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Mike Stanton


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March 3, 2011

By: Rey Machado

MarlinsBaseball.com Writer

 

That’s it. That’s the title. Any other word or phrase you put beside that name will belittle the name and the emphasis. This kid is special. I don’t think there’s any debating that. But exactly how special?

 

Mike Stanton put up 22 Home Runs in the major leagues last season, leading all eligible rookies – in 396 plate appearances. The growing pains were there, and there were times where he seemed overmatched. Streaks were apparent and large slumps existed.

 

But nobody grows forever. No, not even Mike Stanton.

 

No, we haven’t even begun to fathom exactly how special this ballplayer can be. He has the potential to be a franchise player before reaching his prime. Bill James has him hitting 38 Home Runs and driving in 104 runs next season. This is a player who shares a lineup with Hanley Ramirez but isn’t being overshadowed in the least by him. Very rarely does a player on this team early on in their career receive the kind of recognition and optimism Stanton has.

 

Disregard the few flaws in his game. I’m not here to talk about Stanton’s weaknesses and the possibility of them hindering his potential. This isn’t what this is about. This about just thinking for a moment – just thinking about what this kid could potentially become, and what it means to a small-market team like the Marlins.

 

He’s already appeared in a video game commercial. While not a testament to greatness on the field, it is certainly an indication of the relevance some anticipate from him, and sometimes that’s important too. Stanton is the type of player that can sell tickets. While he may not hit .400, he’s going to have tremendous power and, if kept around for long enough and if things go well, the Marlins have a race to 500 Home Runs to look forward to, more than a few outstanding power seasons, and a few league-best Home Run seasons. The Marlins are a team moving into a new ballpark with a new look – from what they wear on the field to how they play on it. They have not made the playoffs since 2003. They need players like Mike Stanton. They need the future.

 

Sometimes a new ballpark doesn’t get the job done. In a city like Miami, allegiances to teams come and go, and winning has a lot to do with how the team is perceived. A cast of strong and talented players makes for an exciting ballclub that can spark interest in the otherwise apathetic masses. Coupled with Hanley Ramirez’s tools, Logan Morrison’s patience and Matt Dominguez’s glove, Mike Stanton’s raw power can round out a group of solid young Marlins that will put on a show for years to come.

 

All eyes on Stanton, though.

 

The 4 players mentioned above are young and mostly affiliated with the Marlins, but Morrison and Dominguez are not franchise faces and Hanley Ramirez’s future with this team is unknown past 2014 when his contract expires. Stanton is going to turn some heads, with or without Hanley Ramirez on the team. Mike Stanton has not yet reached arbitration and is under club control for the foreseeable future. There’s little doubt of him breaking the all-time Home Run record for the Marlins, and you can predict that he’ll set power records all over the new ballpark and the league.

 

Even if Hanley isn’t retained, Stanton’s power alone will bring people to the field. If the Marlins catch lightning in a bottle with this kid, they’ll be getting people to come to the ballpark to watch Stanton hit his 500th Home Run, win a Home Run Derby, and shoot for the moon (literally.)

 

No, it’s not far-fetched to have all of this faith on one person. Scroll up and take a look at his picture on this article. Go on. Do it. And now listen very carefully: Mike Stanton is going to be big. He’s going to be the person whose face is shown after a devastating loss; the guy who will be shown first sprinting joyously to the mound after a World Series win. He will be asked all of the hard questions and he will answer them. Every injury he has will be the end of the world, and our season. He will be sitting with his children on the grass during an All-Star Game for all of the country to see. And he will be wearing a Marlins cap through all of this.

 

Now all that’s left is to wait. We’ll wait until Stanton puts on the new uniform and steps up to the plate on Opening Day 2012. It may not be in his first at-bat, or his second. It may not even be on the first day – but he’ll eventually hit a Home Run. As he trots around the bases and adds runs to the scoreboard, we’ll cheer a bit for what he’s just done – but mostly for what he has just begun

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Nice article OP. If Stanton can get to a sub 30.0% K%, then I can see him hitting 40 HRs this season. He did improve his K% in AA and there's hope he can improve it in the majors while he's still very young. His power is beyond his years He was second only to Joey Votto (min 290 PA) last season in HR/PA% as a rookie, meaning the rate of his homers off fly balls are very high. Seriously, I can see him hitting 40 HRs this season, if he can just lower his K%. As for AVG, it will come as his K% starts to decrease since he's naturally a high BABIP hitter.

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