Stanton heats up at Double-A

Adjusting to Double-A pitching understandably took a little while, but now Mike Stanton seems to be figuring it out.

The Marlins top prospect, and one of the highest-rated Minor Leaguers in the game, is riding an eight-game hitting streak after going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs on Thursday night. The blast was his 20th of the season, when you add in his Class A Jupiter numbers.

During the hitting streak the power-hitting right fielder is 12-for-31 (.387) with two home runs and five RBIs.

Also, in his last 10 games, he is batting .385 with three homers and nine RBIs.

At age 19, Stanton is on the fast track. He appeared in just 50 games at Jupiter, batting .294 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs. Shortly after being promoted to Double-A Jacksonville, predictably, he went through some growing pains. In June, his batting average was .214 in 22 games.

In July, the numbers have steadily improved. He is batting .302 in the month with five home runs and 13 RBIs.

When you combined his Class A and Double-A numbers, Stanton already has 20 home runs in 327 total at-bats, to go along with 61 RBIs. His combined batting average is .275.

Stanton represented the Marlins in the Futures Game in St. Louis as part of the All-Star festivities. The way he’s progressing, he promises to be a serious contender to win a starting outfield spot in Spring Training of 2010. Being a September call-up also is a very real possibility.

— Joe Frisaro

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