Giancarlo Stanton

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Giancarlo Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton on June 18, 2015.jpg
Stanton with the Miami Marlins
Miami Marlins – No. 27
Right fielder
Born: (1989-11-08) November 8, 1989 (age 29)
Panorama City, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 8, 2010, for the Florida Marlins
Career statistics
(through May 27, 2016)
Batting average .267
Hits 726
Home runs 193
Runs batted in 492
Career highlights and awards

Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton (born November 8, 1989) is an American professional baseball right fielder for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball (MLB). Prior to the 2012 season, he was known as Mike Stanton. He graduated from Notre Dame High School, before he was drafted by the Marlins in the 2007 MLB draft. Stanton made his MLB debut with the Marlins in June 2010. He is a three-time MLB All-Star and was the Hank Aaron Award winner for the National League in 2014 after leading the league in home runs.

In November 2014, the Marlins signed Stanton to the richest contract in sports history, worth $325 million over as many as thirteen years.

Early life

Stanton attended Verdugo Hills High School in Tujunga, California before he transferred to Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, where he was a three-sport athlete. He had accepted a scholarship to play baseball for Tulane, and received offers from UCLA, UNLV and USC to play football.[1][2] However, he opted to go pro after being drafted in the second round (76th overall) in the 2007 amateur draft by the Florida Marlins.[3]

Stanton is mostly of Irish and African-American descent. His maternal great-grandmother was Puerto Rican.[4] He has represented the United States internationally including the World Baseball Classic of 2013. The same year Team Puerto Rico investigated whether Giancarlo Stanton could play for them in the event as it was rumored Giancarlo had some distant Puerto Rican blood via his great-grandmother side. However, it was found out he wasn't eligible as his Puerto Rican ancestry wasn't considered significant enough to represent the team according to the World Baseball Classic rules.[5]

Professional career

Minor league career

Stanton began his career for the Gulf Coast League Marlins, but quickly advanced to the Single-A short season New York–Penn League, playing for the Jamestown Jammers. After nine games for the Jammers, where he batted .067 on 2 for 30 hitting, he was promoted to the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers. At Greensboro, Stanton hit 39 home runs, on a .293 batting average with 97 RBIs and a .993 OPS.[3][6] Stanton received an invitation to the 2009 Marlins spring training.[7] He won numerous post-season awards for his performance in the 2008 minor league season, and was placed at number 16 on Baseball America's top 100 prospects list.[8]

He began the season in High A with the Jupiter Hammerheads, where he batted .294 with 12 home runs and 39 RBI. This outstanding performance led to a promotion to the Double-A Jacksonville Suns.[9][10] He was selected to the U.S. All- Star Futures game in the minor leagues, as he was chosen to represent the Florida Marlins.[11] In the off-season, he was sent to the Arizona Fall League, for the organization's top prospects. Before going down with an injury forcing him to leave, he led the league with a .478 batting average.[12] Baseball America declared him the number 1 prospect in the Marlins system,[13] as well as being number 3 on John Manuel's of Baseball America, top 20 prospects in the minors.[14]

In 52 games with the Jacksonville Suns, Stanton batted .311 with 21 homers, 52 RBI and a 1.167 on-base plus slugging percentage. Perhaps most impressive was that he struck out just nine more times than he walked (44). After a series against the Mississippi Braves in early May, Mississippi manager Phil Wellman told The Florida Times Union: "He looks like a 15-year-old playing on an 8-year-old's Little League team." On May 6, 2010, Stanton hit a home run at Montgomery that cleared the scoreboard in center field and traveled an estimated 500–550 feet.[15]

Major league career

Stanton scoring

2010: Rookie season

On June 6, 2010, the Miami Marlins announced that Stanton would be called up to the major leagues, making his debut on June 8. At 20 years, 212 days, he became the third youngest player in Marlins history, behind Édgar Rentería (19 years, 276 days)[16] and Miguel Cabrera (20 years, 67 days).[17] Stanton went 3-for-5 with two infield singles and scored twice in the debut.[18]

Stanton's first big league home run was a grand slam off of Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza. He joined Jeff Conine, Chuck Carr, Quilvio Veras, Craig Counsell and Jeremy Hermida on the list of Marlins whose first homer came with the bases loaded. In addition, Stanton became the fourth player in the past 25 years to hit his first career grand slam before his 21st birthday along with Jose Reyes (2003), Andruw Jones (1997) and Alex Rodriguez (1996). On August 11, 2010 against the Washington Nationals, Stanton went 5-for-5 with 4 RBI, 2 doubles and a home run. He became the second youngest player to collect five hits and four RBI in a game, and the youngest to do it since 1935 (Phil Cavarretta, who was 19 years and 33 days old with the Chicago Cubs on August 21, 1935). Stanton also is just the second Marlin with five hits and four RBI in the same game, joining Gary Sheffield, who did it on September 17, 1995 at Colorado.[19]

Stanton's favorite big league at-bat came on September 6, 2010, against Roy Oswalt in Philadelphia.[20] Stanton thought he had struck out on a foul tip, but the catcher dropped the ball. On the next pitch, he hit a 435-foot home run. "That (home run) I really liked, because that's what made me grow", Stanton said. "I thought I struck out; I was a little flustered. You learn that when something's over with, you move on. I did that pretty quick right there." [21]

For his rookie season, Stanton's home runs averaged a distance of 399.6 feet with average speed of 104.3 MPH.[22]

He was named an outfielder on Baseball America's 2010 All-Rookie Team.[23] He was also named an outfielder on the 2010 Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team.[24]


