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Down on the Farm: MLB Fantasy Prospects on Marlins Prospect Michael Stanton

Bill Root from MLB Fantasy Prospects recently wrote a player profile on the Marlins #1 prospect Michael Stanton. Let's take a look:

Hanley Ramirez will soon have a 6-5, 240-pound physical specimen protecting him in the Sunshine State. His name is Mike Stanton.

Stanton drips athleticism and raw power. He was a three-sport stud (baseball, basketball and football) at the athlete-factory they call Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. In fact, Stanton was such an impressive defensive back that USC’s Pete Carroll was going to give him an opportunity to walk-on the football team after he signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the Trojans. Lucky for us homer-hungry owners, Stanton decided he had a better future on the diamond.

In 2008 (as an 18-year old), the big boy tore up Low-A with a .293 BA, 39 HRs, .381 OBP and .611 SLG. In 2009, in just 180 ABs, Stanton continued his domination in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League (High-A) with a .294 BA, 12 HRs, .390 OBP and .578 SLG. Most impressively, Stanton lowered his strikeout rate to 25%, after having a 32.7% rate at Low-A. The Marlins let everyone know Stanton was on the fast-track by quickly promoting him to Double-A in June.

At Double-A, Stanton still hit parking lot bombs, but he was exposed in all other areas. The Marlins’ future right-fielder posted the following stat line: .231 BA, 16 HRs, .311 OBP and .455 SLG. Stanton was clearly in "guess the pitch" mode with a 33.1% K rate, .31 BB/K ratio and 67% contact rate. My guess is this kid will be working on a little thing called pitch recognition next year in the minors.

more after the jump:

It doesn’t take a fantasy expert to tell you Stanton is loaded with upside. He has elite power, the ability to spray balls to all fields and a superstar "look" that will have the ladies talking. Nevertheless, he needs more time if he’s going to be anything more than a two-category (HRs/RBIs) producer. Specifically, he needs to improve his recognition and discipline to boost his batting average and on-base ceilings. At this point, I see a .255 hitter in the bigs if his skills remain status quo.

Stanton will not make a significant impact in 2010. The Marlins will be extremely careful not to make the "Maybin-mistake" with this 20-year-old. Of course, he should be firmly stashed in all keeper leagues. C’mon, who doesn’t want the dude with 40-plus HR potential who will hitting behind Hanley for the next decade?

Stanton’s development will be more fun to monitor than action footage from the camera perched above Tiger’s mansion.