Giancarlo Stanton's Big Contract

November 22, 2014
 
Last week Giancarlo Stanton’s signed the biggest contract in sports history, agreeing to a 13-year deal with the Marlins that will net him $325 million dollars. The contract has an opt-out clause following the 2020 season. It also has a team option for 2028, where the Marlins will either pay Stanton $25 million to play for them, or $10 million to go somewhere else.
 
Before we evaluate this deal, we can simplify it a little bit.
 
The opt-out clause is easy to dispense with: if Stanton exercises his opt-out in 2020, this contract will have been an absolute success. The deal is back-loaded: Stanton receives just $107 million over the first six years of the deal, which is an average annual salary of $17.8 million. If he decides to opt out after the 2020 season, he will be opting out of the less attractive back-half of the contract because other teams will want to pay him more than the Marlins would owe him.
 
We can probably ignore the option year, too: the $15 million dollar difference between the buy-out and the team option is going to mean very little when we’re all flying around on our hover-boards in the Year 2028. Let’s simplify it and assume that the Marlins will just take the $10 million dollar buy-out.
 
So we’re looking at a 13-year contract in which Stanton will be paid $335 million dollars.
 
How do we evaluate that?
 
*             *             *
 
We can start by asking what players are comparable to Giancarlo Stanton.
 
Baseball-Reference has a list of comparable: they have a ‘Similarity Score’ which is meant to tell us what players are most similar to Stanton at his current age. According to that metric, the most similar player to Giancarlo Stanton is Juan Gonzalez.
 
Does this pass the smell test?
 
Juan Gonzalez was a fine hitter for a long time, but it’s difficult to think of him as truly ‘similar’ to Stanton, never mind the most similar player we can find. Like Stanton, Gonzalez hit an impressive number of homers in his young days. But Stanton, over comparable playing time, has drawn twice as many walks as Gonzalez. Stanton strikes out more frequently than Gonzalez. Stanton has stolen bases at a 75% clip (30 for 40), while Gonzalez was at 56% (14 for 25). Stanton, playing in an era of decreasing offense, is a better hitter than Gonzalez: his OPS+ is 144, better than Gonzalez’s 130.
 
Stanton’s Adjusted OPS, or OPS+, is better than all of the ‘similar’ players cited on Baseball-Reference. This seems like a red flag: by one reasonably good measure of hitting prowess, Stanton’s being compared to lesser players.
 
And some of them don’t quite work. Andruw Jones is cited as one of his comparable players: I assume most of you remember the young Andrew Jones, and I’ll hazard that most of you can figure out the many ways he’s dissimilar to Giancarlo Stanton. Jones was a pretty good hitter, but he wasn’t at the same level as Giancarlo Stanton. And Jones was a superlative defensive centerfielder, maybe the best of all-time. Giancarlo Stanton makes some good plays, but he’s not on the same planet as Andruw Jones.
 
Bob Horner is another ‘similar’ player to Giancarlo Stanton. Bob Horner was a masher: he was similar to Giancarlo Stanton in his capacity to hit a baseball a good distance. But Horner was a poor base runner, and his defense declined pretty quickly. He was a good contact hitter: he didn’t strikeout that much. He didn’t walk too much, either. He aged quickly: his career, aided by the GM collusion of the mid-1980’s, ended very quickly.
 
You tell me, those of you who remember Horner, and know Giancarlo Stanton. Do they seem similar to you?
 
Of course they don’t. Bob Horner was a talented hitter, and it is a shame that his career wasn’t allowed its natural path. But Bob Horner on his best day wasn’t near the player that Giancarlo Stanton is. 
 
So we need to find comparable players to Stanton. I wanted to find ten players who were similar players to Stanton at a similar age, and see how their futures panned out.
 
