Slugger Stanton takes pride in batting average

Slugger Stanton takes pride in batting average

Slugger Stanton takes pride in batting average
MIAMI -- There's plenty for Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton to be proud of this month.

There's the walk-off grand slam he hit on Mother's Day, or the missiles he has hit off the auxiliary scoreboard in left field, the Budweiser Bar in left-center and the home run sculpture in center field at Marlins Park -- just four of his 10 May homers. There's even the handful of spectacular catches he has made in right field.

The thing Stanton is most proud of this month, though, is simple -- his batting average, which has gone from .247 at the end of April to floating around .300 in May.

"I don't like having a low average, period," Stanton said. "Even if I have a lot of homers, I don't like the whole 1-for-5 with a homer. Everyone else is like, 'Great game,' because you hit a homer, but I really don't like that."

Entering Sunday's series finale against the Giants, Stanton has been on a tear in May, hitting at a .333 clip (32-for-96), and he credits his rise in production to getting back into a normal routine that he lacked in April after missing most of Spring Training. One routine he wasn't doing in April that former Marlin Jeff Conine pointed out was that during batting practice, Stanton wasn't hitting to right field, which he did in the past.

Stanton got back to that routine and has turned things around this month. During the Marlins' current 10-game homestand, Stanton is 10-for-25 with four doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs entering Sunday. Miami manager Ozzie Guillen can barely recognize Stanton compared to who he was at the plate in April, and Guillen knows what to expect the rest of the season.

"If this kid hits .300, .290, .270, he's going to have a [heck] of a year," Guillen said. "He's going to drive more runs in and he's ready to hit a home run any time he makes contact. He's learning."