How Acquired: Drafted out of Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA) by the Marlins in the 2nd round (76th overall)
2008 – Greensboro (Sally League – Marlins A) – 125 games
- 39 hr, 97 rbi
- 58 bb, 153 k
2009 – Jupiter (Florida State League – Marlins High-A) – 50 games
- 12 hr, 39 rbi
- 28 bb, 45 k
2009 – Jacksonville (Southern League – Marlins AA) – 79 games
- 16 hr, 53 rbi
- 31 bb, 99 k
- 28 hr, 92 rbi
- 59 bb, 144 k
2009 – Mesa Solar Sox (Arizona Fall League – not counted towards totals) – 6 games
- 1 hr, 2 rbi
- 3 bb, 8 k
Baseball America – #1 (FLA – 2010), #2 (FLA – 2009)
Project Prospect – #2 (Corner OF – 11/2009), #9 (Position Players – 9/2009)
Baseball Prospectus – #2 (FLA – 11/2008)
John Sickels – #4 (FLA – 3/2009)
In 2008, Stanton truly announced his presence, pounding home runs at a prodigious rate for Single-A Greensboro. He finished the season with 39 of them, along with a .293/.381/.611 line, albeit with a slightly elevated BABIP of .355. And all of this while he is still only 18 years old. Needless to say, expectations of a continuance of this power was expected out of Stanton for 2009. And while he did not hit for quite the same amount of power (28 homers between 2 levels), he still maintained quite a power clip, posting a .501 slugging percentage between the two levels.
Now, I’ve mentioned previously that I think that the ability to draw a walk is critical to long-term success in the Majors. I think that players who draw at least a similar amount of walks to the amount of strikeouts they have will generally be more successful. That said, I believe that as long as a player can at least draw some walks, they should be alright. Stanton posted walk rates of 9% (2007), 11% (2008), and 10% (2009), which are all definitely respectable numbers for many a hitter.
Obviously, the amount of strikeouts he is having each year is of some concern. In 2008, he struck out in 32% of his at bats, and slightly decreased that number in 2009, bringing it to 30%. So I wondered how a couple of high power, high strikeout hitters looked in comparison.
Ryan Howard – Career: 13% walk rate, 33% strikeout rate
Adam Dunn – Career: 17% walk rate, 32% strikeout rate
Jack Cust – Career: 18% walk rate, 40% strikeout rate
All 3 players have had varying levels of success in the Majors, with Howard and Dunn clearly ahead of Cust. While I think it is definitely premature to include Stanton in the same group, I think that they make good comps. I think that Stanton’s walk rate of around 10% in the minors would translate reasonably well to the Major Leagues, and that he needs to try to cut down his strikeout rates ever so slightly. He is probably always going to be a power hitter, and not ever really hit for average in the majors. Not that everyone needs to be a hitter for average.
Stanton was drafted as a first baseman out of high school, but has since been converted to a right fielder. He played there almost exclusively in 2009, and had 10 assists out there during the season. He posted a Total Zone rating of 5 in RF in 2009, which would make him a slightly above-average fielder at the position as well.
The future is really bright for Stanton, as he has shown huge flashes of power, and at least a reasonable ability to hit in general. And all of this prior to the age of 20. While I think he is probably a couple of years away still, he should start next season back at AA Jacksonville, and hopefully will spend a majority of the season there. The Marlins are not necessarily known for rushing some of the prospects, and with the Major League outfield having reigning Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, Cody Ross, and up-and-comer Cameron Maybin penciled in for next season, they won’t really need his bat in Miami for at least another season. I am really looking forward to seeing what Stanton does next year.
Prediction for 2010
.265/.355/.500, 27 hr, 90 rbi (AA)
Mid-Season 2011, most likely 2012.