Mike Stanton launched a home run in his fourth consecutive game last night, giving him 29 for the season and putting him just one behind Albert Pujols for the National League lead. While Stanton creamed an Aaron Cook sinker into the Coors Field stands last night, he has hit for even more power this year than during his rookie season by killing the soft stuff.
Stanton's 13 homers this year against "soft" pitches (breaking balls and changeups) ties Jose Bautista for the second-most in baseball (Carlos Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz both have 14). Stanon misses often on breaking and off-speed stuff -- his 45 percent miss rate places him in the same company as Miguel Olivo, Adam Dunn and Russell Branyan -- but he's pummeling pitches that he does connect on:
Overall, he's slugging .534 versus soft stuff, up from .452 in 2010 (.361 league average).
Stanton's 29 bombs tie him with Joe DiMaggio and Frank Robinson for tenth-most among hitters during their age-21 season, according to Baseball-Reference. While he'd have to go on an absolute tear to reach Eddie Matthews' all-time best of 47 homers, Stanton stands a good chance of passing the likes of Jimmie Foxx (33), Miguel Cabrera (33) and Pujols (37) to move into second place. I shudder to think what this guy's peak will look like.