Marlins rookie Mike Stanton showing historic power at age 20

2 Comments

Mike Stanton went deep twice yesterday, giving the Marlins rookie 20 homers in 81 games (or exactly half a season) as a major leaguer. He also homered 21 times at Double-A before being called up in June, so Stanton has 41 long balls in 134 total games this season. Not bad for a 20-year-old.
In fact, very few 20-year-olds in baseball history have shown this much pop. Isolated Power is a stat that subtracts batting average from slugging percentage to show someone’s power removed from everything else, and right now Stanton is at .278.
Here are the all-time leaders among 20-year-olds with at least 300 plate appearances:

                    YEAR     ISOP
Mel Ott             1929     .306
Ted Williams        1939     .281
MIKE STANTON        2010     .278
Alex Rodriguez      1996     .273
Bob Horner          1978     .272
Frank Robinson      1956     .267
Tony Conigliaro     1965     .244
Jimmie Foxx         1928     .220
Mickey Mantle       1952     .219

Stanton is hitting just .251 with a .318 on-base percentage and has struck out 100 times in 81 games, so he certainly has some sizable flaws, but that’s one hell of a list to be on after making the jump from Double-A as a 20-year-old rookie.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.