Giancarlo Stanton: Hit or a Miss?
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports
Everybody knows about Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton finished his eighth season of his MLB career hitting .281 with a 1.007 OPS, but he’s better known for his 59 home runs during the season.
On Aug. 19, Stanton cleared waivers, meaning he is eligible for trade, and this offseason the Miami Marlins and their new owner Derek Jeter have been looking to trade him as a way to cut payroll. After long consideration the Marlins chose four teams to talk about Stanton with, the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, and the Boston Red Sox. While each team and their fans would like to have Giancarlo Stanton, it’s important to ask one question, would Giancarlo Stanton really be a good fit for the Red Sox?
Let’s start with Stanton’s opinions.
The 27-year-old stated this September, “I don’t want a rebuild,” and “I’ve lost for seven years.” With the Marlins having new ownership, it makes sense that Jeter would like to rebuild, as the last season the Marlins had a winning percentage over .500 was 2009, one season before Stanton joined the Marlins.
If Stanton is looking for a team with a chance of contending in the postseason, which of the four teams would be best?
The Red Sox have won the American League East for two consecutive season, won the division three times since 2013, but have only had three postseason appearances since 2010.
The Phillies have not been in the postseason since 2011, which was also their last season over .500.
The Giants on the other hand were wild card winners last season and have won three World Series trophies since 2010. The problem with the Giants is that they had their fifth worst season in franchise history and their second worst season since moving to San Francisco in 1958.
The St. Louis Cardinals have not had a season under .500 since 2007 and have been in the postseason five times since 2010, including a World Series victory. After looking over the teams, it seems the Cardinals would have the best chance of going to the postseason, but the Boston Red Sox would be the second best contender of the four teams.
Let’s say Giancarlo Stanton did sign with the Red Sox.
How good would he be, and in a more extreme scenario, could he potentially break Barry Bonds’s home run record? Now it may be a bold claim but there’s a serious case here.
Fenway Park is the smallest ballpark in use, and Stanton can hit 31 home runs in Marlins Park, which is significantly bigger. Could some of Stanton’s hits or doubles of 2017 become home runs at Fenway? Thanks to baseballsavant.mlb.com I was able to get a spray chart of all of Stanton’s balls in play at home this season and compare it to the size of Fenway Park.
Let’s start with any changes to the home runs he had already hit.
The dip into the seats in deep right field actually takes away three home runs that made it out in other ballparks, decreasing his home run count to 56. Stanton hit one double to right field that would barely be in Fenway’s bullpen, so that takes the count up to 57 home runs. Stanton had five fly outs to left field and three doubles that could’ve gone out of the park, however the wall in left field may keep some of these to a base hit or extra base hit. Baseball Savant had video of one of those doubles and one of the fly outs and it is quite obvious that they would’ve gone over the wall in Fenway, bringing his home run total back up to 59.
While I could not find video of any of the other fly balls or doubles assuming all of them were high enough to go out of the park Stanton would have 63 home runs in the season, which would be a single season record by a player without using PEDs, beating Roger Maris’s 61 home runs in 1961. Imagine having somebody who could potentially hit 60 home runs in one season, and then imagine having him play half his games in the smallest ballpark.
How would the Red Sox even go about obtaining Stanton?
The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals made offers to the Miami Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton. The Giants reportedly offered their second baseman Joe Panik and two of their top prospects, a starting pitcher named Tyler Beede and outfielder Chris Shaw for Stanton and Dee Gordon.
The Cardinals offer has not yet been made public but it is said to include some of their top prospects.
The Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has a reputation of cleaning out farm systems and the Red Sox do not have the prospects to get Stanton, so they would need to give up some of their major league players.
In order to get Stanton, the Marlins would want Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, or Mookie Betts. Giving up two of those players may be too much and may not even be worth it. The Marlins may also want the Red Sox prospects third baseman Michael Chavis or starting pitcher Jay Groome. The best trade that could be accepted would be Benintendi, Chavis, and Groome for Stanton, but the Marlins may not just take Benintendi and the Sox’s two best prospects.
Out of the other teams talking with the Marlins, the Cardinals have the prospects to obtain Stanton without serious damage to their farm system.
The biggest concern about Stanton is that he may not perform as well as he did this season. While he had a 59 home runs and 132 RBI season, he has never hit 40 home runs in any other season and only had one other 100 RBI season. However, the 162 game average for Stanton on baseballrefrence.com states he hits an average of 44 home runs and 110 RBIs in 162 games and bats .268.
If the Red Sox do obtain Stanton it could either be a hit or a miss.