Marlins outfield prospect Mike Stanton is on an absolute tear this season for Double-A Jacksonville with a .340 batting average, a .477 on-base percentage, an .840 slugging percentage and 14 home runs in just 27 games. Rehabbing reliever Dan Meyer was able to take in one of those homers Thursday in Jacksonville. Here’s how he described the shot to the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer:
“I was there for Stanton’s 7,000-foot home run. … The first thing I said was I’m going to try to tell people about this and it
won’t do it any justice. It’s 395 to the wall out there in left center.
The scoreboard is probably 80 feet high, if not 100 feet. It’s a huge
scoreboard, and he cleared it. … This ball was absolutely demolished.”
The Marlins have a fairly talented outfield this season and don’t have an immediate need for Stanton’s presence in the big league lineup, but that could change if the mashing continues at Double-A. He should at least gain a promotion to Triple-A New Orleans by June.
Stanton was drafted out of high school by the Marlins in the second round of the 2007 MLB June Amateur Draft. He’s only 20 years old and won’t turn 21 until November. This kid might be something special.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.
There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.
Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.