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.
After 16 years in the majors, longtime Tigers DH Victor Martinez capped his career with one final start at Comerica Park. Although there are seven games remaining in the club’s regular season schedule, Martinez said he felt he owed it to the fans to record his final at-bat at home. He’ll still cheer the rest of the team on from the dugout when they hit the road for their last six-game stretch on Monday, though he’s not expected to slot into the lineup at any point during their back-to-back away series against the Twins and Brewers.
In order to commemorate the occasion, the Tigers arranged a pregame ceremony to celebrate the veteran infielder’s seven years with the team, during which they presented him with Topps baseball cards, a recliner, a pair of boots, and a saddle, among other honors. Martinez also put in a special request to play first base, a position he hadn’t manned in over two years.
The 39-year-old didn’t waste a single minute of his final start in the majors. He deftly handled an inning-ending out in the top of the first, then laced a rare infield single to short in his first and final at-bat of the afternoon, beating the throw to first and advancing Nicholas Castellanos to second base in order to set up the Tigers’ first run: a two-out RBI single from Niko Goodrum that brought Castellanos home to score.
“I think that at-bat was the perfect at-bat to describe my career,” Martinez told reporters after the Tigers wrapped a 5-4 win over the Royals. “I had to sweat it out. I had to sweat it out the whole way. I had to grind it. That was my whole career.”
Following the hit — and the standing ovation that greeted it — the switch-hitter was promptly replaced by pinch-runner Ronny Rodriguez, who subbed in at second base in the top of the second while Goodrum shifted from second to first base. Taking Saturday’s performance into account, Martinez polished off his big league career with a lifetime .295/.359/.455 batting line, 423 doubles, 246 home runs, 1,178 RBI, and 28.4 fWAR across 1,973 games and three separate stints for the Indians, Red Sox, and Tigers. His accomplishments at the plate have been decorated with five All-Star nominations, two Silver Slugger Awards, and the designated hitter-exclusive Edgar Martinez Award following a career-best campaign in 2014.