….Is that not the famous saying?
So I have to admit… this is a piece I sent into MLB as a sample for my winning application for the MLB fancave. I truly believe Mike Stanton is going to have a spectacular year this year. Read my brilliance and draft accordingly. -w
Players and fans alike should beware Mike Stanton in 2012 and going forward. Normally I am wary of batters with such prolific strikeout potential but Stanton is different. For all the talk of his strikeouts, his BB:K ratio is actually a manageable 0.36 for his career. Scouts talk about the ball ‘sounding different’ off his bat when he makes solid contact. While I cannot claim to have been in the stadium for any of Stanton’s games, I watched many of them on MLB.com. Any casual observer can tell you that a Mike Stanton homer looks different. His homer run balls travel at such majestic trajectories, one might think they were designed to look that way. But these reasons are anecdotal. His numbers, coupled with the improvements the Miami Marlins have made this offseason, lead me to believe he will be contending for an MVP sooner rather than later. It remains to be seen how the new Marlins Park will play (on first glance, the outfield appears quite large). However, I would argue that with a player like Stanton, it won’t matter. He will hit his 40-ish homers. With an improved team and lineup in front of him, it seems his first 100 RBI season is ahead of him (Bill James agrees). What would seem to hold him back from an MVP award, for most forecasters and fans, is the strikeouts and average. It would not take much for Stanton’s upcoming great season to turn into an MVP-worthy season. In the majors, his Kpercent has been around 30percent (31.1percent as a rookie in 2010, 27.6percent in 2011). This has led to his average being around .260 and a mediocre OBP. However, his BABIP (one of my favorite statistics) has remained an excellent .330 in 2010 and .314 in 2011. Bill James expects this BABIP to remain about the same and so do I. So all Stanton needs to do is strike out closer to 20percent of the time rather than 30percent. I look to his 2009 and 2010 seasons in the minors. With a K-rate closer to 20percent in single A , Stanton produced an OBP of .390 and an average of .294 in 2009 before getting called up to AA. The next year, before being called up, he again kept his Kpercent down closer to 20percent and put forth a monster .442 OBP and .313 average. If he could translate this type of success in the majors, he could easily come up with a 40-plus homer season with over 100 RBI, an above-.300 average, above .420 OBP and an OPS far over 1. Those sound like MVP-worthy numbers to me, especially if the Marlins put together a playoff run in 2012.