Stanton enjoying May surge again

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is Mr. May.

Unlike Dave Winfield, who was given the derisive moniker by New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner for his lack of success in October, Stanton should relish the name.

On Friday night, Stanton belted a Tim Lincecum breaking ball to center field, hitting the garish home run statue in Miami that he's activated more than a couple of times this month on the fly as if he was aiming for a start button.

The blast was Stanton's 10th this month and 11th on the season. He didn't hit his first homer of the season until April 29 -- it's entirely possible that someone in the Marlins clubhouse flipped Stanton's calendar to May a bit early to get him off the schneid.

Overall, Stanton, a hulking 22-year-old with Herculean strength, is batting .323 with seven doubles, 10 homers, 25 RBIs and a 1.120 OPS in 24 games this month.

Since April 29, when he hit his first dinger of the year, Stanton has raised his OPS from .598 to .906.

He also stole his second base of the season on Friday, as if he wanted to remind the public that he does indeed possess five tools.

This is the second straight season that April showers have brought more than May flowers for Stanton.

In May 2011, the 6-foot-5 outfielder socked nine big flies and drove in 20 runs with a .269 batting average after hitting just two bombs in April.

Fantasy owners need to do whatever they can to acquire Stanton's services.

When you own a player with this type of power, you want plenty of fly balls, and Stanton has really turned it up in that category this season -- his groundball-to-flyball ratio is 0.51. Last season, he hit more grounders, as indicated by his 0.82 GB/FB.

Stanton is hitting more line drives than last season, which should provide fantasy owners with an abundance of doubles as well.

The 22-year-old's swing-and-miss percentage also is down as he's been more aggressive early in the count. He's averaging just 3.64 pitches per plate appearance, down from 3.95 last season, but his contact percentage is up four percent. As a result, Stanton's strikeout percentage is also down more than three percent.

Sure, players with a free-swinging approach at the plate like Stanton's are prone to go into slumps, but this is a player with extreme offensive talents that are only going to get better.

Stanton has already hit 67 home runs before his 23rd birthday, and he's going to add many more this season, as he won't celebrate another birthday until November.

Stanton's ability to hit 10 homers in a 20-game stretch makes him one of the more valuable outfielders in fantasy baseball.

Expect 2012 to be the first of many times this man-child hits 40 blasts in a season.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at

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