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Stanton first Marlins player to lead league in slugging

MIAMI -- The fact that he finished second in the National League in home runs while playing in 31 fewer games than the leader makes it easy to wonder what might have been for Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

Injuries limited Stanton to 123 games, while Ryan Braun of the Brewers played in 154 and won the NL home run title. Braun ended up with 41 jacks, while Stanton's 37 were second.

Still, Stanton did play enough to do something never done by a Marlin. The 22-year-old is the first player in franchise history to claim the NL's slugging percentage crown.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, by MLB rule 10.22(a), Stanton's .608 slugging percentage is considered the best in the NL. Braun, meanwhile, was second in the category at .595.

Stanton's slugging percentage is the second highest in Marlins history, topped only by Gary Sheffield's .624 in 1996. In the same season, Sheffield set the club home run record with 42. Stanton's 37 homers is now the second most by a Marlin.

During a rough last-place season for the Marlins, Stanton was a bright spot.

But the right fielder did deal with several injuries. It started in Spring Training, when Stanton missed substantial time due to a sore left knee.

Although he played in 21 games in April, Stanton got off to a slow start, hitting one home run in 21 games in the first month. Stanton rebounded in May, winning NL Player of the Month honors after hitting .343 with 12 home runs and 30 RBIs.

Selected as the Marlins' lone All-Star, Stanton underwent surgery on July 8 on his right knee, causing him to miss a month. He also sat out several games in September with a sore left intercostal muscle.

However, the lost time hasn't caused Stanton to wonder, "What if?"

After Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Mets in the season finale, Stanton was asked what he might have done had he stayed healthy.

"Until that time comes, we'll wait and see," Stanton said.

Stanton finished with a .290 batting average, with 30 doubles and one triple. Of his 130 hits, 68 were for extra bases.

Miami Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton