Only Stanton makes Marlins Park appear small
MIAMI — Giancarlo Stanton makes hitting home runs look easy anywhere. The two-time All-Star struck again on Thursday night, blistering a three-run homer in the first inning in Miami’s 6-0 win over the Rockies at Marlins Park.
With 22 homers, Stanton paces the Majors. He’s also set a team record, becoming the only Marlin ever to homer as many as nine times over a 12-game span.
Stanton is on pace for 58 homers.
What all this says is just how much impact Stanton has. Still, you can’t help but wonder what he might be doing in a more hitter-friendly home park.
Marlins Park, state-of-the-art, and spectacular in so many ways, also is a place that frustrates even the most powerful of sluggers. Its immense size and high walls are well known. And the ball simply doesn’t travel as well as other places.
You don’t often hear Miami players talk about the building, because they have to deal with it. The also don’t want to seem like they are making excuses. So, they go about their business knowing that they often aren’t awarded with an up-the-middle approach.
The front office is open to considering moving in the walls to make it play more fairly. It may happen in a year or two. Nothing is guaranteed. But the fact that Stanton pretty much is the only player to consistently homer in the building should send a signal that something has to be done.
Nine of Stanton’s 22 homers have been at home. Also consider this, the slugger had a 424-foot triple at Marlins Park, according to Statcast.
Fans may wonder how a ball could be measured at 424 feet that wasn’t a homer? Well, the 418 sign in center isn’t the deepest part of the building. Also, that 418 measures the foot of the wall, not the top. So to clear the fence at that spot is well over 418.
A year ago, Marcell Ozuna had 23 home runs. This year, Ozuna has four homers, all on the road. Make no mistake, several of his drives to center this year would have been out pretty much everywhere else. Not that Ozuna would have 15 plus homers, but he’s hit enough balls to have as many as eight or 10.
Also worth noting, behind Stanton’s nine homers at home, the only other Marlins with more than one homer at home are Martin Prado and Jeff Baker, each with two.
Since Marlins Park opened in 2012, Stanton has 64 home runs at Marlins Park. Ozuna is second with 12.
Guess who is third? Show of hands of how many picked Garrett Jones, Hanley Ramirez and Justin Ruggiano? Each of them had seven.
It’s easy to see why Miami selected lefty slugger Josh Naylor with the 12th pick on Monday in the MLB Draft. Naylor has immense power. If he lives up to potential, Miami may have a real impact bat. But that is several years down the road, and perhaps the fences will be in by then.
Jones’ seven homers are the most by a left-handed hitter ever at Marlins Park.
Yes, Stanton makes home runs look easy. When you dig deep into what he really is doing, especially at Marlins Park, you’re seeing a modern-day Babe Ruth.
All-time HR leaders at Marlins Park
Giancarlo Stanton 64
Marcell Ozuna 12
Garrett Jones 7
Hanley Ramirez 7
Justin Ruggiano 7
Evan Gattis 6
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 6
Ryan Zimmerman 6
Jeff Baker 5
John Buck 5
Logan Morrison 5
— Joe Frisaro