Giancarlo Stanton

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Giancarlo Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton 2018.jpg
Stanton with the New York Yankees in 2018
New York Yankees – No. 27
Outfielder / Designated hitter
Born: (1989-11-08) November 8, 1989 (age 28)
Panorama City, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 8, 2010, for the Florida Marlins
Career statistics
(through August 19, 2018)
Batting average .270
Home runs 299
Runs batted in 752
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton (born November 8, 1989) is an American professional baseball outfielder and designated hitter for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his major league debut on June 8, 2010, as a member of the Miami Marlins, where he played through 2017. Known for his prodigious physical strength and ability to regularly hit long home runs, Stanton has twice led the National League (NL) in home runs, including hitting 59 in 2017, the most in 16 years. Before 2012, he was known as Mike Stanton. A right-handed batter and thrower, Stanton stands 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall and weighs 245 pounds (111 kg).

From the Greater Los Angeles region, Stanton graduated from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks before the Marlins selected him in the second round of the 2007 MLB draft. The 2017 NL Most Valuable Player (MVP), Stanton also led the league in runs batted in (RBI) and slugging percentage. A four-time MLB All-Star, Stanton has twice won both the NL Hank Aaron and outfield Silver Slugger Awards, both times after leading the league in home runs. In November 2014, the Marlins signed Stanton to the richest total dollar value contract in team sports history, worth $325 million over 13 years.[1] After the 2017 season, the team traded him to the Yankees.

Early life[edit]

Stanton is mostly of African American and Irish descent. His maternal great-grandmother was Puerto Rican. He is the youngest of three children born to Michael Stanton and Jacinta Garay; his siblings are Egidio Carlos Moacir Garay Stanton (ten years older) and Kyrice Valivia (two years older). He was raised in the Tujunga area of Los Angeles.[2][3][4]

He has represented the United States internationally, including the World Baseball Classic in 2013. Puerto Rico had previously investigated whether Stanton could play for them, but his Puerto Rican ancestry wasn't close enough for him to be eligible.[5]

Stanton attended Verdugo Hills High School in Tujunga, California, for two years.[6] He transferred to Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, where he was a three-sport athlete. In addition to baseball, Stanton played wide receiver and cornerback for the gridiron football team, and also played basketball.[7] He had accepted a scholarship to play baseball for Tulane, and received offers from UCLA, UNLV and USC to play football.[8][9]

Professional career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

The Florida Marlins selected Stanton in the second round, with the 76th overall selection, in the 2007 amateur draft.[10] Rather than enroll in college, Stanton signed with the Marlins, receiving a $475,000 signing bonus.[11]

Stanton began his professional career for the Gulf Coast League Marlins of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, but quickly[clarification needed] advanced to the Jamestown Jammers of the Class A-Short Season New York–Penn League. After playing nine games for the Jammers, where he batted .067 on 2-for-30 hitting, he was promoted to the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Class A South Atlantic League. With Greensboro, Stanton hit 39 home runs, on a .293 batting average with 97 RBIs and a .993 OPS.[10][12] Stanton received an invitation to the 2009 Marlins' spring training.[13] 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.[14]

Stanton began the 2009 season with the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League, where he batted .294 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs. This performance led to a promotion to the Jacksonville Suns of the Class AA Southern League.[15][16] He was selected for the All-Star Futures Game.[17] In the off-season, he was sent to the Arizona Fall League, for top MLB prospects. Before going down with an injury,[clarification needed] he led the league with a .478 batting average.[18] Baseball America declared him the number one prospect in the Marlins system,[19] as well as being number 3 on John Manuel's of Baseball America, top 20 prospects in the minors.[20]

In 52 games with the Suns in 2010, Stanton batted .311 with 21 home runs, 52 RBIs and a 1.167 on-base plus slugging percentage. 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 against the Montgomery Biscuits that cleared the scoreboard in center field and traveled an estimated 500 to 550 feet (150 to 170 m).[21]

