Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Many people are believing in the hype of Giancarlo Stanton and thus far he is living up to it, to say the least. The young star Stanton is having arguably the best start of his career. Stanton’s average is currently sitting at .282 and he’s also hit six home runs. The most impressive stat for Stanton are his 26 RBI, which is four more than any other player in the major leagues. His six home runs are tied for the most in the majors. Also, his six game-winning RBIs rank first in all of baseball.
Stanton told Sports Illustrated that his approach has become simple:
"I’m not trying to do too much. I’m just relaxed and understanding the situations, and putting the bat on the ball."
The biggest reason for his sustained success this season is because he is healthy. In 2011, Stanton battled through leg and eye injuries which kept him from being a consistent hitting threat in the Marlins lineup. He missed 39 games in 2012 and 46 in 2013 because of injuries. Despite the inconsistent playing time through his first four seasons, Stanton still managed to become one of the youngest players in MLB history to hit 100 homers which he reached that impressive milestone last year at the age of 23. Stanton has never had more than 9 RBI in the month of April before in his career before this month. The improvements he has shown this season may lead Stanton to a huge season and hopefully a chase for the National League MVP.
Stanton and the Marlins avoided arbitration with a one year, $6.5 Million deal for the 2014 season. He’s still under team control for two more years, but if he continues to hit this well it’ll only increase the likelihood that he’ll leave Miami at the first opportunity to cash in on a significant payday. Maintaining his health will be important, but perhaps a hot start is a positive sign for what the rest of his season will bring. His impeccable athleticism and baseball IQ gives him an incredible opportunity to improve his game more every year.
The addition of other talent in the lineup may also be motivating Stanton’s performance with the acquisitions of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Casey McGehee and Garrett Jones,. Other credits could go to the emergence of second-year players Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich. The Marlins are trying to give him incentives to stay, but ultimately whether Stanton stays in Miami it’s all going to come down to the contract.