Mike Stanton is jacked and has shown he is able to convert his raw power into power numbers at the plate. At the age of 22 he has already gone yard 56 times in 875 AB, covering 250 games and many of which have been towering shots reaching the upper decks. According to ESPN’s hittrackeronline.com, 24 of his 34 home runs in 2011 traveled more than 400 feet.
In 2011, he posted a .262/34/87/79/5 line and his .537 SLG percentage was good for sixth among all outfielders. His plate discipline leaves room for improvement but that’s not a surprise given his age. When he did make contact he made it count with a .314 BABIP and more than half of his hits going for extra bases.
In 2012 he’s expected to be hitting cleanup in a new Marlins lineup behind Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and Hanley Ramirez, which should improve his RBI opportunities. The new Marlins ballpark could also help the home run totals by removing the high left field wall that was in Sun Life Stadium.
Expecting 35+ HR and 100+ RBI puts him in an elite grouping. He’s no sleeper by any means as his average draft position at Mock Draft Central is 23rd overall and eighth among outfield options. Speed and batting average is what is separating Stanton from the outfielders drafting ahead of him. Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Upton and Carlos Gonzalez all feature speed and higher batting averages. Stanton’s batting average did improve throughout the 2011 season from .255 before the break and .271 in the second half so it may not hurt you but it still won’t be a positive contributor. A serious case could be made to draft Stanton ahead of Curtis Granderson who will be hard pressed to put up another 40+ HR season and has a low batting average.
If your early picks went to fill the shallow middle infield spots or to pitching then you should consider drafting Stanton early to get some pop into your lineup before the heavy hitters are all gone. Those in points leagues may be scared of his high 28% strikeout percentage, but if you’ve got points for total bases or extra base hits he should reward you there.
Written by Brendan Donahue exclusively for www.thefantasyfix.com
(February 26, 2012 - Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images North America)
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