I love me some Mike Stanton. Anytime there is a power hitting corner outfielder with youth on their side, there’s a good chance I’ll feel the exact same way about them as I do Stanton. The tape-measure video game bombs, the build, he’s got it all right now. It could be said that Mike Stanton makes our world a better place.
I knew that I was onto something with Stanton about the middle of last year, and here’s the story with it. I’m in a fantasy league where we score categories beyond the typical 5 x 5 ROTO metrics. The added categories are walks, OBA, OPS, and slugging. There’s an owner in the league that has won the league every year until finishing second last season.
I was enchanted with Stanton heading into last year’s draft and I was lucky enough to snag him in the middle rounds. It’s a keeper league, so a guy like Stanton was worth the flier over aging outfielders that were available.
That consistently successful owner came knocking at my door in the form of one text message after another with hopes to land Stanton. He told me anyone from his roster was available, but the guy he consistently asked for was Stanton. This was a condition I was not willing to accept. When this particular owner is that hot for a player, something is up. It’s like when Billy Beane saw something in Scott Hatteberg; when this guy picks up an aging player for a few weeks there’s always more perceived value in that said player in our league from that point forward.
Stanton went on to have a nice season and bigger things are in store. He’s already receiving early consideration for 2012 NL MVP; so I figure it’s time to see what Bill James sees coming for Stanton this year in that loaded Marlins lineup.
Bill James 2012 Mike Stanton Projection:
150 Games Played, 532 AB, 145 hits, 32 doubles, 4 triples, 39 HR, 88 runs, 103 RBI, 73 BB, 160 K, 5 SB, .273 AVG, .366/.568/.934
Last year Stanton posted a .356/.537/893 slash line, which is beautiful for a guy who was in his age 21 season. Mr. James is expecting Big Mike to go out and bash at a clip that is exponentially more productive than last season, which as a Stanton fantasy owner I would happily sign up for again.
If he can just stay completely healthy, Stanton is going to have an opportunity to do huge things in the Florida lineup where he’ll probably be hitting in that five slot to begin the year and work his way right into being a 22-year old cleanup hitter.
What’s not to love about this guy?