December 12, 2012
Giancarlo Stanton and Being Alone in the Lineup
The heavyweight of the 818 is pissed. So said Giancarlo Stanton’s Twitter feed after most of his remaining brothers from what was still a pretty bash-less offense were taken away from him in the Marlins-Blue Jays swap.
Lonely in the offense last year despite the presence of Jose Reyes and John Buck plus partial seasons of Omar Infante and Hanley Ramirez, Stanton became even lonelier after the trade. His extreme power in a poor lineup and a difficult home run ballpark for normal human beings will give him an outside shot at the highest percentage of a team’s home runs hit by one player in the expansion era.
No, there’s no reason he should replicate Babe Ruth’s swatting 29 of the 1919 Red Sox’s 33 home runs. But the expansion era mark for non-strike years currently belongs to Mike Schmidt’s 1980 season, in which he hit 48 of the World Series champion Phillies’ 117 home runs. No player since the turn of the millennium has hit more than a third of his team’s home runs, while Albert Belle’s 1991 output of 35.4 percent of the Indians’ home runs was tops in the ‘90s. So breaking Schmidt’s mark is a long shot for Stanton despite the rather barren offense around him.
Even with the now-departed Ramirez’s 14 home runs, Buck’s 12, Reyes’ 11 and Infante’s eight, and more notably, even with his sitting out 39 games of an injury-disturbed season, Stanton still hit the highest percentage of his team’s home runs of any team leader in 2012.