Stanton powering up over July

As soon as Mike Stanton was promoted to the majors after his monstrous season in Double-A, expectations were high. When he did not meet them, some fans felt that he was not quite ready for the majors. It seems, however, that he just needed an extra month to get his feet wet and start heating up. Since July 2nd, Stanton has hit a much improved .236/.325/.557, with a much improved strikeout rate (29.2%).

Obviously, the biggest impact in that monthly line is the in the power department, as Stanton posted an excellent .221 ISO. Most of that power was home run driven, as he punched eight balls out of the park in 120 PA (Stanton also knocked ten doubles). We all knew that Stanton had power, but now that we have had a taste of it in the big leagues, can he be expected to sustain it? I took a look at his home runs and extra-base hit percentages to find out how he compared against major leaguers the past few seasons.

The two power categories I’ll be discussing in this post are HR/FB% and extra-bases/hit, two numbers which I think are reasonable estimates of power. Through 201 PA (42 hits) so far this season, Mike Stanton has tallied 10 HR, 11 2B, and one 3B. That adds up to 43 total extra bases (bases beyond first base). That would give him 1.02 extra bases per hit. FanGraphs has Stanton at a HR/FB% of 24.4%.

Those are the numbers we will be comparing to players from the last three calendar years. From FanGraphs, I took all players with over 500 PA from the last three seasons and looked at their HR/FB% and extra bases/hit. Here were the top five in both categories (stats in parentheses).

Place HR/FB% XB/H
1 Ryan Howard (27.2%) Carlos Pena (1.19)
2 Jim Thome (25.1%) Adam Dunn (1.08)
3 Carlos Pena (23.3%) Jim Thome (1.07)
4 Adam Dunn (22.9%) Russell Branyan (1.06)
5 Jack Cust (22.3%) Ryan Howard (1.03)
6 Mark Reynolds (21.7%) Mark Reynolds (1.01)
7 Carlos Delgado (21.2%) Carlos Quentin (0.99)
8 Prince Fielder (21.1%) David Ortiz (0.99)
9 Russell Branyan (20.9%) Chris Iannetta (0.94)
10 Alex Rodriguez (20.7%) Andruw Jones (0.94)

The top ten players in HR/FB%, all listed here, were the only ones who averaged over 20.0% HR/FB% over the three seasons. Looking at these names, Stanton is in healthy company. His current 24.4% mark lies close to the top of the list, suggesting that he should regress a little bit in that department. His 1.02 extra bases/hit are right in the middle of the top ten in that metric.

In terms of scouting, Stanton’s power has been described as prodigious, and as a result it would not surprise anyone if he ended up being as good in terms of power as guys like Ryan Howard or Adam Dunn. However, without a sky-high walk rate like those of Dunn or Jack Cust, you would expect Stanton’s full-season numbers to fall more in line with Howard or Mark Reynolds, with perhaps a little less BABIP. If that were the case, I think expecting a .340-.350 wOBA in the next year would not be too far out of line. If Stanton can begin walking at more than a 10% clip and strike out at a rate below 30%, we can expect some serious improvement in his numbers, especially in his AVG/OBP. With his kind of power, I would not be surprised to see him populating a list like this two or three years down the line, especially if he fills out as projected and develops into the premium power hitter the Marlins are expecting him to be.

Tags: Jack Cust Mark Reynolds Miami Marlins Mike Stanton Ryan Howard

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