I started with the question of what kind of player Giancarlo Stanton is. As I see it, Stanton has the following characteristics:
 
-He is a terrific power hitter (Slugging percentage of .540, Isolated Power of .269).
-He is a disciplined hitter (12% career walk rate, .364 on-base percentage).
-He’s not afraid of the whiff (28.1% strikeout rate).
-He’s an elite offensive player (143 wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created)
-He is an outfielder who is neither great nor terrible on defense, and,
-He is not significantly detrimental as a base runner (30-for-40 in steals).
-All of this adding up to a pretty good player (4.7 rWAR/162 games played).
 
I put together a spreadsheet of all good players through the age of 24, and started culling the list back. I won’t take you through all of the steps in the process, except to say that I was looking for players whose rate stats seemed the most comparable to Stanton’s.
 
Because my intention was to see how we could expect Stanton to produce over the duration of his contract, I had to cut out one active player whose rate stats were very close to Stanton’s. In case you think I might be slanting this article in favor of Stanton, I’ll mention that that other player was another one-time Marlin, Miguel Cabrera. Miggy, through his Age-24 season, was very similar to Stanton:
 
Name
G
HR
BB%
K%
ISO
SLG
wRC
fWAR
Cabrera
720
138
10.5%
19.3%
.205
.542
139
20.0
Stanton
634
154
12.0%
28.1%
.229
.540
143
19.5
 
Because I went through the trouble of putting it in a table, it’s worth mentioning that Giancarlo Stanton looks a lot like Miguel Cabrera at point in his career. I can’t imagine too many teams that would’ve regretted having Age 25-37 Miggy. If you’re a believer in FanGraph’s version of WAR, Stanton has actually been slightly better than Miggy, tallying the same approximate WAR in a little less playing time.
 
But Miguel Cabrera is not on our list. Who is?
 
Name
G
BB%
K%
ISO
OBP
SLG
rWAR/162
wRC+
Rocky Colavito
383
13.5%
14.4%
.265
.377
.544
5.2
149
Ralph Kiner
296
13.8%
15.3%
.259
.383
.541
6.1
144
Reggie Jackson
490
12.8%
25.5%
.245
.357
.495
5.3
144
Frank Robinson
735
10.2%
13.5%
.253
.380
.552
6.5
143
Gian. Stanton
521
12.0%
28.1%
.269
.364
.540
4.7
143
Darryl Strawberry
516
12.7%
23.5%
.248
.356
.508
4.3
139
Manny Ramirez
402
12.7%
18.4%
.255
.385
.550
3.2
134
Boog Powell
686
11.4%
18.1%
.215
.351
.481
3.0
133
Jose Canseco
568
9.0%
23.0%
.233
.339
.503
4.1
132
Jack Clark
596
10.3%
13.1%
.204
.351
.482
4.7
131
Duke Snider
541
8.6%
14.3%
.207
.353
.497
4.4
121
 
I like this list a lot. I didn’t really pay attention to the names until I had whittled it down, and I was happy with the results. Darryl Strawberry seems like a great comparable to Stanton. So does Reggie Jackson.
 
But what I like about the list is that it has players I absolutely wouldn’t have thought of. Jack Clark, for instance: I would never have thought about Jack Clark as a comparable to Giancarlo Stanton. I remember a big portion of Jack Clark’s career, but I just wouldn’t have thought of him. Rocky Colavito, a player whose career I have no memory of, wouldn’t have registered.
 
And I’m pleased by some of the more quixotic players. Jose Canseco is on the list: while he’s probably not mentioned in whatever brochure Giancarlo Stanton’s agent put together to sell the Marlins on this contract, Jose Canseco is such an obvious comparable: both men are big, muscular players who are surprisingly quick. Giancarlo Stanton doesn’t seem slow….Jose Canseco didn’t seem slow in his heyday.
 
And Manny! Of course, Manny. He doesn’t show up on Stanton’s ‘similarity score’ list, but Manny is a goodparallel to Stanton.
 
I’m also happy at how frequently Stanton ends up smack-in-the-middle of these categories: he’s right in the middle in WAR/162 games played…five are ahead of him and five and behind him. He’s in the middle in FanGraph’s great wRC+. He’s in the middle in walk percentage. He’s in the middle in on-base percentage. He’s in the middle in slugging percentage. Though we’re swinging in the dark a little bit, the fact that Stanton winds up in the middle of most of these rate categories seems a good sign.

