- Aug 18, 2017: How many home runs Giancarlo Stanton ends up with may ultimately come down to how much protection he gets in the Marlins' lineup. Without support, opponents may eventually start pitching around the 27-year-old, who leads the Major Leagues with 44 homers. "If they choose to totally not pitch to him, we have other guys who can do damage," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "That really doesn't concern me, that part of it."
Stanton had his string of six straight games with a home run snapped in Miami's 8-1 win over the Giants at Marlins Park, but he remains the hottest slugger in the game. Since July 5, Stanton has 23 home runs in 36 games.
Mattingly is confident Stanton can keep rolling, as long as Christian Yelich, All-Star Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto, who are hitting behind him, chip in at the plate. "Ozuna has been good," Mattingly said. "Yeli has probably not been as good as he can be, but he's still been good. Realmuto has been good."
Mattingly compared Stanton's hot streak to when Mark McGwire was crushing home runs in the 1990s.
"The thing about Giancarlo is, he's a little bit like Big Mac was when he was rolling along," Mattingly said. "You felt like you can get him out, if you make pitches. He strikes out enough. He swings and misses enough that you think, 'If we can get the ball here or there, we can get this guy.'"Then the danger comes. The danger in that, if you don't get to your spots, he's been making them pay." (J Frisaro - MLB.com - Aug 19, 2017)
|DOB:||11/8/1989||Agent:||Joel Wolfe - Wasserman|
|Birth City:||Panorama, CA|
|Draft:||Marlins #2 - 2007 - Out of high school (CA)|
Stanton's father is Puerto Rican. Michael grew up in the Southern California town of Pacoima, California (Ritchie Valens' hometown). Giancarlo is one-quarter African-American, one-quarter Puerto Rican, and half-Irish. But his parents just liked the Italian name Giancarlo. Now it is his mark of distinction—pronounced zhon-CAR-low.
He and his father, Mike Sr., would sneak onto the baseball field at a neighborhood church for batting practice. As Dad grooved fastballs, Stanton simply aimed for the stars, because the field hand no fence. "I just tried to hit it as far as I could," Mike said. His parents were both postal workers. They were divorced when he was 10 years old.
Stanton was asked when he first knew he wanted to play pro baseball: "When I was 10 or 11. I remember I was on the Cardinals, I was No. 25, I was on first base. I always tried to be Mark McGwire and hit homers like he did. I was kind of following his race, too, when he was trying to break the record.
Giancarlo said that at the end of his sophomore year of high school he was just 5-foot-11. But he was at 6-foot-4 by the time his junior year started.
In 2007, Stanton's senior year at Notre Dame Academy in Sherman Oaks, California, he committed to the University of Southern California.
Giancarlo was a three-sport star at Notre Dame Academy and widely regarded as the school's best such athlete since former big league outfielder Jorge Piedra. Stanton is considerably bigger than Piedra and was recruited by Southern Cal (and then-coach Pete Carroll) as a wide receiver/defensive back, as well as for his power-hitting ability on the baseball field. While UNLV offered Stanton a football scholarship and a chance to walk on to play baseball, USC wanted him on a baseball ride, with a chance to walk on in football. It became a moot point, because Mike got drafted by and signed with the Marlins (see below).
During the winter before 2008 spring training, Baseball America rated Stanton as 9th-best prospect in the Marlins' organization. Then, in the offseason before 2009 spring training, the magazine had Mike up to second best prospect in the Marlins' farm system, behind only OF Cameron Maybin. And in the winter before 2010 spring camps opened, they had Stanton as the #1 prospect in the Marlins' organization.
In 2008, Stanton easily led the South Atlantic League in home runs (39), extra-base hits (68), total bases (286) and slugging percentage (.611).
Mike is an exciting player—worth the price of admission. He runs out ever ball, never letting the score of the game keep him from playing his hardest. He has the presence of a Grady Sizemore, Derek Jeter, or David Wright—intelligent, well-spoken and respectful. During games you will find him at the home plate end of the dugout studying everything, taking notes.
Stanton has a strong work ethic. He is willing to work to improve even in the most humid conditions, even though his excellent talent and ability will already allow him to be a success. He is intelligent, inquisitive and driven. And he never lets the hype go to his head.
In 2010 spring training, NFL coach Bill Parcells gave Stanton the nickname "Big Worm."
Stanton finished second in the SL in home runs—despite playing just 53 Double-A games before the Marlins called him up on June 6. At the time, his 21 homers led the minors. At the end of the season, Baseball America rated Mike as #1 prospect in the Southern League for 2010.
On June 8, 2010, Stanton made his Major League debut, going 3 for 5 with two runs scored. His father was in attendence to watch the Marlins lose to the Phillies 10-8 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
On June 18, 2010, Mike's first MLB home run was a grand slam with a bat he borrowed from teammate Dan Uggla.
In Stanton's rookie season (2010), he matched a Marlins franchise record with five hits in a game. He also became the second Marlin ever to have five hits and four RBIs in the same game. Gary Sheffield did it on September 17, 1995 in Colorado.
The name on Stanton's nameplate in the clubhouse is "Giancarlo" Stanton. Giancarlo is Stanton's birth name, but he has gone by Mike since he was a child. Giancarlo is also on his glove. (April 2011)
His Mom calls him Cruz. Teammates call him Bigfoot. Most baseball fans know him as Mike Stanton. He likes them all, but with spring training cranking up and Stanton touted as a future home-run champion, he said he prefers Giancarlo, which is actually his middle name.
For the first time, that's the way he's identified on the Marlins' roster. His full name is a sonorous mouthful: Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton.
Giancarlo was asked what some of the important lessons he's learned from playing baseball. "Not to think too much, not to jump to conclusions too much. It's a failure game; you fail the majority of the time—more than you are technically successful. Just patience—it's always a thing that you battle with and something you need to learn, but it will come," Stanton said in February 2013.
Alex Kim didn't give it much thought when he parked his car at the D-backs' spring training facility in March 2013. When he returned, though, he found his windshield was busted on the driver's side, thanks to a Giancarlo Stanton batting practice home run, hit during Team USA's final tuneup before the start of the World Baseball Classic.
