When Mike Stanton made his MLB debut at just 20 years of age back in 2010, there were plenty of people intrigued by his future. The 6’6″ athlete already had the size and athleticism to help him stand out above the rest. He has been pretty solid throughout his career, but 2014 will be the year many remember him officially becoming a superstar in baseball.
Things have certainly changed since 2010, as Mike became Giancarlo, Miami went from contending to rebuilding and he became a more complete player. Despite playing in one of the most spacious ballparks in baseball, he has a very good chance of finishing with 40 home runs or more and around 120 RBI when the season is over. Throw in a batting average around .300, and he is a true fantasy baseball superstar.
It was a tough blow to Stanton when Miami decided to go into full rebuilding mode. All of a sudden, Stanton became one of the oldest regulars on the team at just 24 years of age. He has taken on a leadership role and done very well with it, and that could lead to some MVP discussion in the National League.
Mike Trout has emerged as the guy many people consider to be the best overall player in baseball. Statistically, that is probably still true, but Stanton is slowly closing in on him. Even though Stanton is a little bit older, it has just taken him longer to get to his peak performance. He will always have the edge in power, but his focus on being more well-rounded that has helped out quite a bit.
The superstar word gets thrown around quite a bit, but many agree that Stanton is officially there right now. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for the outfielder as he continues to settle in as a leader on Miami. Imagine if the Pirates pursued him a little harder last season?