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Who must Mike Stanton kill to make the bigs?

Mar 24, 2010, 11:49 PM EDT

Stanton-mike.jpgThe Florida Marlins sent Mike Stanton down to Double-A Jacksonville on Wednesday. (No not this Mike Stanton, this Mike Stanton. You know, the guy who hit 28 home runs in 129 minor league games last season.)

Anyway, the strong, young, Marlins’ version of Mike Stanton might not be down on the farm too long, as Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez sounds eager for his star prospect to bash his way to the bigs, no matter who gets hurt along the way.

From the Miami Herald:

“We sent him down, but he’ll let us know when he’s ready,” Gonzalez said Wednesday before his team began warming up to take on the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium. “It’s just a matter of him getting some at-bats and putting up some numbers or decapitating somebody down there. Maybe the league president will say get this guy out of here before he hurts somebody.”

The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder, who is ranked No. 3 on MLB.com’s Top 50 Prospects List, hit .333 with a .407 on base and .833 slugging in 24 spring at-bats. He also hit three home runs this spring, all off Major League Pitchers (although one was a Met, and none of the pitchers were decapitated or otherwise injured).

So consider this an official notice to pitchers of the Southern League: Don’t forget to duck.

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  1. Old Gator - Mar 25, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    It’s been exciting to watch this kid hit this Spring. The shame of it is that he’s not an infielder; my wet dream is that he’d be the new Feesh first baseman (Gaby Sanchez doesn’t seem up to it yet) and we could move Bonifacio back to the dugout (if not the waiver wire – it’d be fun to see the Feesh dump a guy who’s not ready for arbitration for a change) and put Cantu back at third until a real third baseman comes along. And yeah, he’s big – but also seems pretty fast for a guy his size. I see him as a left or right fielder and a legit cleanup hitter who can hit for average and power behind Hanley Ramirez and in front of Cantu, with Uggla batting sixth and Baker seventh. Coghlan could be a legit number two hitter but we still need that jackrabbit leadoff guy with the high OBP we ain’t got yet. It’ll be interesting to watch the last round of cuts and see who’s still standing when we break camp.

  2. jwb - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:29 AM

    From what I have read, he’s too much of a TTO guy to have a high average, but a right handed Adam Dunn who’s faster and not as defensively challenged is a fine thing to have. Have you an opinion on his defense?

  3. Joey B - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Not to pee on your parade, but Stanton also has almost a 32% strikeout rate in the minors. That could jump to 40% against pro pitching. He just turned 20.

  4. Jimmy Marlins fan - Mar 25, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    kind of funny to see this…as my cousin(jeff locke) was pitching against stanton last year and mikey hit one right back at my cousin’s face and my little cuz managed to get his glove up and the ball knicked his glove…only to have the centerfielder catch it…yeah…stanton hits the ball that hard
    cant wait to see him and with a little more seasoning, that K rate will drop…i expect to see him with the big club around june/july

  5. Mark - Mar 25, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    I don’t like the Dunn comparison. A lot of people forget that even in the minors, Dunn had a 304 BA and a 230:270 BB:K ratio. Obviously Dunn struggles to hit for average in the majors, but in the minors this was a guy who hit for a pretty good average and showed great plate discipline.
    On the other hand, you got Stanton, a guy who’s managed to hit 267 in the minors, while striking out more than 2.5 times as much as he walks (318:121).
    Stanton’s power is very impressive at his age, but unless he cuts down on the K’s or starts walking a bit more we’re looking at a guy who at his best would hit 240/320/520. Obviously he’s young and there’s time to fix this stuff, but I’d be a bit worried about the strikeout rate and the poor walk rate for a guy who struggles to hit for average.

  6. Old Gator - Mar 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Also replying to comment from JoeyB:
    That’s true, the strikeouts are an issue, and certainly the last thing the Feesh want out there is another Mickey Mantle. That could translate very quickly into increased attendance
    .
    On the other hand, anyone remember what Derrick Lee’s first few season were like? He was batting well below the Mendoza line on several occasions and was up and down from the Feesh’s various purgatories any number of times. Then he figured it out. Just in time to be shipped to Chicago.
    .
    I feel more confident about Stanton after watching him this spring than I do that Cameron Maybin will finally figure out what he was doing right at the end of the ’08 season when getting him out was about as simple as pressure cleaning the orca tank at Sea World. But if they both put it together – and I don’t necessarily expect them to do so this year, by the way – you would have an outfield of Maybin in center, Stanton and Coghlan on the wings, and a 2-5 ensemble of Coghlan, Ramirez, Stanton and Maybin. Good enough to stand up to the Heyward Child and whatever they surround him with. I don’t really expect Uggla or Cantu to stick around all that much longer, frankly. Still, that’s a pretty good cardiovascular of the batting order. But of such stuff are dreams made.
    .
    Stanton’s defense? He’s no Al Kaline but he’ll be better than competent. Same for Coghlan. He has the speed to get to the ball quickly and he’s got a pretty good arm. That’s something else I think he’ll learn.

  7. Jimmy Marlins fan - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    i think the d-lee comparison is pretty valid…d-lee’s swing was too long and drawn out when he first came up…and then around late 01 and into 02, he started roping doubles all over the place…in 03 alot of those doubles turned into homers and in 04, he went to the bandbox known as wrigley
    if stanton can keep his swing short…he will keep his bank account long
    and wow do the marlins have quite a future ahead of them with hanley entering his prime and all these extremely talented kids

  8. Old Gator - Mar 25, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    Good to have another Feesh fan pop up just ahead of opening day.
    .
    Between you and me, I expect less out of this team this year than some others do – the bullpen being the major problem for me. I also don’t think we’ve got the brightest bulb in the ceiling where the manager’s concerned. Others think he’s gotten the most out of what he has but, frankly, I think that in some key cases – Andrew Miller being the most glaring one – he’s gotten much less that a smarter skipper could have, and in Miller’s situation even done some serious damage to the kid’s confidence.
    .
    Moreover, Scrooge McLoria, Beinfest and the Chihuahua keep making noises that they expect this team to contend on the K-Mart budget they’ve allowed for it. I fear 2003 has imbued them with an exaggerated sense of expectation – and when the team, which needs another year or two to jell around these great-looking EYPs, plays to its not especially impressive potential this year and no further, Fat Fredi is going to pay for it with his ass.

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