"I was a little upset," Kim said. "My first reaction was I have to pay for a windshield that I didn't break."
A couple of Kim's co-workers suggested he talk to the good folks from Safelite, an auto glass company that happens to sponsor the D-backs. Kim called, and the company volunteered to replace the windshield for no cost.
The story doesn't end there. Following a rigorous weight-lifting session in the home clubhouse, Stanton graciously agreed to meet with Kim and sign the windshield.
"It was pretty tough, trying to get up underneath," Stanton said of trying to get the right angle. "But it was fun."
Kim's ordeal concluded with the Safelite staff replacing the windshield right there, on site. Only one question remained: what was he planning to do with his somewhat bulky keepsake?
"I guess make a coffee table out of it," Kim said. "It's a great talking piece. I'm going to tweet it, Facebook it. This is defintely a moment I'll never forget."
In July 2013, Stanton was one of 21 athletes who posed nude and answered questions about his body and exercise habits for ESPN the Magazine. Stanton and Mets pitcher Matt Harvey were the only MLB players featured.
"It was fun," Stanton said. "It was about eight hours straight. You can't eat much. Then you'd get a little bloated."
Stanton's photos included shots of the slugger being splashed with water, painted gold from head to toe, holding a bat above his head, and carrying a large globe in a pose inspired by character Atlas of Greek mythology.
Stanton is of Irish, African-American, and Puerto Rican descent.
When you're a buff 6-foot-6, 250-pounder and belt a baseball as far as anyone on the planet, people take notice. Giancarlo clearly stands out. Not just because of his massive stature and his threat at the plate, but because he is looked upon to be an example.
The word "leader" to Stanton is empty if it is not backed by action. Stanton has been tabbed as one of the leaders in Miami's clubhouse. "A leader isn't self proclaimed," Stanton said. "I shouldn't be answering if I'm a leader. You're a leader because of the person you are and how you carry yourself. Not by your performance or all that. You may be looked up to because of your performance, but you're not a leader just by that. There are other things that go into it." What Stanton has been doing is speaking up when he has to. He isn't normally a big vocal guy, but the right fielder is telling teammates what he feels needs to be said.
"I'm more vocal, for sure, about things," Stanton said. "I'm not vocal about myself, I'm vocal about what we do. I like helping from what knowledge I have. You help out. You've got to be more vocal. If you see someone's swing [is off], don't step on toes, but say, 'Hey, I did that too.' Or you help with ground balls in the outfield, or if someone is not doing what they're supposed to, take care of it." (Frisaro - mlb.com - 3/06/14)
Walk-Up Music: Stanton walks up to “Lord Knows” by Drake, as the rapper seemingly is warning pitchers, “It’s your worst nightmare . . . ”
In 2014, LeBron James' exit from the Miami Heat to the Cleveland Cavaliers has removed arguably the biggest name in sports from South Florida.
"That's huge," Stanton said. "Obviously, it's the biggest thing in sports, for a while. It takes a lot of guts to do that. I know he wanted to go home. It means a lot more to do that, and win in a place you grew up, rather than just one of the teams you ended up on."
The Marlins feel they are an up-and-coming team, and Stanton is the squad's biggest star, and now perhaps the most imposing athlete in South Florida. But before Stanton feels he is the face of sports in South Florida, he points out that the Marlins have to do their part.
"We've got to start winning," he said. "Let's see it. We've got to be something now. I don't know what the future is for the Heat in terms of that." Stanton never met James, but he attended a number of Heat games and enjoyed watching one of the all-time greats. "I never really got to see [Michael] Jordan in his prime," Stanton said. "It was something I wanted to make sure I went and watched LeBron every time I could. I can now look back at it and say, 'I saw the best player in the world multiple times.'"
Being among the stars is something Stanton can certainly get used to. The Marlins' slugger, who wowed with his 510-foot blast in the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby, enjoyed the All-Star festivities at Target Field in Minneapolis.
"That's what we strive for," Stanton said. "You want to be there every year."
To be a perennial star, Stanton says he must maintain his strong preparation and his understanding about what it takes to play at such a high level.
"No one was given that opportunity to be there," Stanton said. "Everyone earned it with their play and with their years prior. For me, his towering upper-deck blast in the first round of the Derby. More people have talked about that shot more than the fact Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes won the event.
"It seems like I almost won the thing, with everyone talking about that," Stanton said. "It was cool with the crowd. Everyone kind of paused and stood up. It started getting loud after I hit that. That's when I really got into it. I was like a kid again, having fun in the backyard." (Joe Frisaro MLB.com, 7/18/2014)
August 27, 2014: Speculation is coming at a rapid rate, but there is one constant about Giancarlo Stanton's stance when it comes to questions about his future. The Marlins slugger is dealing in the here and now. Anything else must wait.
Giancarlo wasn't leaning one way or the other about if he is interested in a multi-year deal with the Marlins. He was very consistent on this point, making it clear before 2014 Spring Training that he was taking a wait-and-see approach.
More speculation surfaced when Stanton was quoted in a story by Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports as saying: "Five months doesn't change five years."
That comment was taken as Stanton wants out of Miami. So Stanton clarified what he meant to Marlins beat reporters. He said he was summing up his mindset from when he was first called up in 2010 to now. There have been tough times, including three straight last-place finishes, plus a 100-loss season in 2013. Stanton says that doesn't mean he is unhappy in Miami or that he doesn't believe the organization can't become an attractive place to play. "That does not mean there's more bad to come," Stanton said. "That does not mean there's more good to come."
Stanton is being careful with his words because he doesn't want to come across as saying he wants to stay long term or leave. That topic is for another day.
The Marlins are expected to present Stanton's agent, Joel Wolfe, with a multi-year offer. If no extension is finalized, Stanton will be arbitration-eligible through 2016. The Marlins have no interest in trading the NL MVP candidate, even if a multi-year contract isn't reached.
