Some people will tell you Giancarlo Stanton‘s plate discipline has improved while in the majors and that his comps suggest further reduction in K% and growth in BB%. Most will boast he’s one of a Lilliputian handful of players with a legitimate shot at 40+ HR and that he has room to improve on his power. Many will point to the improved lineup around him as RBI and R opportunities waiting to sustain your fantasy team like mana (or homers) from heaven. Some will note his career BABIP is high, but that it’s because he’s got plus speed for a 6-5, 235 pound hunk of beef and can chip in a few SBs. While I’ve never seen a steak plow through a catcher or slide willingly onto my plate, I can tell you the majority of these people are right about Giancarlo Stanton.
What other people probably will NOT do, is SHOW you what Stanton can do and how freakin’ cool his shizz is. Haha! HA! Sorry, I lost it for a second. Below is a diagram of Giancarlo Stanton’s HRs from 2010 and 2011 based on data from hittrackeronline.com and park info from the interwebs. The Marlins Park walls are outlined, along with foul lines, distance tickers, the whole shebang… The light colored dots are dongs from 2010, the fully opaque dots 2011 bombs. The blue dots are away dingers, the red dots home, homers on the range in Sun Life Stadium, and the annoying little piggy on TV went “Wee, whee, whee!” all the way back into your memory. Wait for it…
Ain’t that a pretty cupcake with little, patriotic jimmies on top? As I’ve commented before, the new Marlins Park is roughly comparable to Petco in physical dimension (read: BIG). I’ve not seen official documentation of the wall heights, but from the photos it sure looks like more than 8 feet, unless your tape uses Stanton feet. It appears to be mostly around a dozen human feet, but slopes up from the right side power alley to as high as 20. Where? Right out in the deepest part of center by the wacky, leaping Marlin homer sculpture. While we can’t be sure what effect the wind (or lack thereof) may have when the roof’s open (or closed), we can get a rough idea how he might have fared playing in this new park.
In 2010, there’s one that probably would have been an out to left in the new park. The others look like they should have been smooth sailing. In 2011, we see one more likely out to left, while the duo to straight away center probably would’ve been doubles. Another pair are pretty close on the lower walls to left and right, but the rest are golden with no Teal Monster staring down left center.
All in all, he might’ve lost as many HRs as Antonio Alfonseca can count on one hand; a few doubled down and a few loud outs. He also pulled less in 2011, so that could be trouble for center field shots. But, and in Miami you’ll see lots of those, you’ll also notice the darker dots trend further out than the lighter ones. If the majority of these people and me are right about Giancarlo, I’m pretty certain we’ll get to see wacky, leaping marlins aplenty in 2012.