In 2011, Stanton battled through leg and eye injuries which kept him from being a consistent hitting threat in the Marlins lineup. He hit his first walk-off home run on July 6, 2011 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Stanton finished the 2011 season batting .262 with 34 home runs and 87 RBI in 516 at-bats. According to HitTrackerOnline, Stanton belted 15 no-doubt home runs, the most in the National League and second most in the major leagues behind José Bautista's 18. Stanton hit the longest home runs of the season by any player in 2011 at Citi Field (465 feet), Nationals Park (455 feet), Coors Field (475 feet), and Sun Life Stadium (466 feet).[25] His average distance (416.6 feet) and off bat speed (107.4 MPH) made significant improvement in his sophomore season. Stanton finished 23rd in the National league MVP [1]

At the end of the season, Stanton had 56 career home runs before his 22nd birthday (which was in November), which matched Alex Rodriguez and was behind only Ken Griffey, Jr. among players in the past 40 seasons.[26]

2012: All-Star

Stanton with young fan in 2012

On May 21, 2012, Stanton hit a grand slam off Jamie Moyer that traveled 462 feet with an off-bat speed of 122.4 MPH, the fastest since ESPN's Home Run Tracker began tracking.[27] The ball made contact with a scoreboard in the outfield which resulted in the panels hit getting knocked out momentarily.[28] Moyer had not given up a grand slam since 2004.[29]

On June 28, 2012, Stanton confirmed that he would play in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game and participate in the Home Run Derby.[30] However, On July 7, Stanton left the game against the St. Louis Cardinals after a knee soreness. The next day, Stanton had surgery on his knee and later missed both of the events. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 14. On August 17, Stanton hit a 494-foot home run at Coors Field.[31] The home run was his sixth home run at Coors Field, in as many games, dating back to 2011. The home run was the longest in MLB since 2009.

Stanton finished the 2012 season with career highs in home runs (37; 2nd in the National League, behind only Ryan Braun), batting average (.290), on-base percentage (.361), and slugging percentage (.608) which led all of MLB. He was third in the NL in on-base plus slugging percentage (.969; behind Braun and Joey Votto).[32]

According to HitTrackerOnline, Stanton belted 11 no-doubt home runs, the most in the National League and sixth most in the major leagues. Stanton hit the longest home runs of the season at Coors Field (494 feet) for 2nd straight season, and Marlins Park (462 feet).[33] His average distance (413 feet) and off bat speed (107.2 MPH) remained on-par with his 2011 campaign.


After having a career best .290 batting average, 37 home runs and .608 slugging percentage, Stanton had a good feeling coming into the 2013 season from spring training and participating in the WBC team USA. On April 27, 2013, Stanton opened up with his first homer of the season, putting it over the scoreboard he hit last season off Jamie Moyer, and traveling an estimated 472 feet. Stanton was put on the 15-day disabled list three days later due to a grade 2 hamstring injury. He was re-activated on June 10, 2013.

Missing those two months of the season, Stanton worked hard to come back to his former self. With only 116 games played he was not able put up the same numbers, with only 425 at-bats he had a .249 average with 106 hits, 62 RBI and 24 home runs to end the season. Stanton was able to hit a milestone marker in his career. In a June 17, 2013 victory, Stanton hit two long home runs, one off former closer Heath Bell to take the lead. Stanton hit his 99th and 100th career homer that night, placing him on the number 9 spot in the fastest player to hit 100 career homers.

Stanton displayed home run power but fell short of expectations as injury limited his season.[34]


On April 18, Stanton hit a walk-off grand slam home run against the Seattle Mariners. Against the San Diego Padres, Stanton hit what was estimated to be the longest home run in Marlins Park history. Stanton hit his 154th career home run with the Marlins, tying the franchise career record with Dan Uggla. On September 11, Stanton was hit by a pitch in the face by Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers, and was expected to return, but later examinations determined that he would not return.[35] The impact resulted in multiple facial fractures, lacerations, and dental damage. On September 17, 2014, the Marlins announced that Stanton would not play for the rest of the 2014 season.[36] In 145 games, Stanton batted .288 with 37 home runs, 105 RBI, 94 walks (24 intentional), a .555 slugging percentage, and a .950 OPS.

On November 17, 2014, the Marlins and Stanton agreed to a 13-year, $325 million extension, the most lucrative contract in sports history. The deal involves a no-trade clause and Stanton can opt out of the contract after he turns 30. His salary will go up every year he plays for the Marlins.[37][38]


On April 16, Stanton hit his 155th career home run, surpassing Dan Uggla to become the Marlins all-time home run leader. On May 12, Stanton hit a 467-foot home run which cleared the left field stands at Dodger Stadium. It was the third-longest home run of the season at that point and the fifth ever hit out of Dodger Stadium.[39] On May 15, 2015, Stanton hit a 474-foot line drive to center field which landed in the camera well in Marlins Park. It was the second longest home run of the season at that time, pushing his out of the stadium homer to number 4. On May 30, Stanton hit a 466-foot home run, the longest in Citi Field history.[40]


His mother calls him "Cruz" (his other middle name), but his father and other relatives call him "Mike" or "Mikey." He was known as "Mike Stanton" throughout his high school and minor league careers and for his first two years as a major leaguer, but before the 2012 season, he made it known that he would prefer to be called Giancarlo.[26]


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External links

Preceded by
Matt Kemp
National League Player of the Month
May 2012
Succeeded by
Andrew McCutchen