"We're here," Stanton said. "Were in a good spot. This is where we are now. There is no, 'Am I staying forever, am I leaving forever?' There is no answer to that." (Joe Frisaro - MLB.com - 8/27/2014)
With the severity of the injuries sustained from taking an 88-mphMike Fiers fastball on the left side of his face, Stanton understands his situation could have been much worse. Giancarlo did suffer a fracture to his orbital bone, but it didn't impair his vision.
"You hear about people losing their eye, or you lose vision," he said. "My jaw can be broken. I can lose as many teeth. As long as I'm able to see, that's the big career thing."
"I've wondered about my next at bat," Stanton said. "I think I'm in a great mental state for what has gone on. But to be able to be back into the box, and in competition, I'm not quite sure. I think when we decide the protection that will be on, I'll have more reassurance wearing that. I don't know."
For days after the incident, Stanton and Fiers exchanged some text messages. "He said, obviously, it wasn't on purpose," Stanton said. "He said how sorry he was. It's been tough to sleep the first few nights and stuff. It was a good message."
The Marlins have kept Stanton in their thoughts throughout, and have hung his No. 27 jersey in their dugout. "That was awesome, too. That was really cool," Stanton said. "I've seen it done before, but you never think your jersey would be there. The support from the team has been unbelievable."
Jason Heyward, who wears a protective guard on his helmet after being hit in the face by a pitch, also reached out to the Marlins star. Heyward gave Stanton advice on what kinds of foods he could be eating, as well as some words of encouragement. (Frisaro - mlb.com - 9/18/14)
September 2014: Stanton received the Marlins' MVP award for the third time in his career. The All-Star hit 37 homers, which tied a career high set in 2012, and knocked in a career-high 105 RBIs before being struck in the face by a pitch on Sept. 11. He also drew 94 walks, stole 13 bases and scored 89 runs.
October 25, 2014: Stanton was named the 2014 winner of the Hank Aaron Award, given annually to the most outstanding offensive performer in each league.
Nov. 4, 2014: Giancarlo was the 2014 NL Outstanding Player of the Year award-winner, as voted on via the Players Choice Awards.
January 2015: Stanton was chosen to be a judge for the "Miss Universe" contest.
Giancarlo was on the field at Marlins Park in a different capacity on February 16, 2015. The two-time All-Star was a guest coach during a fast-pitch RBI softball game for girls 18 and under.
Stanton and Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos each assisted for the seven-inning game, won, 8-7, by Team Ramos. The event helped launch Miami's Ayudan Caravan Week, which concludes with the annual Winter Warm-Up at Marlins Park. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has made connecting with youth a high priority.
"These days, it's video games and on your phone all day," Stanton said. "You've got to be outside, playing baseball, and sports in general. But we want to influence baseball into the younger generation."
Watching the players in the RBI game reminded Stanton not to forgot his upbringing. "Obviously, we can't be here every time," he said. "But it is a good place to start and to show we have not forgotten. We're not just playing in the big leagues and then forget how we got here, or the steps that it took, which included youth baseball." (Frisaro - mlb.com - 2/16/15)
February 2015: Stanton became the first ever body-painted athlete to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. It was a 12-hour process to complete the body painting before the photo session.
Stanton's not overly impressed either. He shops at Walmart, partly for the people-watching but mostly because, as he asks, "Where else can you get all your supplies in one place?"
Giancarlo rarely shows emotion, an it has become a contest for teammates to detect it when he does. Every once in awhile, they claim, when he hit one that lands in a faraway place—like a camera well, high above the wall in dead center—he'll betray the thick bark of his professionalism with a slight smile.
Stanton was selected to start in the 2015 All-Star Game.
2015: If Giancarlo Stanton is to be the face of the Miami Marlins, fans will have to look behind the customized mask he's been approved to wear, after a cringe-inducing beanball ended the season of Major League Baseball's highest paid player in 2014. The black, carbon-fiber face protector features a "G" that covers the left side of Stanton's face.
June 6, 2015: Remember all those eyebrows that were raised when the Marlins announced during the offseason that Stanton was signed to a 13-year, $325 million deal? Well he is only 25, and he already is the Marlins' all-time home runs leader.
The real debate is whether Stanton sold himself short, although he could opt out after 2020 and he would have made $107 million for six years with a chance to step out and test the free-agent market at the age of 30. Hey, at 25 he is creating quite a legacy. His 172 home runs are a Marlins franchise record. (T Ringolsby - MLB.com - June 6, 2015)
After a physically and mentally draining season, Stanton is doing what he normally does after eight months of baseball: He's getting away for a few weeks. Far away. Stanton, Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos, and Angels righthander Ricky Nolasco, a former Marlin, are vacationing in Brazil, where they posted on social media pictures of a mural they had painted in honor of Jose Fernandez. From Brazil, the trio plans to travel to other parts of the world, including Europe.
After the Marlins wrapped up their 79-82 season at Washington on Oct. 2, Stanton talked briefly about what he intended to do during his October vacation.
"Not say a word about baseball," Stanton said. "Not say a word about any physical activities for a little bit."
From the baseball side, he got back into a playing routine. But from a personal side, he was glad to be with his teammates, especially after the tragedy that claimed the lives of Fernandez and his two friends.
"If I wasn't out there [playing] during that time, and I could have been, I would have never forgiven myself," Stanton said. "I'm just glad I didn't let it go as if the season was over."
Overall, Stanton summed up his season in one word: "Brutal." But he was encouraged with how he felt physically and what he was working on at the plate during the final few weeks. "I like what came out of it," he said. "I like how I'm feeling." (J Frisaro - MLB.com - Oct 18, 2016)
January 25, 2017: Stanton committed to play for team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
January 28, 2017: One of the most feared sluggers in baseball says he's down to help Tim Tebow live his major league dreams ... with Giancarlo Stanton telling TMZ Sports he'd give TT the tutelage he needs to make it.
Tebow wasn't invited to the Mets spring training camp ... a major blow to his chances of suiting up for the big league squad anytime soon. Giancarlo says Tebow probably has a lot more work to do before he's ready to really succeed in the sport ... and he's totally down to help Timmy do some of that work. (TMZ Sports)
2017: Stanton will represent the USA in the World Baseball Classic.
