Jul 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; National League outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) of the Miami Marlins reacts as he bats in the first round during the 2014 Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All Star Game at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Say it with me: MVP! MVP! MVP!
This review is more of a thank you letter. Thank you, Giancarlo Stanton, for providing us with possibly the best season from a Marlin in franchise history. Without Giancarlo Stanton, this feel-good turn around team would look a lot more like the 100 loss version from 2013.
While his season ended three weeks early to a scary freak-injury, he still posted 6.5 WAR. In 145 games, he slashed .288/.395/.555, while blasting 37 home runs, and driving in 105 runs. This year we saw an even more patient version of Giancarlo, with a career high 14.7% walk rate.
While we had a monster season at the plate, his defense in right field was also above average. The complete package became apparent this year, rather than just being labeled as a slugger. He even swiped 13 bases, a career high.
Had it not been for the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Andrew McCutchen, and Mike Fiers, the MVP award would be in the bag for Stanton. When Jose Fernandez went down for the season, many thought the Marlins were finished. Giancarlo heard the doubt, turned to his team mates and said “Hey! my back is right here, hop on!”, carrying the Fish into the wild card discussion all the way until his early exit the second week of September.
Hopefully there’s still enough traditionalists out there who believe the MVP award carries an asterisk that reads *player-not a pitcher. That would eliminate the pesky Kershaw from the conversation, even though he had one of the greatest seasons of all time. I think of the award in terms of what the player means to his team. The Dodgers would have found a way to win without Kershaw, they have the money. They carry the highest payroll in the league, giving each individual player less value, respectively, to their team. Giancarlo Stanton was, is, and hopefully will continue to be, the only hope of the Miami Marlins.
Oh yeah, I have to give him a grade:
A-/A (only because he didn’t get to finish the season, also Garrett Jones and Ed Lucas ended up starting those games in his place).
For those of you who missed out, here’s a video of all 37 Stanton smashes from last year. Let us all pray that Loria opens the wallet and offers our Franchise-face the contract he deserves.