Sure every baseball fan is fixated on the arrival of baseball’s Next Big Thing, Stephen Strasburg. But there’s another behemoth on the horizon, and he just might have a bigger impact than the Nationals’ golden boy.
Florida outfield prospect Mike Stanton is an absolute beast. And no, we’re obviously not talking about the former major league veteran reliever.
This Mike Stanton is a 6-foot-5, 235-pound power-hitting phenom. I told my roommate during Spring Training to keep an eye on Stanton and be ready to pounce when he gets called up.
Well, he better save that waiver priority. Because it’s only a matter of time before the 20-year old stud gets the call to head to South Florida and skip Triple-A altogether. In 48 games with Double-A Jacksonville, Stanton has hit 20 home runs and is hitting a career-best .307 with 40 walks to 50 strikeouts.
Tuesday night Marlins team president Larry Beinfest and assistant general manager Dan Jennings were both in the stands to see the young pup up close. Stanton went deep twice, including yet another trademark tape-measure shot.
“I’m here to look at everybody right before we start our draft meetings,” Beinfest said. “But the big guy, it was impressive, one to right, one to left and good at-bats. There’s no timetable with Michael. Obviously, he’s doing great, and he’s working on all the things he needs to work on to be successful in the big leagues.
“It’s only a matter of time. I’m not going to couch it any other way. We’re just going to see. People have asked me if he’s going to Triple-A or the big leagues. We do talk about him quite often. We’ll make a decision as to what’s the best thing for him.
“You get a little different look with pitchers in Triple-A, but with the type of numbers he’s putting up and the way he’s performing right now, we’ve had some success taking guys right from Double-A. It’s not a major deal for us, but if it makes sense, it makes sense. We’ll see what happens.”
Stanton, used primarily as a right fielder, has recently found himself in left field, fueling speculation he’s being readied to replace the once slumping Chris Coghlan. But last year’s rookie star is starting to hit again, so who knows what where Stanton will end up. Cody Ross currently plays in right for the Marlins, and he’s proven dependable. Cameron Maybin is the future in centerfield, but Ross could slide over to make room for Stanton in case the Marlins want to go with a four-man outfield rotation, much like the Cubs are experimenting with.
Is Stanton the next Kyle Blanks (sorry Phillips and McD) or Jason Heyward? I think it’s safe to assume where I stand on the issue.
Stanton is a stud.