March 24, 2017: Riding the adrenaline of winning the World Baseball Classic title, Giancarlo Stanton returned to Marlins camp ready for the next step -- the regular season. Stanton said the World Baseball Classic experience was the most fun they've ever had on a baseball field.
"Absolutely. Absolutely," Stanton said. "Besides being in Little League and wearing my jersey all day for a doubleheader. Yeah, for sure.
"Just the atmosphere," Stanton said. "Being around so many future Hall of Famers, All-Stars, MVPs. Seeing their work for two weeks, and just the atmosphere that all the countries brought. Everyone came and represented their country and represented their talent to show on the field in whichever way they thought was fit. I loved it." (J Frisaro - MLB.com - March 24, 2017)
We caught up with the Marlins slugger to find out just what he eats to fuel all of those home runs.
MLB.com: How do you monitor your diet?
Stanton: I don't count calories. I just try to see how hungry I am, see when was the last time I ate, because sometimes you get busy and you forget to eat or forget to catch up here and there. It depends on the day, on how much work I've done that day, if it's cold or hot or whatever. Vegetables and vitamins are the most important things to me, because it's easy to catch up on protein by drinking a shake.
MLB.com: What do you eat pre-workout?
Stanton: I don't lift early in the morning because I like to sleep, and I'm not too hungry in the morning, so I'll just do a nutritional shake or some protein when I wake up for breakfast. Something to make sure I have enough energy to get me through my workout, and then I'll have the meal post-workout. My favorite healthy meal would be salmon or grilled chicken and broccoli. I like broccoli and spinach, and that's about it for the green vegetables.
MLB.com: What do you eat pregame?
Stanton: I don't like to play feeling heavy or bloated, so if I'm hungry, I'll snack on fruit or granola. Usually I like fruit, because it feels like I didn't eat anything but I'm still full. But granola, that would be my go-to snack, with a bunch of cinnamon on it and raisins. It used to be Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Puffs, but that was before. Those were the days.
MLB.com: Has your diet changed over the years?
Stanton: I don't like to eat beef too often, unless it's grass-fed. And I don't eat beans.
MLB.com: What are your favorite cheat foods?
Stanton: On an off-day I'll eat whatever I want. My favorite cheat meals are Oreo shakes, Cinnabons and Kit Kats. Usually chocolate. And when I go home, my mom makes my old-school favorites. She always says, "Come over, I'll cook for you," and I say, "Don't cook, I'm in training!" She makes ranchera, which is a way of making beef with spices and salsa, and she makes my favorite potatoes. That's bad. I don't eat a lot of white potatoes. For carbohydrates, I'll eat sweet potatoes, rice or fruit. (Lindsay Berra - MLB.com.- April 12, 2017)
Like a giant that accidentally destroys entire cities with a single step, Giancarlo crushes baseballs at speeds and distances that should be impossible. His forearms are like tiny galaxies and his biceps are like mountain ranges. Frankly, Stanton is too strong for our world. He broke the Dodgers' fence!
He displayed that yet again as the Marlins played the Dodgers in May 2017. Though the ball evaded Stanton's reach when Joc Pederson blasted a home run in the fourth inning, the leap proved too much for the structural integrity of the fence. That should be covered in ballpark owner's insurance under "act of human giant." (Clair - mlb.com - 5/21/17)
It was the 7th anniversary of when, with great anticipation, Giancarlo burst on the big league scene with the reputation of launching awe-inspiring home runs in the Minors. The entire time, the three-time All-Star right fielder has been a force in the middle of the Marlins' order.
Known for crushing some of the longest home runs in the game, there's a bit of irony in Stanton's first game, because his first hit was a slow chopper up the middle that second baseman Chase Utley made a barehanded stab at.
"Probably the hardest hit of my career," Stanton quipped. "The 105-hopper up the middle."
Actually, it was more of a chopper over pitcher Kyle Hendricks' head and Utley charged, but couldn't come up cleanly with the ball, and Stanton had his first hit. Stanton made the leap from Double-A Jacksonville to the big leagues, and debuted on the same day as Washington's Stephen Strasburg. Both were highly touted on that day.
"It seems like it's been forever," Stanton said, "and it's flown by at the same time."
Stanton has since become the Marlins' all-time leader in home runs (223) and RBIs (579). Health has been the big issue for Stanton, who has been impactful, but has missed substantial time due to injuries.
In his debut he went 3-for-5 with all singles, but he didn't think the big leagues would be easy. "I knew I had [Roy] Halladay the next day, so I knew it was going to be a challenge," Stanton said. (In his second game, Stanton went hitless in four at-bats, with two strikeouts.) (Frisaro - mlb.com - 6/8/17)
June 2007: The Marlins drafted Stanton in the second round, out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. He signed with scout Tim McDonnell for a bonus of $475,000.
January 17, 2014: Stanton and the Marlins avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $6.5 million contract for 2014.
November 17, 2014: Giancarlo and the Marlins agreed to a mega-deal that will pay the slugger $325 million over 13 years.
The contract is very back-loaded. Stanton has an opt-out after six years. For the first six years, the Marlins have totaled $107 million, an average of "only" $17.8 million per season. The final seven seasons, he gets paid $218 million, or about $31 million per season. For Stanton, if the Marlins are not a top-notch team, he can bail/opt out on that money and sign with a better team.
The contract tops the $292 million, 10-year deal Miguel Cabrera agreed to with thet Tigers in March. Alex Rodriguez signed the largest previous deal, a $275 million, 10-year contract with the Yankees before the 2008 season.
The last time the historically thrifty Marlins spent big was before a poor 2012 season, the first in their new ballpark. Their 2014 payroll of $52.3 million was the lowest in the Majors.
On the way to the Big Deal: Stanton and his agent, Joel Wolfe, met with the Marlins' brass in Bungalow 10A of the Beverly Hills Hotel on November 6, 2014 in Stanton's native L.A.
Early in the meeting, club president David Samson—who was representing the team, along with Loria, Redmond, president of baseball operations Mike Hill and GM Dan Jennings—slid a piece of paper over to Stanton printed with the outline of contractual terms that were unprecedented in both length and value.
