Sep 24, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) connects for a base hit during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
As we look back at the 2013 season for the Miami Marlins, we wanted to take this opportunity to walk through position by position and give out grades for both the performance of the position and the people who played the position. My grading system is pretty simple. The only way you are going to get an “A” is if you performed at an all-star level. A “C” is going to be given for average production and a “F” is going to be given if I cringe every time you step to the plate.
There is more than just your production that will go into these rankings. I am also going to look at expected production. Therefore, if someone like Giancarlo Stanton is expected to do more considering his prodigious talent, then I am going to hold him to that standard. At the same time, if someone plays above their expected production, than they will get a grade that reflects that. If I give Stanton a lower grade then someone like Donovan Solano (not saying I will, this is just hypothetical) it does not mean that Solano is a better player than Stanton, just that he outperformed expectations better than him.
Well now that our grading system is clear as mud, lets proceed. Since many of these players played multiple positions I will spread them out into positions that they either played the most or I can envision them playing in the future.
The Marlins starting right fielder battled early season injuries for the second year in a row. He managed to log only 116 games and 504 plate appearances. Stanton finished the season with a stat line of .249/.365/.480. I was impressed by his OBP which was the highest of his career. If he has a career OBP around .365, that would certainly be acceptable for a player with his power. What is not acceptable is a slugging percentage under .500. That fell more than .100 points from last years slugging percentage. His WAR was 2.4, lower than even his rookie season of 2.7 and much lower than the 4.1 and 5.5 he posted the last two years. Stanton’s big value comes from his power yet without a late season power surge, he would have not even reached 20 home runs on the year.
For me to be able to give Stanton even a “C” grade he would have had to made it to the 4.0 range of WAR. There is no denying that he is the most dangerous hitter in the Marlins lineup, but no one else in MLB that dangerous looks so lost at the plate at times. I believe he does way to much guessing and not enough reacting.
Ozuna burst onto the scene in a big way this season. He got his chance filling in at right field for the injured Giancarlo Stanton and he certainly made the most of it. He brought an excitement to Marlins fans. I felt like every time he came to the plate he was the one person who was going to come through with a clutch hit to score a run or a leadoff double to get us started. So imagine my surprise when I looked up his stats this season and saw that he was barely above replacement value.
Ozuna reminds me a lot of a young Vladamir Guerrero in his ability to hit a pitch that is located pretty much anywhere, unfortunately perception was not reality as he struggled to a .303 OBP and a .389 slugging percentage. His strong start in right field kept him in the lineup when Stanton returned, as manager Mike Redmond moved him to centerfield. He began to struggle during the second month, presumably since opposing pitchers figured out his propensity to swing at pitches outside the strike zone.
Ozuna’s injury tempered some of the excitement around him. The question is, in the Marlins crowded outfield, is there a place for him moving forward. I think so. I think the excitement he brings and added maturity he will gain has earned him a very deserving grade.
Going into the season, right field was considered our strength on the field. Our star player was entrenched there and we anticipated big things from Stanton. The position certainly underperformed, but for our team, was one of the better positions that we had. My overall grade for the position was a C. I am anticipating this grade improving in the future.
What do you think? Let me know what grade you would have given Stanton and Ozuna in the comments below.