On Wednesday, Florida outfielder Mike Stanton hit his second Grapefruit League home run. It's still traveling. It was a no-doubter, the sort of blast where the opposing fielders don't move.
Stanton ranked No. 3 on Baseball America's 2010 prospect list, so it's hardly a surprise to see him hitting well this spring. He's 5-for-15 with seven runs scored, five RBIs, three walks and three Ks. It was particularly nice to see him connect off Wandy Rodriguez(notes), a top-of-the-rotation starter.
Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez has been rather impressed by the organization's top prospect. This from MLB.com's Joe Frisaro:
The way the Marlins 20-year-old outfield slugger is performing has the Marlins considering carrying him on their Opening Day roster.
"Funnier things have happened," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Obviously, we'll sit down and make sure it's the right move, the right decision. But for me to say, 'absolutely not,' I can't do that right now. I can't say that he's not going to make the team. I can't absolutely tell you, 100 percent that he won't."
Still, Stanton remains a longshot for the April roster. He hit 28 home runs across two minor league levels in '09, but he also struck out 144 times and struggled with the jump to Double-A (16 HR, .231/.311/.455 in 79 games). The Marlins will almost certainly keep him in the minors until he's ready to be their everyday right-fielder. But it's worth noting that Florida outfielders Cameron Maybin(notes) and Cody Ross(notes) are both sidelined by groin injuries at the moment.
If Stanton continues the spring assault…well, you never know. Like Fredi says, I can't say that he's not going to make the team. He belongs on your radar. We'll re-hype him when he re-arrives.
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