With the Miami Marlins in the thick of it in the NL East now is as horrible a time as ever for Giancarlo Stanton’s bat to slip back into pernicious mediocrity. With a slight glimpse into the effect of the right fielder’s bat on the team this season during their west coast trip earlier on in the campaign, Stanton’s bat has slipped into yet another dry spell. Despite the slugger’s struggles for the majority of 2016, the Marlins lineup, that’s been one of the most productive in baseball this season, has picked up the nine million dollar man with multiple different portions of the team’s lineup coming through.
Undoubtedly one of the most proficient power hitters in baseball, Stanton only has four hits in his last 41 at-bats, with one of those hits being a home run to the opposite field against the Nationals. The 26-year old has only driven in one run during his run of prosaic play, that run coming from the aforementioned solo shot in D.C. Just to further accentuate his struggles, Stanton has struck out 20 times in those 41 AB’s, with his larger total coming against Philadelphia on Wednesday with a golden sombrero.
Marlins Lineup Picking Up Stanton
In the absence of the Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins fans have been so accustomed to seeing through his first seven seasons in the majors, the likes of Marcell Ozuna, Martin Prado, and J.T. Realmuto have been peerless contributors. Ozuna, using a Barry Bonds bat for the large part of his unabating hot streak, has bumped his average up to over .300 with his 17-game hit streak. During his last 19 games, the 25-year old has hit five of his seven home runs this season and has recorded 12 of his 21 RBI’s on the season. The ostentatious streak has seen the Dominican’s batting average improve from a .218 clip all the way up to .302.
Along with Ozuna, J.T. Realmuto has been one of the biggest revelations for the Fish this season. With a nine-game hit streak entering the month, Realmuto has bumped his average up to .310 from .188 near mid-April. The 25-year old has seen stints at the leadoff spot, the two hole and, the place he has spent the majority of the season, batting seventh. Since April 24, the sophomore catcher has had a four-hit game, a trio of three-hit games and the same number of two-hit games. Realmuto has been consistently one of the team’s most improved hitters, although his on-base percentage isn’t at the level of resplendence that one would expect in a leadoff man, hence his “demotion”.
Martin Prado has been in the top-five in terms of average for the predominant part of this season and his play hasn’t wavered when Giancarlo’s has. Prado had a stretch near the end of April that saw him have a trio of three-hit games consecutively, and four three-hit games in five contests. Despite his RBI totals not being quite there, as is coextensive with a player hitting second, Prado has maintained a .400 on-base percentage since April 27 until the present date and doesn’t seem to be fading in any sort of way.
Even with the conspicuous elevation of play that’s been pervasive throughout the Marlins lineup, there are few players in baseball that can match Giancarlo Stanton’s output when healthy. For the Fish to be a serious contender in the National League, they need the perennial all-star to find the spark that saw him homer in four out of seven games on that west-coast trip.