Florida / Miami Marlins (2010–2017)[edit]

Stanton scoring

2010: Rookie season[edit]

On June 6, 2010, the Florida 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)[22] and Miguel Cabrera (20 years, 67 days).[23] Stanton went 3-for-5 with two infield singles and scored twice in the debut.[24]

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.[25]

Stanton's favorite big league at-bat came on September 6, 2010, against Roy Oswalt in Philadelphia.[26] 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."[27]

For his rookie season, Stanton's home runs averaged a distance of 399.6 feet with average speed of 104.3 MPH.[28]

He was named an outfielder on Baseball America's 2010 All-Rookie Team.[29] He was also named an outfielder on the 2010 Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team.[30]

2011[edit]

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).[31] 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.[32]

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.[33]

2012: All-Star season[edit]

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[34] began tracking.[35] The ball made contact with a scoreboard in the outfield which resulted in the panels hit getting knocked out momentarily.[36] Moyer had not given up a grand slam since 2004.[37]

On June 28, 2012, Stanton confirmed that he would play in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game and participate in the Home Run Derby. 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.[38] 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).[39]

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).[40] His average distance (413 feet) and off bat speed (107.2 MPH) remained on-par with his 2011 campaign.

2013: injury season[edit]

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 six weeks, about 1/4 of the season, Stanton worked hard to regain his form. With only 116 games played he was not able put up equivalent numbers: for 425 at-bats he had a .249 average with 106 hits, 62 RBI and 24 home runs by season's end. 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. They were his 99th and 100th career home runs, making him the 9th fastest player to hit 100 career home runs. On the last day of the regular season against the Detroit Tigers, Stanton scored the winning run on a wild pitch to complete Henderson Álvarez's no-hitter.

Stanton again displayed home run power but fell short of expectations due to his injury.[41]

2014: All-Star season[edit]

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 at first expected to resume play, but subsequent examination determined the injury was more serious.[42] The impact resulted in multiple facial fractures, lacerations, and dental damage. On September 17, the Marlins announced that Stanton would not play the last two weeks of the 2014 season.[43] In 145 games, Stanton batted .288 with 37 home runs, 105 RBI, 94 walks (24 intentional), a .555 slugging percentage, and a .950 OPS. He finished second in MVP voting to winner Clayton Kershaw.

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 includes a no-trade clause and Stanton can opt out of the contract after he turns 30. His salary will increase each year he plays for the Marlins.[44][45]

2015: All-Star, injury-shortened season[edit]

Stanton during his tenure with the Marlins in 2015

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.[46] 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.[47] In June he had a strong batting average, but on June 26, he broke the hamate bone in his left wrist in a ninth-inning at-bat.[48][49]

At the time of his season-ending hand injury in June, Stanton had played only 74 games but hit 27 home runs, with a batting average of .265.[50]

2016[edit]

Stanton makes a catch

On April 26, Stanton hit a three run home run off of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. It was the first three run homer Kershaw had allowed in 844 innings.[51] From July 5–6, Stanton hit four home runs in four consecutive at-bats at Citi Field.[52]

Despite not being selected to the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Stanton was among those representing the National League in the 2016 version of the Home Run Derby.[53] Stanton won the Derby with 61 total home runs, setting a new record for most home runs in a single Derby.[54] Stanton hit the 10 longest home runs and 18 of the 19 longest among the eight competitors.[55] In 119 games of 2016, Stanton batted .240 with 27 home runs and 74 RBI. He missed 22 games in August and September after suffering a grade 2 hamstring strain, originally thought to be season-ending.[56]

2017: MVP season[edit]

