Rookies are streaky.  It’s just something fantasy owners generally have to deal with.  You take the good with the bad, and hopefully, by year’s end, you get significant value for your investment.

Take Mike Stanton, for instance.  Big things were expected from him, especially in the power department.  That’s what happens when you hit .313 with 21 HR in just 192 AB at Double-A.

The Marlins ultimately brought him to the Majors and thrust him into an everyday role.  He’s had his good and his bad, but the bottom line is, he has given us exactly what we should have expected.  First, let’s look at his line (through Wednesday):

  • 299 At Bats
  • 20 Home Runs
  • 49 RBI
  • 37 Runs
  • 4 Stolen Bases
  • .313 On Base Percentage
  • .522 Slugging Percentage
  • .307 Batting Average on Balls in Play

We all knew that average could be an issue for him, with his propensity to strikeout.  On the season, he’s struck out an astounding 34.8 percent of the time, a number that makes it impossible for him to excel. 

However, he has improved every month during his stay in the Majors:

  • June – 41.9 percent
  • July – 34.9 percent
  • August – 31.1 percent
  • September – 30.6 percent

Are those impressive numbers?  Of course not, but the improvement is encouraging.  It certainly has translated to improvement over the season’s final month.

In September, he is actually second among all hitters with six home runs (second to the amazing 11 of Troy Tulowitzki).  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he can hit home runs with the best in the league.  As I’ve said, there was never a question about his power.

He’s also improved the average, putting up a .306 mark.  It’s hard to imagine him maintaining that considering the strikeout rate, but it actually is not impossible.  His BABIP has been a realistic .321 for the month.

The average has been good in September.  The power has been among the elite for the month.  Of course, you would love to see more run production (10 RBI, 8 R), but that is as much a function of the Marlins lineup as it is how he is producing at the moment.

We’ll go into much more detail about the good and the bad for Stanton once the season has come to a close.  What’s important now is that Stanton has immense talent and he is looking to close things out on a high note.

He had an eight-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday, but there is no reason to panic.  When a player like Stanton is hot, you need to get everything you can out of him.  While those in three outfielder formats may not use him (though, with how he’s playing right now he is certainly usable), he is a must-use in five-outfielder formats.

Whether you generally trust young players or not, Stanton is smoking hot, and has the power to help guide your team to a fantasy title.  Don’t miss out on him now if he is still available.

What are your thoughts on Stanton?  Do you trust him over the final two weeks or would you rather use a more proven player?

Make sure to check out Rotoprofessor’s early 2011 Rankings:


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