"I think they were thinking I was going to be like, 'Oh, well, sign me up!'" Stanton says. He wasn't.
"I put the paper down, and I was like, 'I'll tell you right now that numbers don't mean anything,'" he recalls. "If you think you're just going to pay me a bunch of money, and I'm going to go live my lavish lifestyle, come to the park and get my ass kicked every day, and go back to my lavish lifestyle, you got another thing coming.' I said that straight to their faces. I was angered."
Just a couple of weeks before he was hit by Mike Fiers' pitch, Stanton was asked if the Marlins' modest success in 2014 (they had climbed to .500, just 3 games out of a wild card spot) had done anything to erase the losing and the perceived broken promises he had so far experienced in Maimi.
"Five months," Stanton said ominously, "doesn't change five years."
Stanton is a five-tool player. He provides very solid power to all fields that comes from a big righthanded stroke. Scouts rate his power an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. Mike has very good bat speed and superb leverage in that loose swing. He hits some long, towering home runs. On CLASS="highlight">August 6, 2016, Giacarlo hit the longest ball hit during the 2017 season, an amazing 507 feet.
Scouts think of Pat Burrell or even Dave Winfield when they watch Mike swing. He has tremendous athleticism. CLASS="highlight">And the mechanics of his stroke are excellent—he is in sequence so well that he can create that excellent bat speed and torque and leverage for very impressive power.
Mike doesn't have to cheat to hit for power, instead staying back and trusting his hands. He'll always strike out frequently because his long arms and power-oriented swing creates holes, but he makes adjustments well. (J.J. Cooper-10/07/09)
Mike has improved his pitch recognition. He still chases a few pitches out of the zone and strikes out a lot. But he is maturing as a hitter.
Scouts differ as to why Stanton has a high strikeout rate—some say he swings over or under pitches, while others say he's prone to chasing breaking balls out of the zone—but generally agree that there aren't any major issues with his swing.
He has the ability to stay back on breaking pitches and take them the other way with authority. His flat swing keeps the barrel in the hitting zone for a long time. CLASS="highlight">And Mike has learned to study pitchers' plans of attack.
During the early days of the CLASS="highlight">Arizona Fall League after the 2009 season, Marlins minor league hitting coordinator John Mallee worked with Stanton.
"Mike has a tendency to stride too far and have too much movement," Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Jim Fleming said. "We wanted to soften the stride and shorten the stride, and that's where it was in Jupiter. That's exactly where he got to. His pitch recognition was up and his ability to cover the strike zone went up. Some of the sliders and breaking balls away he wasn't getting to in Double- CLASS="highlight">A, he was getting to there."
Stanton breaks a whole lot of bats.
F CLASS="highlight">AST ST CLASS="highlight">ART TO C CLASS="highlight">AREER
In 2011, as a 21 year old, Mike hit 34 homers. Just six other players in history have had as many jacks in a season at that age or younger. Five of them are Hall of Famers.
Stanton's 56 homers before his 22nd birthday tied CLASS="highlight">Alex Rodriguez and trailed only Ken Griffey Jr. CLASS="highlight">
In 2012, Stanton was second in the NL in home runs (with 37) while playing in 31 less games than Ryan Braun, who had 41 jacks. But Giancarlo did lead the league in slugging percentage (.608). Mike Redmond compared Stanton's force with that of Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire.
- Giancarlo was playing in only his 400th Major League game on June 17, 2013, Stanton hit his 99th and 100th career homers, lifting the 23-year-old into some rare air.
Stanton joined Bob Horner and Eddie Mathews as the only players in MLB history to make their big league debuts before their 21st birthdays and then hit at least 100 homers in their first 400 games. CLASS="highlight">Age distinction aside, the outfielder became the ninth player and the first in franchise history to accomplish the feat. Ryan Howard and Ryan Braun are the only other active players to have done it.
CLASS="highlight">August 25, 2014: CLASS="highlight">Angel Stadium of CLASS="highlight">Anaheim became the 21st different ballpark in which Stanton has homered. The blast was career No. 150 for the Miami slugger. Stanton became the 10th youngest player to reach the milestone, pushing Frank Robinson down the list to 11.Stanton connected at 24 years, 290 days old. Robinson, a Hall of Famer, did it at 24 years, 326 days old. CLASS="highlight">According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two active players were younger than Stanton to reach the 150-homer mark— CLASS="highlight">Albert Pujols (24, 212 days) and CLASS="highlight">Alex Rodriguez (24, 255).
LONG HOME RUNS
Stanton generates his frightening power with a 6-foot-6, 240 pound frame that may well have made him a Jimmy Graham-type tight end in the NFL if he had stayed that course.
The lighter the bat, the farther the home runs for Stanton. To increase bat speed, Stanton uses a 34-inch, 32-ounce bat. Occasionally, the Miami slugger will drop weight to even 31 ounces, depending on the feel.
"I'd rather have a quicker bat," Stanton said. "The heavier it is, the harder it will be to get to [the pitch]."
In 2012, when Stanton pretty much stayed with the same bat size. "People always say, 'I thought you swung a 36 or something,'" Stanton said. Bat speed often separates power hitters.
CLASS="highlight">At Citizens Bank Park, Stanton launched a drive that landed on the concourse, just in front of the Planet Hoagie food stand on September 19, 2013. CLASS="highlight">According to ESPN's Hit Tracker site, Stanton's blast was estimated at 463 feet. The Marlins slugger is a bit miffed by that estimate, because it is 23 feet shy of a similar drive by CLASS="highlight">Atlanta'sEvan Gattis at Philadelphia on Sept. 8, 2013. Gattis's shot was more to dead center, while Stanton's was shaded toward left-center. Hit Tracker had Gattis's homer at 486 feet.
Stanton joked about having a recount on the two homers, because both were on the concourse, and the bleachers actually extended deeper to where his home run landed. Now, they also take into account wind, which was factored into Gattis's homer. (Frisaro - mlb.com - 9/19/13)
2013: Stanton hit a 484-foot home run onto the Budweiser Balcony at Marlins Park. It is the longest home run at Marlins Park.
