Stanton showing what he can do when healthy
MIAMI -- No longer can Giancarlo Stanton be labeled a "slow starter."
If anything, Stanton has made a strong case to be the National League Player of the Month for April.
After belting a two-run homer in Tuesday's 9-0 win over the Braves, the 24-year-old slugger set a Marlins record for RBIs in March/April. He now has 31, breaking Moises Alou's previous mark of 30 set in 1997.
In recent years, Stanton has had rough going in the first month, but that was largely due to injuries that plagued him in Spring Training. For instance, he had just nine RBIs in April last year.
Stanton has stepped up with eight homers the first month, and he's showing the raw talent that has many believing he can become the most feared power hitter in the game.
"I'm staying relaxed," Stanton said of his first-month success.
Since the start of Spring Training, Stanton has made it clear he doesn't want to spend much time talking about his successes. Instead, he prefers to let his results do the talking.
"I'm not worried about [April numbers]," the right fielder said. "It's pretty cool actually. But it's just April. We've got to keep it going."
Stanton's career high for RBIs in a season is 87, set in 2011. A year ago, he finished with 62. He already has half of that total.
Previously, Stanton's best overall RBI month was in May 2012, when he was the NL Player of the Month, batting .343 with 12 homers and 30 RBIs.
The Marlins actually have two players worthy of monthly honors, Stanton and Jose Fernandez, a candidate for NL Pitcher of the Month.
"He seems like he's having a lot of fun," Fernandez said. "He's laughing, enjoying this game. When he's like that, he's unstoppable."