Stanton homered again last night, his fourth consecutive game with a big fly. Stanton’s reaction (via Marlins MLB.com scribe Joe Frisaro) to setting a team record in another tough loss? “Oh really? It happens.”
Stanton now sits one home run shy of National League leader Albert Pujols with 29. Word is getting out on Stanton – this kid is pretty good.
Take the effusive praise of Rockies manager Jim Tracy, a man desensitized to greatness thanks to his daily view of Troy Tulowitzki:
“What you normally see in a young player is a guy who hits the fastball, but there’s still some work to be done in figuring out the breaking ball _ what to do with it, how to deal with it. … That’s where he’s quickly escalated himself beyond where you’d see most 21-year-old hitters.
“You can throw that breaking ball in there, but you’d better be throwing it in a darn good spot, I can promise you that. … He might hit one up there in Helton’s Hamburger Stand (beyond the left-field bleachers) if you’re not careful with the guy. When we say he has a chance to be very, very special, what’s not special sitting here with a month-and-a-half of baseball to play and this guy is sitting on 28 home runs and going to hit somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 to 40. What’s not special about that at 21 years of age?”
Yup, Mike Stanton is 21 years old. Just as he was when I wrote a very similar post to this one in May. And again two weeks ago. Mike Stanton is a very impressive player who continues impressing and/or scaring the bejesus out of me. He’s good that way.
When asked about the prodigious homer featured above, Stanton was quick to defer credit to the thin air of the Mile High City.
“I feel like I’ve hit balls way harder than that,” he said. “I think some of my homers in left-center in Miami … [Monday's] was smoother. But I’ve felt I’ve hit harder than that. The ball flies night and day differently here. So it’s hard to tell.”
Stanton’s 29 home runs this year combined with his 22 last year give him 51 for his career, which puts him ahead of some guy named Jimmie Foxx for homers by a 21-year old. Not bad company to keep, if you’re into that sort of thing. Marlins fans, did any exist, could certainly get into “that sort of thing.”