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A Closer Look: Marlins Outfielder Mike Stanton

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I am back at it after a taking a day to relax after the big party at my house on Saturday. I wrote about Mike Stanton in Saturday's post, and wanted to take a closer look at his hitting stats this season.

Stanton has been pretty hot of late, raising his triple slash line to .275-.346-.569 after his 2-4 performance on Sunday. For the season, Stanton has hit 14 HRs and driven in 39 runs in 204 at bats. He also has more extra base hits-31-than singles-25. According to ESPN, he is on pace to hit 26 HRs and drive in 71 in 372 at bats, yet he is only owned in 58% of their leagues.

Taking a closer look at Stanton, I found that since the All-Star break, he is hitting .315-.417-.717 with 9 HRs, 19 RBIs, and a 25-16 K/BB rate. Only 3 other hitters have hit more HRs than Stanton since the ASB-Jose Bautista, Dan Uggla and Luke Scott, but only one-Bautista-has a higher SLG. The fact that he is walking more is a huge positive for a guy with his power and strikeout tendencies.

Stanton is striking out almost 35% of his at bats, but is walking at a 10% clip, which is acceptable for a 20 year old. His BABIP is .339, which is reasonable for a guy who strikes out so much. His ISO is an amazing .295. One peripheral stat that stands out for me is his FB%, which at 38% is low for a power hitter. But his LD% of 21% is solid. His HR/FB% sits at 28%, which is good, but when you consider that 24% of his flyballs have been of the infield variety, his real HR/FB% is higher. A top of my head calculation tells me his HR/FB% is closer to 50% if you back out his infield fly balls. That certainly is a small sample size, but it does give you an indication as to how much power Stanton has.

On Sunday, manager Edwin Rodriguez moved Stanton up to 5th in the order, with the thought that he will have more RBI opportunities hitting higher in the lineup. According to CBS Sportsline, Stanton is leading all rookies in homers and RBIs, and is second in doubles, yet I have yet to hear his name mentioned in NL Rookie of the Year talk. Stanton may change that in the next month and a half.

Coming into the 2010 season, the scouting reports on Stanton was that he has the potential to hit 40 HRs in a season. I even read one wild report that he could hit 50 HRs in a season. Now that doesn't appear so wild, but will take some time.

Going into 2011 drafts, I am starting to wonder if he could be a 35-40 HR hitter as soon as next season. Maybe this is just a hot streak for Stanton, and he will regress back to being a strikeout machine for the rest of the season. As someone stated recently, I wonder what type of projection Bill James will have on Stanton this offseason.

I own Stanton in the UBA keeper league, so maybe I am talking my book, but I could see Stanton getting drafted in the 5th-7th rounds in mixed leagues in 2011, and much sooner in NL-only leagues.