Stanton is considered by most as the most powerful hitter in the MLB. In 2014 he had a ball clocked at coming off his bat at 120 MPH.
CLASS="highlight">August 11, 2014: Stanton's intergalactic shots from the bat that make this guy the constant talk of the game. When his blast against the Cardinals' Shelby Miller landed in the far reaches of the Budweiser Balcony in left field, it was his second home run of the evening, and it also was his franchise-record 13th multi-home run game. CLASS="highlight">Actually, it was more significant than that, because it was his seventh home run of the year of more than 450 feet.
Stanton's latest blast was estimated at 470 feet. In CLASS="highlight">April, he sent another pitch toward that same area that went at least 14 feet farther away from home plate than this one. It's enough to make you wonder about a bunch of things involving his ability to become the closest thing to a 6-foot-6, 240-pound Godzilla whenever he steps into a batter's box. For instance: Is Stanton ever shocked by his own power after brutalizing a pitch?
"The only thing I do is just go by the reaction of people around me after I hit [a monster blast] as to knowing how it was, because when it comes to me, I really don't know," Stanton said. "I'm not looking at it that way. So when you hear teammates or other players from other teams or ex-players talk about a particular home run that you've hit, that's when you realize it's something special."
He always has crushed pitches, spanning from his prep days in Los CLASS="highlight">Angeles through his time in the Minor Leagues that included one of his home runs soaring over a scoreboard in deep center field in Montgomery, CLASS="highlight">Alabama, for an estimated 500-plus feet.
May 12, 2015: Stanton blasted a 467-foot home run out of Dodger Stadium, becoming only the fourth player to ever do so. The shot marked the sixth-longest homer in the Miami Marlins slugger's career.
CLASS="highlight">August 6, 2016: Stanton hit a home run projected at 504 feet. Per Statcast,™ it was the longest home run hit in Coors Field history, bypassing Mike Piazza's 496-foot shot launched back in 1997.
CLASS="highlight">April 24, 2016: Stanton hit a homer completely out of CLASS="highlight">AT&T Park during batting practice. CLASS="highlight">
May 6, 2016: Meet the new Statcast™ home run king, who happens to be the same as the old king. Stanton once again stands alone when it comes to pure home run distance.Statcast™ projected Stanton's laser at 475 feet off Phillies righthander Hector Neris with an exit velocity of 113 mph.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "I think the scary thing is Giancarlo's still improving at becoming a hitter at the Major League level. He's gotten so much better from 2013 to 2014, in terms of pitch recognition and hitting pitches in the strike zone and his approach and all that stuff. "He's still a young guy," Redmond said. "He's still a young Major League hitter. CLASS="highlight">And that's scary to think about and what he's been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. There's still room to get better. When he continues to swing at strikes and gets pitches and gets into favorable counts ... wow, watch out. CLASS="highlight">As much damage as he's doing now, he could do even more damage." (Frisaro - mlb.com - 5/27/14)
September 2, 2014: Stanton reached the 100-RBI mark for the first time in his career.
September 5, 2014: Though expectations were high for Giancarlo Stanton coming into the season, nobody was quite ready for the slugger's 2014 campaign.
With a player so hot, it's only natural that Stanton set off the Marlins Park fire alarms when he stepped to the plate on game night.
CLASS="highlight">And how did Stanton's plate appearance end? With a double ... to go along with a single from earlier in the night.
But fire alarms alone aren't enough to alert people to Stanton's at-bats. What we really need are five minute national holidays where people are legally required to stop working every time he comes to the plate. You know, for safety reasons. (Michael Clair - September 5, 2014)
September 8, 2014: Stanton's home run tied him with Dan Uggla for the most in Marlins' franchise history.
The 2014 Season: Missing the final 17 games of the season did not cost Giancarlo a chance to become the first player in Marlins' history to win the NL Home Run crown.
June 5, 2015: Stanton had the skeptics abuzz, months after coming back from a horrible beaning in the face late in 2014. It wasn't until the 10th game of the 2015 season that the defending NL home run champion finally went deep.
His name was being thrown in there with the likes of Tony Conigliaro and Dickie Thon, highly touted young players whose careers were detoured after they were hit in the face with a pitch.
The skeptics didn't know Stanton very well. He's not just big and physically strong. He has that football mentality. When he opted to sign with the Marlins as a second-round pick out of high school, he was weighing an offer to play football at UCL CLASS="highlight">A.
Stanton finally connected off the Mets' on CLASS="highlight">April 16 for his first home run of 2015. CLASS="highlight">And he has become comfortable enough at the plate that he has quit using a special faceguard against left-handed pitchers and right-handers who drop down.
His weakness: Giancarlo has trouble with fastballs that are 95+ mph. He also is weak vs. pitches up and in, and his biggest weakness: breaking balls on the outer edge and off the outside corner.
2016 Spring Training: Giancarlo is open to experimenting with various bat handles. CLASS="highlight">At the Marlins first full-squad workout,, Stanton used an CLASS="highlight">Axe bat from Victus, which features the handle designed in the shape of a regular ax.
March 16, 2016: Barry Bonds, the new hitting coach for the Marlins, outslugged Stanton in a hitting contest during spring training. In Jupiter, Fla., Stanton and Bonds showed off their home run prowess. What began as an exercise in hitting breaking balls evolved into Stanton and the home run king teeing off for homers on the back fields at the Roger Dean Stadium.
How did Stanton rank in stats after the first season using Statcast™ (2015)?
Stanton had the three hardest tracked batted balls in baseball last year, and eight of the top 10. He had the highest average exit velocity, with his 99.1 mph leading second-place Miguel Cabrera by four mph. Looking at the percentage of Stanton's balls in play that were hit at 100 mph or more, his 43.8 mark easily outranked Nelson Cruz's 38.8.
Stanton topped 110 mph 45 times—and the Phillies, Braves, Reds and Giants combined did so only 44 times.
But there's an important caveat to remember here: Stanton's hand injury ended his year on June 26, in the Marlins' 75th game of the season. Stanton stopped putting up numbers weeks before the season's midpoint, and he still ended up crushing more balls over 110 mph than entire other rosters did in a full season. (The Braves had 6,034 plate appearances, nearly 20 times as many as Stanton did.)
