Is Giancarlo Stanton Back?
MLB pitchers, watch out, Giancarlo Stanton is officially back from the worst slump of his career. Over the last two days, the Marlins’ slugger hit four home runs in four straight at-bats, which tied the MLB record.
The Home Runs
If you missed them, here are all four of Giancarlo’s blasts.
Four at bats, four home runs! That's how Big G does it.https://t.co/7g3ZqFLKne
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) July 7, 2016
All four of these dingers were tape-measure shots. Check out the distance and exit velocity on each.
Giancarlo Stanton's last 5 ABs:
112.9 HR 439ft
113.1 HR 436ft
107.8 MPH 424ft HR
115.3 MPH 436ft HR@Marlins
— Daren Willman (@darenw) July 6, 2016
Stanton’s last home run of the series gave him 200 in his first 781 career games, making him the 7th fastest player ever to reach that mark.
Returning to Form
Now, let’s take a look at how, slowly but surely, Stanton has been returning from his epic slump.
Since June 8th, Stanton has come to the plate 104 times and owns a slash line of .295/.356/.579, good for a .935 OPS. Those are the kind of numbers we are used to seeing out of one of the best power hitters in the game.
Here are 15-game rolling averages for Stanton’s wOBA and wRC+.
As you can see, since bottoming out, Stanton has been on a steady incline. His recent wOBA and wRC+ are right in line with his career averages of .381 and 141.
The Marlins’ Situation
The Marlins are a fringe playoff team right now, as our metrics have Miami as the 13th-ranked team in the league, giving them a 28.1% chance of making the playoffs.
Their rotation is dangerously thin, yet the team went out and traded Chris Paddack, arguably their best pitching prospect, for Fernando Rodney. Rodney is having a good season, but he is due for regression. His .205 BABIP is a career-low mark and almost certainly unsustainable despite his solid 23.0% soft-hit rate, and Rodney's 88.6% strand rate is well above his career average of 73.9%.
If the Marlins can find a way to pry a quality starting pitcher from another team, it would likely be a huge boost to their playoff hopes. Other hitters -- namely Marcell Ozuna -- picked up the slack during Stanton’s slump, but now that Miami has Stanton back doing Stanton things, the Marlins could be a dangerous team the rest of the way.