It would be pretty safe to assume that the majority of Major League Baseball fans and certainly most Miami Marlins fans can agree on the enormous potential of Giancarlo Stanton. The guy looks like he was carved out of stone by the baseball gods or something. He’s tall, strong, has a great swing and a decent attitude. He is young and it all just seems perfect but it isn’t. The Marlins are absolutely right to sign a one-year deal with him right now.
Stanton might very well want that long-term extension but I would like to think he would want to prove further what he can do before he gets set in stone what his salary will be. MLB teams do sometime pay handsomely for potential but not like they pay for potential with proven history of performance behind it.
Here are the facts. Stanton has proven that he can be a prolific power hitter at the major league level. The only other steady fact for him right now is that nothing else is steady. He’s had only one season of 150 games with injuries shortening the last two in one way or another. Don’t think for a second the Marlins and other teams don’t at least wonder if the slugger could prove to be injury prone. He wouldn’t be the first or the last.
His batting averages have stuck around the .260 range most years with only one season of a .290 mark thus far. Run production has been all over the place as well with him showing potential to be a 100 RBI man but never coming any closer than the mid-80s. Last season he came in with a .249 batting average, 24 home runs and 67 RBI with a 2.4 WAR cut in less than half from the 2012 figure of 5.5.
Where will his 2014 season land? Care to guess? You have as much of an idea about that as the Marlins or anyone else does; zero. Stanton could put himself in the top 5 MVP voting in 2014 and play 160 games with a .310 batting average, 35 home runs and 115 RBI. It really could prove just that good.
Then again he could repeat his 2013 which we can all agree isn’t nearly good enough for a big long-term deal. He flat doesn’t deserve it yet. It is very likely that he will soon because he isn’t even 25 years old yet. Be patient and so will the Marlins; we’ll get Stanton the deal he deserves. It isn’t going to happen yet though and it shouldn’t.