This isn’t the days when Brady Anderson’s sideburns once hit 2 homers in a game while Brady was out with a broken foot. 30 to 45 homers is a lot nowadays. In the final weeks of September, there’s 4 guys who have 35 homers. I think Sammy Sosa once hit 35 homers in a month. Of those current 35 homer guys, one is a first rounder. One of those guys is having a career year. One of those guys in a Big Donkey. And the last guy is staying at the Renaissance Hotel. Mike Stanton is going to hit somewhere between 30 and 45 homers next year. At the age of 21. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? No kidding, Al Caps. For better or worse, the Marlins are a team that gives rookies rope to hang themselves. (See Cameron Maybin’s last two years for further reading on that subject.) So Stanton can scuffle for a month or two, but he’s here to stay. So what can we expect of Mike Stanton for 2011 fantasy baseball and what makes him a keeper?
Mr. Intro Paragraph touched on this briefly, but let’s go further into his power. He hit 21 homers in Triple-A this year. In 53 games! Not to be outdone by his minor league numbers, he has 20 homers in 86 games at the age of 20. For those who have never seen him play, it’s not a fluke. You know those tree trunks that Frank Thomas calls legs, Mike Stanton uses them for toothpicks. To use a name I alluded to earlier, he looks like an athletic Adam Dunn. As long as he can control his strikeouts, we could see a 50 homer season from Stanton before this thing is all done. May see it within three years. Strikeouts and average are the issue, as they are with a lot of my modern day crushes. Could Stanton hit .240? Yeppers. Though, as is the case with average, it’s unpredictable. A .250 hitter could hit .280 in a season and not look half as bad. (See Dan Uggla’s 2010 season for further reading.) In 2011, I could see Stanton giving a line of 70/32/80/.250/7 with upside from there. In other words, “Thank you, sir! May I have another?”