After entering 2017 with concerns about his durability, Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton appeared in a personal-high 159 games, posted the ninth-highest single-season homer total (59) in history and topped the big leagues in RBIs (132). The slugger also ranked first in average fly-ball distance (358 feet, minimum 50 fly
After entering 2017 with concerns about his durability, Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton appeared in a personal-high 159 games, posted the ninth-highest single-season homer total (59) in history and topped the big leagues in RBIs (132). The slugger also ranked first in average fly-ball distance (358 feet, minimum 50 fly balls) and second in barrels (76), according to Statcast™.
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With such a memorable year under his belt, Stanton is sure to rank among the most coveted commodities in 2018 fantasy drafts. But with his name frequently placed in the MLB Buzz page, he may not be long for a top-heavy Marlins lineup that produced four players with at least 93 runs scored last year.
• Marlins could be seeking impact bat for Stanton
Based on his new location, the 28-year-old could surge into the top five fantasy picks or fall all the way out of the top 15 next year. Find out below how some of the rumored destinations for Stanton could impact his fantasy value.
Not surprisingly, San Francisco was one of the initial rumored destinations for Stanton. After all, the Giants have typically fielded a winning team in recent years and are coming off a season in which their offense (29th in baseball with 639 runs scored) was the main reason for a 64-98 record. But while the Giants would get a big boost from Stanton, their light-hitting lineup and power-suppressing home park would combine to push him to the second round of 2018 mixed-league drafts.
While Busch Stadium is hardly a launching pad, it would represent a lateral move for Stanton from a home-park perspective. And though St. Louis ranked as a middle-of-the-pack lineup last year, it was no more than 24 runs scored away from Miami, Los Angeles and Boston. Like the Dodgers, the Cardinals possess a group of on-base mavens (Tommy Pham, Matt Carpenter, William Fowler, Jose Martinez) to give Stanton the baserunners he needs to compile an elite RBI total and rank among the top 10 fantasy hitters.
The reigning National League champs fared better on the mound than at the dish last season, but they still boast a solid lineup that includes six regulars (Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, Cody Bellinger, John Forsythe and Yasiel Puig) who posted an on-base percentage over .345 in 2017. By adding Stanton's booming bat to a group that can put ducks on the pond, the Dodgers could easily improve on their 12th-place standing in the Majors in runs scored last year. And though Dodger Stadium does not rank as a hitter-friendly venue, it would not represent a downgrade for a slugger who is leaving pitcher-friendly Marlins Park.
After leading the Majors with 878 runs scored in 2016, the Red Sox fell to 10th last season, crossing home plate 785 times. And the drop in overall production could largely be directly traced to the absence of retired slugger David Ortiz. By adding Stanton to a group that includes superstar Mookie Betts, high-average sparkplug Dustin Pedroia and ascending talents Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers, Boston could once again possess an elite offense. And assuming that the right-handed hitter can adjust to the Green Monster, Stanton would be unfazed from a power perspective by relocating to Beantown.
Philadelphia is a surprise entry into the Stanton sweepstakes, possibly looking to jump-start a lengthy rebuild. And while there is little doubt that nabbing the 28-year-old would help an offense that ranked 27th in baseball with 690 runs scored last season, the Phillies currently lack the lineup depth to support the slugger in his quest for a second straight memorable campaign. Still, with potential star Rhys Hoskins, table-setter Cesar Hernandez and a respectable hitting venue in Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia is a destination that at least keeps Stanton in the first-round discussion.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.