Aug 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) breaks his bat on a single to left field in the fourth inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
It doesn’t take Bill James to see that Marlins have had scoring runs during the 2013 season. May was the worst month of the Marlins season. The Marlins didn’t have Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison, plus their replacements were not playing anywhere to the level the team needed them to. I wrote an article explaining how the Marlins were able to turn it around in June. Giancarlo, LoMo returned to the lineup and Ed Lucas was playing very well at third base. During the months of June and July the Marlins looked like a properly boring middle of the pack team, not a team with a historically bad offense. But as the Marlins have gone deeper into the dog days of August, the offense seems to have reverted to type and the Marlins have struggled mightily to score runs. This can be simply explained by Giancarlo Stanton’s struggles so far this month. This article’s main focus and other offensive pieces also not performing to be dealt with in a second article.
First let’s get something clear the Marlins big right-fielder has been struggling, that is absolutely true. But how bad has funk been? According to Fangraphs.com, Giancarlo’s -0.4 WAR has been the worst in the Major Leagues among all right fielders. Again the worst right fielder by WAR in the entire league. So how have we come to this conclusion, that Giancarlo has been the biggest liability to the Marlins a 37.2 K%, a .217 BABIP, a .128/.209/.154 triple slash line, no home runs, a .176 wOBA and a 2 (!!!) wRC+.
These are the symptoms of what’s ailing Giancarlo Stanton so far this month. But what is actually the disease? It is hard to actually pinpoint one exact issue with Giancarlo but there are a few useful hints to help us figure out what is happening.
In the past 365 days and in the month of August, Stanton has seen the following pitches most often.
|Fastball %||Fastball Value||Changeup %||Change Up Value||Slider %||Slider Value||Curveball %||Curveball Value|
|Past 365 days||54.00%||14.5||8.10%||0.3||19.30%||-2.5||9.90%||8.9|
In short Giancarlo has had a lot of trouble hitting the fastball and the Curveball so far this month. These are by far the biggest changes in approach and pitch values have affected the Marlins lone slugger. It is hard to hit home runs and balls deep into the outfield for extra base hits if you aren’t able to hit fastballs and changeups. His lack of success in hitting that pitch has resulted in another major change in his outcomes, both in in balls in play and strikeouts.
In the past calendar year Giancarlo has a .320 BABIP, a 16.5 LD%, a 13.4% IFFB% and a 29.4 K%. So far in August Giancarlo has been very unlucky in amassing a .217 BABIP, a 37.5 IFFB% and a 37.2K%. That amounts to 75% of Giancarlo’s at bats ending in either a strikeout or a pop up!!! It is impossible to do anything positive if you can’t hit the ball out of the infield. Further the balls that have been hit hard have been hit at people, which is to say that his BABIP is so slow that it makes it impossible for Giancarlo to actually do anything positive for his game.
Giancarlo has struggled and has actually hurt the Marlins with his -0.4 WAR this month. It is a major factor of why the team has struggled to score runs the past couple of weeks. So it is foreseeable that if he can get out of his funk the Marlins offense will follow. Again he might be the Marlins offense center of gravity, but he definitely isn’t the only one that has hurt the Marlins in their attack. In another article I want to explore the other main culprits in the Marlins August offensive struggles.