The Miami Marlins head into their four-game series with the San Francisco Giants tied with the Kansas City Royals with the fewest home runs (37) in the majors. The next closest team to those two would be the Giants, who have 12 more home runs.
Even with the lack of power three months into the season, that is something Marlins fans will not have to worry much about going forward. With the returns of Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton, and the promotions for Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich, the Marlins possess plenty of power in their current lineup. The team also has Justin Ruggiano off of the bench, he should be starting, but that’s another story for another day.
Everyone knows about the power Stanton has. He hit 37 home runs last season in 501 plate appearances and has continued that tear in 2013, despite a slow start. Stanton currently has 7 home runs in 126 plate appearances and should come close to a 30-homer campaign, barring another injury.
Ruggiano has 9 homers in just 222 plate appearances and has seen his playing time cut significantly since Chris Coghlan caught fire and now with Stanton back. Ruggiano should be starting over Juan Pierre in left, but manager Mike Redmond points out a lack of a lead-off hitter outside of Pierre as his justification for Pierre’s playing time. Although, Rugg did just fine leading off yesterday.
Derek Dietrich has been huge for the Marlins since his callup. His slash line of .212/.270/.401 does not look impressive, but he does have six homers already, with five of them either tying or giving the Marlins a lead. Derek is still making adjustments as a rookie, but has shown tremendous power potential already.
As for Ozuna, he has not shown the tremendous power that made him an interesting prospect in the minors as of yet, but that does not mean it is not there. Ozuna hit for 79 career minor league home runs across 5 seasons, including 23+ each of the past two seasons. It took Giancarlo until his second big league month before he started consistently hitting balls out of the park. With a little more seasoning, Ozuna should have no problems getting his share of long balls.
ZiPS currently has Stanton projected to hit 20 more home runs the rest of this season, Ruggiano, Dietrich and Ozuna all are projected to hit 8 more out a piece, and LoMo 6 more. That’s 50 combined home runs from those 5, combined.
The Marlins will need to find other power sources, as the team will still fall short of the 100 home run plateau if they don’t. Either way, the power in the Marlins lineup is not going to be a major concern going forward, but the numbers may not show that at the end of the season. The slow start has really crippled the Marlins power numbers and a miracle will be needed for the club to tie last season’s mark of 137 homers.