A battle between Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Gonzalez is a battle of giants. Both superstars had great 2012 seasons despite playing for struggling teams, and heading into the 2013 season both rank within the top 15 on most fantasy baseball draft boards.
That said—who’s the better of the two?
Stanton’s 2012 was a breakout season for the 23-year-old slugger. In only 123 games, he flashed his legendary power with 37 home runs and a slugging percentage of .608. He added on a surprising .290 average to that tab and stole six bases on the side while scoring 75 runs. The only real crutch to his 2012 was his 86 RBI, one fewer than 2011 despite hitting three more home runs.
On the other hand, Gonzalez did what Gonzalez does. The Colorado Rockies outfielder posted his third straight 20/20 season in 2012 with 22 home runs, 85 RBI and 20 steals to go along with a solid .303 average. He too struggled with durability, playing in only 135 games.
To pick between them in 2013 is a tough decision.
Stanton has the most power of the two, averaging nearly a home run every three games last year, while Cargo’s limit seems to rest somewhere in the 20s. When it comes to RBI, both players posted similar marks in 2011 and 2012—Stanton with 173 in that span, Gonzalez with 177—and both have struggled with durability over their young careers, although Cargo’s affinity for the DL seems to be a little stronger.
When it comes to speed and runs, though, Gonzalez takes the cake. Stanton’s six steals in 2012 were a career high, and although he came into the league with what was supposed to be above average speed, his ceiling will likely sit at 10 steals until he proves otherwise. Gonzalez, on the other hand, has reached the 20 mark in three straight seasons despite battling a barrage of injuries, giving him the clear advantage.
Overall, Stanton seems to be more of a four tool player while Gonzalez has all five, which is why Cargo is going first in most drafts. Speed is big in fantasy baseball and Gonzalez has more of it.
Despite that, I’m picking Stanton in 2013.
I’ve watched him since the moment he was called up to the big leagues and his power truly is all it’s cracked up to the be. Had he played 150 games in 2012, we would have seen 45 home runs at the very least from him and I think he does that in 2013. Cargo has more speed, but I think Stanton takes him in every other category this year short of average.
You can’t go wrong with either, but if you land a late first round pick I’d choose Stanton over Cargo.