If Stanton plays, his power will amaze

Fifty homers not out of question if Marlins slugger stays healthy

If Stanton plays, his power will amaze

JUPITER, Fla. -- The track record has shown, if he plays, results will come. Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton has a history of performance.

Injuries are what have hindered the three-time All-Star and prevented Stanton from rewriting record books. Still, at just 26, he remains one of MLB's biggest threats.

Say Stanton stays healthy and gets 600 at-bats, what might we expect? A 50-homer season certainly is within reason.

Stanton clubbed 27 home runs in 74 games in 2015 before breaking his left hamate bone. He averaged a blast every 10.33 at-bats.

In 2014, Stanton appeared in 145 games, missing the final three weeks after being struck in the face with a pitch at Milwaukee. Even with lost time, he led the National League in homers with 37, averaging a shot every 14.57 at-bats. 

"The guy hits the ball so hard and so far, it's almost like a freak-of-nature-type thing," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

No other player in the game is quite like Stanton, a sculpted 6-foot-6, 250-pounder.

"Just going to see Giancarlo in the winter, this guy in person is bigger than you think," Mattingly said. "You see guys in good shape, with good bodies and stuff. This guy is just the next level."

Stanton is MLB's humble giant. Low-key by nature, he doesn't make bold predictions. He just simply outdrives the field when he gets into a pitch.

Like when Stanton smacked a ball over the Marlins' clubhouse/office building in a Spring Training game.

"It's fun, I admit," Stanton said. "I'm not going to downplay anything. I'll just downplay it that it's Spring Training."

Gary Sheffield set the Marlins' single-season homer mark with 42 in 1996. A healthy Stanton may challenge.

If Stanton gets 600 at-bats, he'd have to average a homer every 12 at-bats to reach 50. It would be tough, but it's doable.

According to Statcast™, Stanton is MLB's king at purely smashing a baseball. His average exit velocity on all balls in play in 2015 was a league-best 99.1 mph.

Of the top 10 hardest-hit balls last year, Stanton had eight of them, including a high of 120.3 mph on a single off Mike Bolsinger on May 12.

"You see guys hit the ball really hard and really far, but usually those guys aren't near as good a hitter as Giancarlo," Mattingly said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.