Years ago fans came out in droves to watch players like Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire launch balls into the seats. When these sluggers hit, everyone stopped and watched. Giancarlo Stanton is becoming this generation’s premium slugger and a player that pitchers dread facing. When he comes to the plate, there is a good chance the ball is going to disappear.
Since entering the league in 2010 as a top-ten prospect, Stanton has always been one of the strongest players. When at the plate, he is not one to be cheated. Even though he has always been in a lineup that had little protection around him, Stanton has been able to hit 20-plus homeruns in each season of his career.
Through his first 550 games he has already homered 134 times. Although he is already entering his fifth full big league season, Stanton will not be 25 until November and has plenty of his prime years of his career ahead of him. Even with these incredibly impressive numbers, he has only had played more than 140 games once. Every year it seems that little injuries tend to derail his season. With a clean bill of health and stronger bats around him, his early career numbers would be even better.
This season Stanton has finally been healthy and he also has the steady bat of Casey McGehee protecting him. These factors have helped him to become a monster. Through his first 60 games, he leads the league not only in homeruns with 17, but also in RBIs and total bases. His outstanding OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) is third in the league at 1.021. His current .314 batting average is also better than ever before. When a pitcher makes a mistake, he makes them pay.
Over the past few years the Marlins have been viewed as a joke. A weak young lineup full of no names have often been something that opposing pitchers have looked forward to facing. But with Stanton having an MVP type season, it is no longer fun to face Miami. When Stanton connects he does not just hit wall scrapers, he hits bombs. When sluggers hit in the late 90’s fans could not look away. Each time Stanton steps in the box, it becomes a must watch at-bat as there is a good chance that something special is about to happen.
Statistics Provided by Baseball Reference