Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the Marlins calling up Mike Stanton and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com notes that his power numbers after 365 days as a big leaguer are every bit as impressive as the hype suggested.
Stanton has struggled to make consistent contact, striking out 184 times compared to 51 non-intentional walks, and not surprisingly he has a modest .258 batting average and .333 on-base percentage.
But oh man the power: He has 35 homers and 34 doubles in 554 at-bats through his first year, which includes 157 games. According to Baseball-Reference.com, here’s a list of the all-time leaders in home runs through a player’s first 157 games:
Rudy York 45
Mark McGwire 41
Ryan Braun 41
Ryan Howard 39
Chuck Klein 38
Frank Robinson 36
Bob Horner 36
Tony Clark 36
Albert Pujols 35
MIKE STANTON 35
Josh Hamilton 35
Ron Kittle 35
Oh, and Stanton won’t be 22 years old until November.
Welp, that didn’t last long. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is going back on the injured list with more knee issues. If it matters the Sox say it’s not a big deal and they expect him back sooner rather than later, but they also said that his post-2017 knee surgery was just a “cleanup” at first and that basically cost him a year. So.
Pedroia has played in six games and is 2-for-20 with a walk.
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Pedroia’s career may be nearing an end. Sure, he’s under contract for two more years after this season, but he’s also in a unfortunate spiral that so many players experience in their mid-to-late 30s.
Running a website like this makes it all the clearer, actually. When you search a player’s name in our CMS, you get every post in which he appears in reverse chronological order. Just about every long-tenured player ends with about six posts in which he is alternately placed on and activated from the disabled/injured list. Then an offseason link to a big feature in which he’s written about as being “at a crossroads” followed by something vague about “resuming baseball activities” and then, inevitably, the retirement announcement. I can’t count the number of guys whose careers I can tick off in that way by browsing the guts of this site.
I hope that’s not the case for Pedroia. I hope that there’s a “Pedroia wins Comeback Player of the Year” post in the future. Or at the very least a silly “Miller’s Crossing” reference in an “And that Happened” in which I say “the old man’s still an artist with the Thompson” after he peppers the ball around in some 3-for-4, two-double game. I want that stuff to happen.
It’s just that, if you watch this game long enough, you realize how unlikely that is once a player starts to break down.