Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mike Stanton Mashes, But He's Not Ready Yet

Not many 20-year-olds have a presence on the field like Mike Stanton. At 6'5" with a build reminiscent of a young Dave Winfield, Stanton not only strikes fear in the hearts of double-A pitching, but he strikes the baseball with monster force.

In his past two games, Stanton has hit five home runs (five!). Stanton is now hitting .338/.482/.800 with nine home runs and an insane 1.282 OPS. That production, along with his preseason hype, have Marlins fans and fantasy owners wondering when we'll see Stanton in the big leagues. We may have to wait a bit longer.

The numbers look great so far, but the sample size is extremely small. There are some issues to Stanton's game that still need refinement.

Strikeouts have been his biggest road block and Stanton has struck out 18 times in 65 at-bats to start 2010. Stanton's powerful swing generates plenty of damage when he makes contact, but it also generates a bunch of swings and misses. The Marlins need to see an improvement in this aspect of Stanton's game, as they don't want to let him lose against the best pitching in the world only to see him fail. When they call him up, they want it to be for good.

The good thing is that Stanton is working hard on his plate discipline. He has walked 17 times in his 65 at-bats, an improvement that could go a long way in his ultimate development.

Look for the Marlins to move Stanton up to triple-A before long. If he dominates there, then we can start speculating as to when he'll get the call.
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