First, I looked for anecdotal evidence on Mr. Stanton. I found in 2007 the Red Sox offered to trade Manny to the Marlins, while paying his salary, for Mike Stanton. The Marlins obviously refused. Interesting, but the last time Marlins traded a prospect for a big name was exactly never. Still, the Marlins (along with others) saw something in the then 17-year-old. At 18, Stanton didn’t disappoint. In Single-A, he hit 39 homers while slashing .293/.381/.611. There’s light tower power in his man-frame of 6’5″, 210 lbs. (for those in San Diego, that’s 3 and a half David Ecksteins, but only three-quarters of a Kyle Blanks. Or Blanks sans afro.). Last year, Stanton continued his assault on minor league pitching in High-A, then hit his first roadblock at Double-A. Unable to make the necessary adjustments, he saw the one part of his game that was exploitable exploited. He’s a hacker. Even when he hit the 39 homers in 125 games in A, he struck out 153 times. Last year, he K’d 99 times in 79 Double-A games, which led to .231/.311/.455. By far his worst showing in his young career. (Scouting the Unknown took a further look at Mike Stanton’s minor league numbers in July.) He’s still very young and he was killing it (<–courtesy of T.J. Lavin) in the Arizona Fall League. Leading the league with a .478 average through 6 games, when he was shut down with a sore back. Supposedly, it was just precautionary and he’ll be fine for Spring Training. So what can we expect of Mike Stanton for 2010 fantasy baseball?
I expect him to be given a chance in Spring Training to show off his ginourmous power, but be sent to Double-A to start the season. If he can make the necessary adjustments, we can see him around mid-season. For all their frugality, the Marlins aggressively promote/play their prospects (then trade them when they hit arbitration. Lates, Uggla.). He’ll only be 20 in 2010 and still might be a full year away from contributing in fantasy. I wouldn’t touch Stanton in one year leagues until he is definitely playing on the Marlins. In deep NL-Only and keeper leagues, he should be owned coming out of your 2010 fantasy baseball draft.