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Entries in Giancarlo Stanton (4)

Friday
Jun142013

Peter Gammons: Time for a Break

When Troy Tulowitski went down with a broken rib Thursday night, there had been 285 players on the disabled list this season who had combined to miss more than 10,000 days. “One of the biggest factors in the game today is the injury rate,” Billy Beane has uttered for two years, now. “The healthiest and deepest teams win.”

In Beane’s case, he saw this coming a couple of years ago, and combined with the exhaustion factor—schedule, weather, getaway night games, the enforcement of no amphetamine rules—saw that pennant races can be decided by young, talented, deep teams. Long term deals for players in their thirties may become increasingly scarce; injuries and the banning of HGH, which many of the anti-doping leaders claimed postponed the normal eyesight aging that begins in ones’ mid-thirties, are considered, and not just by a team like the Angels that in 2016 will have $95M tied up in five players well into their thirties.

But what we also have is an extraordinary number of oblique, rib cage, abdominal and other strains that were unheard of 25 years ago. In the last week, a half-dozen general managers have said that they are studying whether players today don’t work out too much. “Is it necessary to do the weight room work they do during the season, especially when they’re getting to hotels at 6 am on travel days?” asks one of those GMs. “Then look at their off-seasons. A lot of players never give their bodies time to recover, and they’re back in full training a week or two after they’re done with their seasons. They’re hitting and throwing in December, or early January. Does the body actually recover?”

This was not true in the past. In 1986, Ted Williams and Wade Boggs were riding in the backseat of my rental car from Winter Haven to Clearwater, Fla. to meet Don Mattingly and have a long dinner spent talking hitting. Going across the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Williams asked Boggs about his off-season routine. Boggs said he took two weeks off, then started hitting and training.

“I never picked up a bat in the off-season,” Williams said. “Looking back, I wish I had. Maybe I could have hit a helluva lot better.”

I almost drove into Tampa Bay, I was laughing so hard.

Giancarlo Stanton has been searching for reasons he has had assorted injuries, and it had been suggested that perhaps his body cannot take his 250 pounds when his body fat is 4%. There are several other cases like that.”

Giancarlo Stanton

“It starts with the kids,” says one scout. “The teenage kids today play year round. They have fall schedules. They all go to showcases all over the country, year-round.” In fact, this weekend, just after high school seasons and tournaments finished and the draft is a week old, there is the first huge showcase in Minneapolis for kids all across the country. We all love hearing about a kid from Gainesville, Georgia named Michael Gettys who has such a strong arm that a radar gun got him at 100 MPH throwing from the outfield. We love hearing that there is a host of “big” arms. A few years ago Dr. James Andrews talked about the incredible escalation in the summer of surgeries he performs on teenage baseball players. “It’s almost as if we like drafting a kid who just had Tommy John Surgery,” says one scouting director. “Because most of these kids play and throw so much under so much scrutiny that we know sooner or later, they’ll blow out. So better to get them pre-blowout that post-blowout.”

Oblique pulls are now part of everyday conversations. Double-A prospects miss time with torn abdominal muscles. “I know we’re having a complete review of our developmental and major league workout programs,” says one general manager. “It’s a constant conversation piece in our business. I think a lot of decision-makers look at games played per season before they look at Wins Above Replacement.”

Tuesday
Nov202012

Giancarlo Stanton Solves Breaking Stuff

Giancarlo Stanton is not a happy man. And who can blame him? The Marlins' outfield prodigy has jacked more home runs through his age-22 season (93) than every hitter not named Mel Ott, Eddie Matthews, Alex Rodriguez, Tony Conigliaro and Frank Robinson, yet he's now surrounded by a quasi-Triple-A squad that will cost less than that psychedelic home run sculpture in Miami's taxpayer-funded stadium/night club/art gallery.

While the Marlins look primed for another last-place finish in the NL East standings, Stanton can at least take solace in his rapid improvement at the plate. Stanton's on-base-plus-slugging percentage has soared from 18 percent above the major league average during his rookie season to 41 percent above average in 2011 and 58 percent above average in 2012. He has developed into one of the game's most dangerous hitters by taking out his Fish-induced frustration on curveballs and sliders.

Stanton crushed fastballs from the moment he reached the majors, but pitchers could beat him with quality breaking stuff during his rookie year:

Stanton's slugging percentage by pitch location vs. curveballs and sliders, 2010

Stanton slugged .346 against curves and sliders as a rookie, which was about 25 points below the major league average. He hit six homers against breaking balls, and none came on a pitch thrown to the bottom third of the strike zone.

In 2011, Stanton expanded his slugging prowess against curves and sliders:

Stanton's slugging percentage by pitch location vs. curveballs and sliders, 2011

He still scuffled against low-and-away pitches, but Stanton improved his slugging percentage on curves and sliders to .444. Stanton went deep 11 times on breaking balls, including two on low pitches.

This past year, Giancarlo transformed into an elite hitter against breaking stuff:

Stanton's slugging percentage by pitch location vs. curveballs and sliders, 2012

He slugged .563 against curves and sliders, tying Josh Hamilton for the fourth-best mark among MLB hitters, and his 13 homers on breaking balls ranked behind just Hamilton. Stanton hit six homers on low breaking stuff.

Stanton, under contract with the Marlins through the 2016 season, probably wishes he had Hamilton's freedom to change zip codes this winter. But if he maintains his gains against breaking stuff and stays healthy, Giancarlo is going to get a payday that trumps Hamilton's down the line.

Wednesday
Sep122012

Giancarlo Stanton is in the zone

Last night, Giancarlo Stanton hit his 34th home run of the season, tying for the second-most homers in a season in Marlins history.

When healthy, Stanton has been a force with a .952 OPS, batting .283 and leading the majors with .600 slugging percentage. 

Take a look at his slugging this season:

It is apparent from the graphic above that pitchers need to fear throwing Stanton a strike.

Look at Stanton's effectiveness at pitches in the strike zone:

His numbers are overwhelming. On pitches in the strike zone, Stanton is hitting .358, slugging .795, with an OPS of 1.161. Against lefties his numbers are even better with pitches in the strike zone hitting .373 and slugging .851 

Here are the Marlins who have hit at least 30 homers in a season:

RkPlayerHRYearGABRBI
1 Gary Sheffield 42 1996 161 519 120
2 Giancarlo Stanton 34 2012 113 413 79
3 Giancarlo Stanton 34 2011 150 516 87
4 Miguel Cabrera 34 2007 157 588 119
5 Dan Uggla 33 2010 159 589 105
6 Hanley Ramirez 33 2008 153 589 67
7 Carlos Delgado 33 2005 144 521 115
8 Miguel Cabrera 33 2005 158 613 116
9 Miguel Cabrera 33 2004 160 603 112
10 Mike Jacobs 32 2008 141 477 93
11 Dan Uggla 32 2008 146 531 92
12 Mike Lowell 32 2003 130 492 105
13 Dan Uggla 31 2009 158 564 90
14 Dan Uggla 31 2007 159 632 88
15 Derrek Lee 31 2003 155 539 92
16 Cliff Floyd 31 2001 149 555 103
17 Preston Wilson 31 2000 161 605 121
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/12/2012.