Although this season for Giancarlo Stanton was one for the record books, this monumental display of power should not be enough to warrant a spot in the top 10 of baseball’s best position players.
While Stanton did have an impressive season to say the least, and with an NL MVP seemingly locked, he wasn’t even the best in the NL alone. With the NL being the easier of the two leagues, most certainly, it seemed that Stanton had every advantage there could’ve been given — aside from playing in Coors for 81 games.
Here’s how his 2017 season fared:
59 HR and 132 RBI paired with 32 2B. with a .281 / .376 / .631 slash line (1.007 OPS) 6.9 WAR / and a whopping 156 wRC+
Mind you, these numbers are indeed phenomenal, but they are not deserving of being named “Top 10” in baseball, let alone “NL MVP.” Giancarlo did what no one had done in over a decade, and that is hit 59 homers (Ryan Howard hit 58 in 2006). He surpassed every personal best of his entire career, and rewrote his own book — which was filled with injury questions, as well as his inability to hit for average.
However, factoring in the huge increase in the amount of home runs hit this season, Stanton’s monumental 59 is slightly less impressive.
% OF RUNS OFF OF HR
2017- 42.3 % (+2.1 %)
2016- 40.2 % (+2.9 %)
2015- 37.3 % ( / )
NUMBER OF HR HIT
2017- 6,105 (+495)
2016- 5,610 (+701)
2015- 4,909 ( / )
With this being known, there were 41 players with over 30 homers, as well as Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, Jose Ramirez, and Mike Napoli being notched with 29.
Giancarlo Stanton’s career numbers should not boost him to the top-10 consideration, so why would one season justify such? Stanton is a career .268 hitter, and never hit more than 37 homers in a single go (although yes, he never played more than 150 games). Even with his AS recognition in 2014, in which he slugged 37 to pair with a 6.3 WAR season, he wasn’t even considered top-5 then. The drastic injuries that Stanton has faced, as well as his lack of defensive abilities and base-running abilities, mean his value is hurt. Even for the 2017 NL MVP, Stanton shouldn’t win.
59 HR- 1st in NL
132 RBI- 1st in NL
.281 AVG- 24th in NL
.376 OBP- 14th in NL
.631 SLG- 1st in NL
6.9 WAR- 2nd in NL
156 wRC+- 2nd in NL
Although Stanton did indeed have the edge in the majority of these categories, it is seen that aside from his impressive slugging percentage, he was not even top-10 in any other categories. If we’re being honest with each other, Anthony Rendon, Justin Turner, and Joey Votto all put together more impressive and stand-alone seasons.
Rendon- .301 / .403 / .533 slash with a 6.9 WAR and a 143 wRC+ over 605 PA at 3B
Turner- .322 / .415 / .530 slash with a 5.1 WAR and a 151 wRC+ over 533 PA at 3B
Votto- .320 / .454 / .578 slash with a 6.6 WAR (1B gets brutalized for WAR) and a 165 wRC+ over 707 PA (record number for walks taken in a season)
However, this discussion is not about whether or not Stanton should win MVP. It is whether or not Stanton should be considered a top-10 position player in the game of baseball. In my opinion the list currently stands as such:
- Mike Trout
- Jose Altuve
- Bryce Harper
- Paul Goldschmidt
- Kris Bryant
- Joey Votto
- Josh Donaldson
- Manny Machado
- Buster Posey
- Daniel Murphy
(with Rizzo, Judge, Lindor, Gary Sanchez, Freeman, Corey Seager, and Nolan Arenado in the territory)
The reasoning behind this list is both the strength of their position, as well as their career history and trajectories. Trout is easily the greatest player in the game, and shows no signs of slowing down. Altuve is the best infielder in the game right now, and I don’t see him ever hitting under .300 for the rest of his career. Harper is younger than Trout, and has already accomplished things that no player can imagine, and possesses five tools to his game. Goldschmidt, like Votto later on, is the epitome of consistency. Bryant, Donaldson, and Machado are all in a different breed of third basemen (Nolan not far behind) with their amazing offensive production, and defensive splits. Posey is the best catcher in baseball, and hits supremely well for average. And Daniel Murphy is the same as Posey, where he is a phenomenal contact hitter, with the power upside. With the other players in the area, all of them are young with upside, and their minor-league track records mixed with their current production at the major-league level lead me to believe they’re the real deal.
Stanton may barely crack T20 in my eyes. With the fact that he is too slow and lumbering in the basepaths, mixed with his horrid defensive splits (10 DRS, below average/ 6.7 UZR, below average/ -.5 dWAR), he’s a one-dimensional player. Stanton clearly is a generational talent, and possesses power like no other in baseball, but with his poor attitude and colossal contract, he should be labeled overrated. He is making nearly 30 million dollars per year, and for a player who has only surpassed a 6 WAR twice over his eight seasons, it makes you question how truly valuable he is.
According to Marlins new CEO and part owner, Derek Jeter, the Marlins are “in a rebuilding process,” which Stanton responded to with “I want no part in a rebuild.”
What does the future hold for Giancarlo Stanton and his massive $220 million that is due? The world will just have to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
Want to get into Sabermetrics, post college... Majoring in Sports Management, Minoring in Communications Goal is to write for an MLB team