On April 12, 2017, Stanton hit two home runs, the second one landing in a pool behind left center field, prompting a fan to dive in to retrieve the ball. The Marlins would lose 5–4 to the Braves.[57][58] On May 21, while at Dodger Stadium, Stanton attempted to snag a fly ball that was heading for the visiting teams' bullpen by leaping up on the door, but the door was left unlocked, causing it to slide open while Stanton was hanging on it.[59] Stanton was selected to the National League team in the All-Star Game, his fourth selection, played at Marlins Park. At the time, he led the NL with 26 home runs and batted .277/.360/.572 (avg/on base/slugging).[60] He also participated in the Home Run Derby but lost by one home run in the first round to New York Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez.[61]

Named NL Player of the Week on August 13, Stanton had hit his 250th career home run earlier in the day versus the Colorado Rockies. For the week, he generated a major league-leading six home runs and 11 RBI, and averaged 1.037 SLG and 1.416 OPS.[62] While playing the San Francisco Giants on August 14, Stanton hit his 43rd home run, setting the Marlins franchise record for most home runs in a season, which surpassed Gary Sheffield's mark of 42 set in 1996. Stanton hit the home run versus Ty Blach and had homered in five consecutive games, setting another franchise record.[63] Over a span of 35 games through August 15, Stanton erupted for 23 home runs, including in six games in a row. Only Sammy Sosa (1998) and Barry Bonds (2001) had hit more in a 35-game span.[64]

On August 27, Stanton became the first player since Chris Davis in 2013 to hit 50 home runs in one season. Stanton also became the sixth player in MLB history to reach 50 home runs before the end of August.[65] During the August 29 game versus the Washington Nationals, he hit his 18th home run of the month, tying Rudy York for the most home runs in August, set in 1937.[66] Stanton won the NL Player of the Month Award for August, leading the major league with 18 home runs, 37 RBI, 28 runs scored and .899 slugging percentage.[67] Stanton hit his 57th home run and drove in four runs on September 23 versus Arizona, giving him 125 RBIs on the season, and passing Preston Wilson's franchise record of 121 set in 2000.[68] Enhancing the cachet of Stanton's historic season, ESPN ranked Marlins Park as one of the six most difficult stadiums in which to hit a home run in 2017.[69] He finished the season with 59 home runs and 132 RBI, and batted .281. He was also the first player in the National League since Prince Fielder in 2007 to hit 50 or more home runs in a season.[70]

Before Game 2 of the World Series, Stanton was presented with the Hank Aaron Award, the second of his career, as the "most outstanding offensive performer" in the National League. On November 16, Stanton was named the National League's Most Valuable Player, beating out Cincinnati Reds' first baseman Joey Votto by two voting points.[71]

In the offseason, the new Marlins ownership sought to trade Stanton in order to shed his large contract from the payroll; on December 8, the Marlins agreed to trade Stanton to the Cardinals, but Stanton exercised his no-trade clause to formally reject the deal. Hours later, the Marlins finalized a trade with the Giants, but Stanton again used his no-trade clause to veto the offer.[72]

New York Yankees[edit]

On December 11, 2017, the New York Yankees acquired Stanton and cash considerations from the Marlins for Starlin Castro and minor leaguers Jorge Guzmán and José Devers.[73] He is the second player in major league history to be traded after a 50-homer season, Greg Vaughn being the first.

2018[edit]

Stanton hit two home runs in his debut with the Yankees, including on his first at-bat, on Opening Day 2018.[74] He was the first Yankee since Joe Pepitone to have a multi home run game on Opening Day. On May 15, Stanton collected his 1,000th hit. On June 4, while playing the Detroit Tigers, pitcher Mike Fiers, who hit Stanton in the face in 2014, hit him again, angering Stanton. In his next at bat, he hit a home run to left field, pointing at Fiers as he hit it.

Personal life[edit]

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 after a trip to Europe in the 2011–12 offseason during which he frequently heard names like Gianpiero, Gianpaolo, Gianluigi and Giancarlo, before the 2012 season he made it known that he preferred to be called Giancarlo.[4] He grew up idolizing Roberto Clemente and Iván Rodríguez, both from Puerto Rico.[4][33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

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