Giancarlo ‘Cruz-Michael’ Stanton
This piece appears as part of a series looking at players whose real life value far exceeds their fantasy contributions. Previous posts: Joey Votto.
Yahoo! O-rank: 10th, number six outfielder
Actual Rank: 222nd, by average to account for injury
While I said yesterday that I would give injured players a pass I’m still going to look at Stanton, because injury or not, nothing would have changed. Going into the 2012 season, Stanton was expected to be the focal point and franchise player of an All-Star Marlins team.
Heading into 2013, Stanton was essentially the only recognizable name remaining on the Marlins after the blockbuster trade with the Bluejays. On the 45-73 Marlins, Stanton often finds himself sandwiched in between “All-World” players Adeiny Hechevarria and Placido Polanco, hitting third in Miami’s lineup.
While injuries have limited him to playing in just 75 of Miami’s 117 games (as of August 14th), that’s not necessarily a bad thing for fantasy owners. While even his advanced statistics have taken a down turn this season, for a guy who has received MVP votes in each of the past two seasons, it’s safe to assume it’s not entirely his fault.
Following the announcement of the infamous trade which saw the departure of Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buerhle, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio in exchange for scrubs and prospects, Stanton tweeted:
“Alright, I’m pissed off!!! Plain & Simple“.
When you add in the trades from a year ago that saw Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez and Heath Bell leave town, it became obvious that this wasn’t what Stanton had signed up for. At 23, Stanton is either older or more successful than any of his teammates.
Looking at just the last 30 days to help override the effect of missing 42 games, Stanton still doesn’t look good. He ranks 17th in runs (15), 34th in homeruns (3), 66th in RBI (8), T103 in stolen bases (0), and 147th in batting average (.209)…
Apart from steals, all of the conventional fantasy stats can be greatly influenced by either teammates or the home ballpark. Over the past 30 days, Stanton leads the Marlins in runs; only Ed Lucas joins him in the double digits (10) and only four additional players have more than two. Over the same time his three homeruns lead the team, only four other players have one! His eight RBI are tied with Logan Morrison for second best on the team (Donovan Solano leads with 12).
Over the full season, Stanton leads the Marlins in all of these categories despite missing 42 games. Essentially if none of your teammates can hit then you’re not going to A. score runs or B. drive any runs in.
The second factor contributing to Stanton’s poor fantasy value: the massiveness of Marlins Park; the controversial ballpark completed for Opening Day 2012 has been oft criticized for it’s hideousness. The true issues lie in the parks dimensions however. This season, just 56 homers have been hit there, 36 by opponents. San Francisco’s AT&T Park has hosted the second fewest at just 62. Stanton has hit 10 of his 13 homers at home, but just nine of his 17 doubles.
Two players who have much better numbers than Stanton over the past month are Juan Lagares of the Mets, and Justin Maxwell of the Royals. These two are 38th and 59th respectively, yet are just owned in 10 and 8 percent of leagues.
Additionally, look at Nate Schierholtz of the Cubs, Michael Saunders of the Mariners, J.B. Shuck of the Angels, Khris Davis of the Brewers and Ryan Raburn of the Indians. These guys have all outplayed Stanton over the past month and are all under 22% owned. Toiling away on the Marlins is something to keep in mind when Stanton’s name comes across the board in the early rounds of next years draft.