MIAMI -- With 59 home runs, Giancarlo Stanton set a Marlins single-season home run record. The All-Star right fielder now is on the doorstep of another franchise first -- taking home the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America on Monday revealed its three MVP finalists, and Stanton is on the list, joined by Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt and Cincinnati's Joey Votto. The winner will be announced Nov. 16.
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A four-time All-Star, Stanton captured the imagination of the sport, making news seemingly on a nightly basis with his remarkable home run surge. He is the first Miami player to lead the Majors in home runs and RBIs (132).
Before Stanton's big year, Gary Sheffield held the home run mark with 42 (1996), and Preston Wilson held the RBI standard with 121 (2000).
After the All-Star break, Stanton clubbed 33 homers, another team record.
The 59 homers were the most in the Majors since 2001, the year Barry Bonds set the season mark with 73.
Just 10 times in MLB history has that many been reached. Babe Ruth in 1921 finished with exactly 59.
Stanton is the sixth player to have as many as 59 -- joining Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Roger Maris and Ruth.
"Those are all the guys I looked up to," Stanton said in late September. "I was able to see a bunch of them from the stands, and it's just crazy to be in that company. It doesn't sink in yet. It doesn't make sense really yet, but it's really cool. It's everything I've worked for, and it's something really cool."
At 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, Stanton has been one of the most imposing home run threats in the game. The product of Sherman Oaks, Calif., broke into the big leagues at age 20. The brute force was evident immediately, but Stanton has had promising seasons cut short due to injuries.
In 2014, the right fielder paced the NL with 37 home runs, but on Sept. 11 he was struck in the face by a pitch and missed the remainder of the year. Stanton finished second to Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw in MVP balloting.
Injuries plagued him in the past two seasons, raising the question of what could Stanton do if he stayed healthy. He did in 2017, and the results were remarkable in his 159 games.
Stanton's slash line was .281/.376/.631 and he added 123 runs scored.
Of all his impressive stats, the category Stanton is most proud of is RBIs.
"Home runs, it's a crazy number, but that's the aura of my play, to be a home run hitter," Stanton said. "But to win the RBI [title], you've got to be a good hitter. I think that's pretty cool."
Stanton is the Marlins' all-time home run leader with 267.
"They're loud and quick, and they're fun to watch," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "They're amazing when you see those. It's been fun watching them. It's pretty amazing to me that somebody hits that many. It's just a lot of homers."
Stanton's final homer came Sept. 28 in a two-homer game against the Braves at Marlins Park.
The second shot that night was off lefty Rex Brothers. Statcast™ tracked it at 467 feet with an exit speed of 118.7 mph.
The exit speed was the fourth-hardest home run tracked by Statcast™, which launched in 2015.
Stanton was the NL Player of the Month in August, posting a remarkable slash line of .349/.433/.899 with an OPS of 1.332. His 18 home runs matched a Major League records for homers in the month.
In July and August, Stanton combined for 30 home runs in 54 games.
Stanton had arguably the best season in Marlins history. Did he do enough to also merit MVP honors?