With that in mind, we're left to wonder what Stanton might be able to accomplish if he were able to stay healthy for a full season. (Mike Petriello - MLB.com - March 28, 2016)
- CLASS="highlight">April 11, 2016: Stanton hit a run-scoring single that was tracked by Statcast™ at a blazing 120.1 mph, making it the highest exit velocity reading of the young season.
"That was one of the hardest balls I've ever seen hit," said Marlins third-base coach Lenny Harris, who played 18 years in the big leagues. "I didn't even move, and as soon as I looked up, it was in left field already. It was really [a] pistol."
The blistered grounder also ranks second of any baseball Statcast™ has tracked over the past two seasons. Not surprisingly, Stanton also holds the all-time mark of 120.3 mph, which came on a single off Mike Bolsinger of the Dodgers on May 12, 2015.
- July 6, 2016: Stanton blistered two home runs giving him a stretch of four at-bats in a row with a blast to equal an all-time record, and he reached 200 career homers in the process.
CLASS="highlight">According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Stanton became the 40th player to hit four home runs in four straight at-bats. (Joe Frisaro - MLB.com)
July 11, 2016: Stanton won the MLB CLASS="highlight">All-Star Home Run Derby. He defeated Todd Frazier in the final round (20 home runs to 13).
Stanton’s average exit velocity in 2016 was 95.1 mph, according to Statcast, harder than almost everybody. He hit balls even harder (98.6 mph) in 2015.
CLASS="highlight">April 19, 2017: Stanton's hit his fourth home run of the season, and it put him in rare statistical territory. Stanton was tied with Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies for the most homers in the Statcast™ era with distance of at least 440 feet (18). Thirty-one percent of Stanton's homers in that time have gone 440 feet or more, which is the highest in the Major Leagues in that span with a minimum of 10 homers hit.
CLASS="highlight">Also, Stanton plays his home games in pitcher-friendly Marlins Park, while Gonzalez plays his home games in the high altitude of Coors Field. (Doug Miller- MLB.com.)
June 1, 2017: It wasn't a vintage Giancarlo Stanton smash. By the slugger's standards, it was a modestly driven ball over the right-field wall. Yet Stanton's home run off Patrick Corbin in the fifth inning of the Marlins' 7-5 win over the D-backs at Marlins Park had franchise significance because it established the 27-year-old slugger as the franchise's all-time RBI leader.
CLASS="highlight">After circling the bases, Stanton had his 579th career RBI, passing Mike Lowell (578) for most in club history."
July 2017: Stanton participated in the MLB CLASS="highlight">All-Star Home Run Derby.
CLASS="highlight">August 4, 2017: Stanton crushed a 78-mph knuckleball from right-hander R. CLASS="highlight">A. CL CLASS="highlight">ASS="highlight"> Dickey a projected 477 feet, making it the farthest-hit ball at SunTrust Park.
CLASS="highlight">A Marlins record that stood for 21 seasons has now been matched. CLASS="highlight"> Giancarlo connected on an opposite-field home run off right-hander German Marquez in the third inning in the Marlins' 5-3 win over the Rockies for his 42nd of the 2017 season, matching Gary Sheffield's total in 1996.
The homer also marked the 250th of Stanton's career, making him the sixth-fastest player (in terms of games played - 941) to reach that benchmark since 1913. CLASS="highlight"> (Frisaro - mlb.com - 8/13/17)
- CLASS="highlight">August 14, 2017: Stanton crushes 43rd HR, setting a new Marlins franchise single-season record.
/>With the franchise record now under his belt, Giancarlo is taking aim at another MLB mark -- most consecutive games with a home run -- as the slugger homered for the sixth straight game in Miami's 9-4 loss to the Giants at Marlins Park.
/>The Major League record for the most consecutive games in which a home run has been hit by a player is eight (held by Ken Griffey Jr., Dale Long and current Marlins manager Don Mattingly).
/>"These kinds of streaks are fun," Mattingly said. "His has been prolonged. Mine was a little 'eight-dayer'. It's just one of those things, you're feeling good up there. I'd like to see him beat it, really, because that means the first two games in New York he homers, and he homers tomorrow. ... CLASS="highlight"> We're trying to win games, and the last thing I'm going to do is root against him hitting homers. CLASS="highlight"> I'm all for it. CLASS="highlight">" (Frisaro - mlb.com - 8/15/17)
- CLASS="highlight">As of the start of the 2017 season, Stanton's career Major League stats were: .266 batting average, 208 home runs and 792 hits, with 540 RBI in 2,980 at-bats.
- Mike can play any outfield position, with an above average arm that could be suited to right field. He also covers a pretty good amount of ground in center. But he is best used at one of the corner outfield spots.
- Stanton has real good athleticism. His range is slightly above average.
- In 2012, Stanton played a spectacular right field all season, posting a .974 fielding percentage. Showcasing his arm, he added six assists.
His assists totals could have been more, but Stanton was hampered by injuries, limiting him to 123 games, with 117 in right field. And he was named the Marlins' recipient of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award for 2012.
Stanton was blessed with a strong throwing arm, but he's made himself a more proficient outfielder through long hours in the offseason with Marlins instructor Tarrik Brock. They have a level of comfort and familiarity that allows them to have a frank exchange of information, good or bad.
"It's always good to be close to someone like that," Stanton said. "You don't get offended if they say, 'Hey, you suck at this.' I like being straight up. Don't tell me it 'was an OK job' when it was terrible. Tell me exactly how it is and I won't get offended, because it's the truth."
On August 12, 2014, Giancarlo made one of the most ridiculous catches of the season. After he ran forever in right field at Marlins Park, he dived toward the wall, stretched his glove so far while flying through the air that you thought his left arm might fall off and snagged the ball as he slid across the warning track.
Ho-hum. What else is new? Stanton is turning the impossible into the routine on the baseball diamond. Then again, such things happen when you're pretty good. His glove is impressive, and so is his arm. He also can hit a little. (8/12/14)
July 16, 2017: Playing good defense often comes down to effort and the willingness to make sacrifices, whether on a dive, running into a wall or falling into the stands. During a game against the Dodgers, Giancarlo sacrificed his glove in his defensive efforts.
