksonville last year.

 

So the team would like for him to prove he can perform at Double-A. There also is the business side of the game. The economic reality is teams are mindful of rushing young prospects, because once they arrive in the big leagues, their arbitration clock starts.

 

If Stanton is called up around Memorial Day, or June 1, he likely would not qualify as a Super Two and reach arbitration earlier.

 

Another consideration is Stanton's health. He recently missed some time with a hyperextended left elbow. And he also has been treating his left shoulder since camp started. At the Arizona Fall League, he was sent home early with back stiffness.

 

When on the field, however, Stanton's presence is evident.

 

He's a proven home run hitter, combining to belt 28 last year.

 

Gonzalez joked that Stanton may start breaking things in Double-A and get forced out of the league.

 

"Maybe the league president will say, 'Get this guy out of here before he hurts somebody,'" Gonzalez quipped.

 

The Marlins haven't had a position player with this kind of raw potential since Miguel Cabrera was 20 years old in 2003.

 

It's a matter of gaining more Minor League maturity before Stanton makes the big leagues.

 

"He's made big strides," Gonzalez said of where Stanton was a year ago. "This guy has great recognition of the strike zone. For me, he's gotten so much better in the outfield. It's just a matter of him getting some at-bats, getting more game time and getting more experience. For me, he's close to being a Major Leaguer -- real close."

 

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Hey Prin. Have you emailed Admin with your sign-in problem?

 

BTW, ditto on your Stanton comment (been waiting so long to change-out my Miggy pic lolol)

 

 

He actually just e-mailed me, so I am hoping to get my old username back soon. You must have given him a heads up. Thank you!

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Stanton may be the best Marlins hitter right now, I think this is a mistake. I hope the teams hangs in there until he returns. I have no faith in Maybin.

 

 

Better than Hanley? Better than Cantu? Better than Coghlan? I have no doubt that Santon could be the best Marlins hitter some time in the future but right now, no.

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Stanton may be the best Marlins hitter right now, I think this is a mistake. I hope the teams hangs in there until he returns. I have no faith in Maybin.

 

 

Better than Hanley? Better than Cantu? Better than Coghlan? I have no doubt that Santon could be the best Marlins hitter some time in the future but right now, no.

He overvalues anyone that's in the minors. And I mean anyone. Homeboy wanted to call up Stanton when he first got called up to High-A ball. Not AA, but 10 games into High-A.

 

It gets worse. He wanted to call up 30-year-old, AA starter Nic Ungs and Sean West after his first 2 starts in AA. He was calling for Cristhian Martinez to start at the beginning of last season, when he was 27 and pitching the first 12 innings he had ever pitched above Single-A.

 

 

It's silly, it happens.

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Stanton may be the best Marlins hitter right now, I think this is a mistake. I hope the teams hangs in there until he returns. I have no faith in Maybin.

 

 

This made me laugh. Stanton will never be a better hitter than Hanley. Of course I expect Stanton to hit more HR annually and be All-Star calibre, but as a pure hitter, Hanley rules, as shown by the fact he won the batting title last season.

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Stanton was the best and most productive hitter for the Marlins in spring training ... thus the reference to the best hitter on the Marlins right now. If you figure "right now" should mean last year or the year before, okeydoke.

 

No, best hitter right now should be based on actual talent at the time of speaking, not who had the highest BA or OPS in spring training.

 

So are you saying that, right now, Scott Cousins, Gaby Sanchez, Wes Helms, Brian Barden, Wes Helms, Brett Carroll, Mike Lamb, Donnie Murphy, and some others are better hitters than Hanley Ramirez?

 

Are you saying that at the beginning of last season Emilio Bonifacio was the best hitter on the team?

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I am confident that this lineup will be very good:

 

Coghlin

Maybin

Hanley

Cantu

Uggla

Ross

Baker

Sanchez

 

I think that lineup scores as many runs as last year's team, if not more. I also have a feeling Maybin is going to break out.

 

I agree with this completely.

 

Although, I would like to see them go out and get a left handed bat with some pop and not just roll the dice with Mike Lamb. Lamb has not been good since 2007. That's the only thing missing. A power lefty bat for the bench. Unfortunately, this problem was foreseeable since October but the organization did little to fix it. I'm sure they are going to be hammering waivers or look for a minor trade like Gload last year once final rosters become set and some guys don't look like they will make teams.

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I am confident that this lineup will be very good:

 

Coghlin

Maybin

Hanley

Cantu

Uggla

Ross

Baker

Sanchez

 

I think that lineup scores as many runs as last year's team, if not more. I also have a feeling Maybin is going to break out.

 

I agree with this completely.

 

Although, I would like to see them go out and get a left handed bat with some pop and not just roll the dice with Mike Lamb. Lamb has not been good since 2007. That's the only thing missing. A power lefty bat for the bench. Unfortunately, this problem was foreseeable since October but the organization did little to fix it. I'm sure they are going to be hammering waivers or look for a minor trade like Gload last year once final rosters become set and some guys don't look like they will make teams.

 

Are you aware of any lefty bats off the bench that could be a good fit for us? Some that are on the bubble for other teams?

 

I am pretty excited about this lineup. We just need our third and fourth starters to fall in line.

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