It’s been a pretty remarkable season for Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
He’s been baseball’s hottest hitter since the All-Star break and has propelled himself into some pretty elite company.
What’s interesting is that Stanton’s success at the plate has directly translated to his team as the Marlins are enjoying one hell of a turnaround.
Miami was 13 games below .500 in late May and the season appeared to be a lost cause.
With Stanton leading the charge, the Marlins have climbed all the way back to .500 and are right in the thick of the National League playoff race with almost six weeks of the season still remaining.
From his production at the plate to his impact on the Marlins’ success, Stanton should be considered the current favorite to be selected NL MVP.
It’s sure to be a hot topic as we enter the month of September, especially if Stanton continues to produce at the pace he’s been on since the All-Star Game.
That being the case, here are a few of the main reasons why he should be the first Marlins player to be named MVP and some of the factors that have led to his amazing season.
BETTER STATS/BETTER TEAM
While the Marlins slowly began to turn their season around in June, the wins didn’t begin to really pile up until Stanton started tearing the cover all the ball in mid-July.
In the 34 games Stanton has played in since July 17, he’s hit 20 home runs and the Marlins have won 21 times.
MOVIN’ ON UP
Late last season Marlins manager Don Mattingly experimented with moving Stanton up to second in the batting order.
Mattingly didn’t fully commit to the move until late May of this season when the team was floundering and in desperate need of a turn around.
The change was instant for Stanton as he collected 12 hits, three home runs and seven RBIs over the final seven games in May and he hasn’t looked back since.
Another contributing factor to Stanton’s surge has been a slight change to his batting stance.
He moved his front foot closer to home plate, closing up his stance slightly and allowing him to reach a launch position with less motion.
After struggling to catch up to fastballs in the low-90s, Stanton was suddenly on top of seemingly every fastball in the strike zone.
It also helped him to recognize breaking balls a little quicker which cut down on all those swinging strikes of pitches that were well outside of the strike zone.
BEST ON BEST
Regardless of who the opposing pitcher is, Stanton has been clobbering everyone equally.
Some of the top-tier pitchers that he’s gone deep off of this season are Max Scherzer, Jacob DeGrom, Madison Baumgarner, Jonny Cueto, Felix Hernandez and NL relief ace (and former Marlin) Brad Hand.