Leading off the top of the 4th inning, Chris Taylor hit a fly ball out to the right-field wall that Stanton had to leap to try to catch. The ball bounced off the wall, but Stanton's glove went over it. (Chesterton & Pinak - mlb.com)
- Mike has very good speed. He can be a formidable baserunner.
- Midway through the 2011 season, Marlins manager Jack McKeon said he was impressed by Stanton's first step and feels he can be a formidable baserunner.
"I gave him the steal one night a while back, and he stood there standing up," McKeon said. "I was like, 'Get in position to steal.' All of a sudden, 'Boom!' He steals it easy. This guy has such explosive speed. His first step, you can't believe.
"The way he can burst that initial first step ... he also was a wide receiver. He's quick out of the chute."
- 2009: Early in the season, shoulder tendinitis affected Mike's throwing, but he worked through it and it soon went away.
- October 23, 2009: Stanton was shut down with a sore back in a precautionary measure. He was hitting .478 in 23 at-bats.
February 27, 2011: Mike strained his right quad in his second at-bat of spring training. He had homered his first trip to the plate. This time, after chopping a ground ball to Miami Hurricanes pitcher Michael Rudman, Stanton sprinted down the line but pulled up. He stumbled at the bag and fell to the ground.
The Marlins were hoping Stanton could play the final week of spring training and be ready for the season opener on April 1. And he played on Opening Day, but he suffered a mild left hamstring strain that sidelined him for a week.
- July 8-August 7, 2012: Giancarlo underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body from his right knee, by Dr. Lee Kaplan, the Marlins' physician. Stanton was projected to be out for from four to six weeks. He endeavored to battle through the sore knee, but the discomfort became too disruptive.
February 20, 2013: Stanton was hit in the back of his helmet in a Marlins instrasquad matchup, by pitcher Jose Fernandez. Giancarlo remained on his feet but left the game and said the beaning affected his eyesight.
"I wasn't dizzy," he said. "I saw a little grayness and fuzziness on the outside of my eyes, but it's subsiding now."
Stanton bruised the back of his neck, and X-rays were planned, but there was no sign of a concussion. Fernandez sat alone at his locker with his head down. He said the pitch slipped from his hand but still had plenty of velocity.
"Over 95 mph, I know it was. It's a scary moment," Fernandez said. "My hands were sweating a lot. It was just not a good pitch. I feel bad. It's not a good feeling, I promise you."
April 30-June 10, 2013: Stanton went on the disabled list with a Grade 2 strain to his right hamstring. He injured it running to first base.
September 11, 2014: Stanton suffered multiple facial fractures, dental damage and a facial laceration requiring stitches after being hit in the face by a pitch from Brewers starter Mike Fiers.
Fiers' swings his left arm, Stanton sees the ball, but not until it was two-thirds of the way to the plate—far too late. He's on the ground, searching his gums for his teeth with his tongue and finding little pieces of them.
He is in the ambulance, desperate to fall asleep to escape the pain, obeying the paramedics' instructions that he must not.
Marlins' owner Jeff Loria said, "There seconds after I saw it on television and was able to pull myself together, I called the commissioner (Bud Selig) and said, 'We need to get a plastic surgeon. This good-looking kid is not going to end up having a mistake made in an emergency room treatment.'"
Everyone who was there remembers the sickening sound of the 88 mph fastball striking Stanton's face, breaking his nose, his cheek and his orbital bone, shattering his incisor and chipping a half-dozen other teeth.
They also remember: "It was not just a little bit of blood," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. "It was a lot of blood."
Stanton lay motionless on the field at home plate for several minutes as he was attended to by medical personnel. He was placed on a gurney and taken from the field on an ambulance cart. Stanton underwent X-rays and a CT scan at a local hospital, the Marlins announced.
"He didn't lose consciousness out on the field, but he was bleeding heavily out of his mouth," Redmond said before learning the extent of Stanton's injuries. When asked if he thought Stanton was out for the remainder of the season, Redmond said: "I don't know. It's not looking good, that's for sure. It's devastating for us. Devastating. For his season to end like that, that's not good."
September 12, 2014: In a medical follow-up, Stanton returned in good spirits to Miami. The two-time All-Star will undergo more tests, but it appears he will not need major surgery. He did receive some plastic surgery, and he will undergo a battery of tests to make sure he doesn't have any concussion symptoms.
Stanton's injuries required stitches to repair facial lacerations, and he lost some teeth.
Giancarlo accompanied by his father, Mike, and Marlins trainer Sean Cunningham, flew on team owner Jeffrey Loria's private plane to Miami.
Stanton tweeted: "The amount of support I have received from you guys has been tremendous & Heartfelt. I'm much better today & deeply appreciate your prayers!" (Joe Frisaro - MLB.com - 9/12/2014)
September 16, 2014: Stantonunderwent another series of checkups in Miami and did not return to the field that season.
June 27-end of 2015 season: Giancarlo was expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks with a broken hamate bone in his left wrist. Surgery was required.
Stanton initially hurt the wrist on a swing and miss. Stanton's hand appeared swollen, and he said it hurt where he grips the bat. Stanton indicated the pain grew worse as the game progressed. He grimaced in pain with his final swing in the ninth inning and said that was "the icing on the cake."
July 10, 2015: Speaking publicly for the first time since breaking his hand, Stanton is in good spirits and optimistic. "I'm good. I think I'm right on track," Stanton said. "The swelling is just about all the way down."
Stanton added he doesn't have his full range of motion yet. Until he can make a fist, he isn't guessing on when he will return to the lineup.
"It was a smooth procedure," the slugger said. "They said I had a lot of blood in there. Usually when you break something, you don't keep going after it. That's what I did—a few extra swings. So there was a lot of blood that wouldn't normally be there. But it was smooth after that." (J Frisaro - MLB.com - July 9, 2015)
Aug 14-September 6, 2016: Stanton was on the DL with left groin strain. An MRI taken revealed Stanton has a Grade 3 groin strain.