He ranks first in strikeout rate, but this is a little misleading. The major league strikeout rate in 2014 was 20.4%. Back in 1951, when Duke Snider was Giancarlo Stanton’s age, the major league strikeout rate was 9.7%. When Jack Clark was twenty-four, the major league strikeout rate was 12.5%. Giancarlo Stanton’s strikeout rate seems like an outlier, but viewed within the context of his era, he’s not out of line with most of the players listed. He’s also ahead of the pack in Isolated Power, though this, too, isn't adjusted for league and park contexts.
 
It’s a good list. If you want to project what Stanton’s next thirteen years will look like, this is a good list of players to use.
 
So let’s see how they did. In what areas did they improve, and in what areas did they decline?
 
We’ll look at fWAR, first, to get a general sense of how we can expect Stanton to age:
 
Player
War per 162 Games
War per 162 Games
Name
Rookie to Age 24
Ages 25-37
Rocky Colavito
5.2
3.6
Reggie Jackson
5.3
5.0
Ralph Kiner
6.1
5.3
Manny Ramirez
3.2
5.4
Jose Canseco
4.1
3.4
Jack Clark
4.7
4.1
Frank Robinson
6.5
6.4
Duke Snider
4.4
5.2
Darryl Strawberry
4.3
4.3
Boog Powell
3.0
3.1
 
Exactly one player, Rocky Colavito, saw his fWAR per 162 games decline markedly after he turned 25. He had been a 5-win player prior, but was only a 3-and-a-half win player afterwards.  
 
Ralph Kiner declined slightly, too….6.1 to 5.3. That isn’t precipitous. Duke Snider improved by the same approximate amount.
 
Manny Ramirez was the only slugger to improve significantly, jumping from a three-win player to a five-win player.
 
The rest of the lot essentially stayed the same….some declined a bit and some improved a bit, but over the thirteen years, their value held up.
 
That isn’t to say that they were the same players every year….it is likely that the group aged within the expected curve, having their best years in their twenties and declining in their thirties. But over the expected duration of Stanton’s contract, most of the players comparable to Stanton held their value.
 
How about Weighted Runs Created Plus? This is a metric similar to OPS+, one that considers a player’s offensive value after adjusting for park and league contexts.
 
Player
wRC+
wRC+
Name
Rookie to Age 24
Ages 25-37
Rocky Colavito
149
128
Reggie Jackson
144
145
Ralph Kiner
144
147
Manny Ramirez
134
158
Jose Canseco
132
130
Jack Clark
131
141
Frank Robinson
143
159
Duke Snider
121
145
Darryl Strawberry
139
136
Boog Powell
133
134
 
The only player to decline was Rocky Colavito. Every other player either stayed at the level they had been at (Reggie, Kiner, Canseco, Strawberry, Powell) or improved (Manny, Jack Clark, Frank Robinson, Duke Snider).
 
Giancarlo Stanton has a career wRC+ of 143. It is a good bet that he will post a wRC+ around there for the next thirteen years. Again, that’s the composite expectation: he will have years where his wRC+ is higher than 143, and years when it is lower than 143.
 
How about isolated power?
 
Player
ISO
ISO
Name
Rookie to Age 24
Ages 25-37
Rocky Colavito
.265
.212
Reggie Jackson
.245
.233
Ralph Kiner
.259
.272
Manny Ramirez
.255
.282
Jose Canseco
.233
.255
Jack Clark
.204
.211
Frank Robinson
.253
.242
Duke Snider
.207
.259
Darryl Strawberry
.248
.246
Boog Powell
.215
.186
 
Two players - Rocky Colavito and Boog Powell – saw their isolated power decline, though not dramatically. Manny and Snider saw big increased in their power numbers. The rest of the field stayed the same.
 
How about strikeout rate?
 
Player
K%
K%
Name
Rookie to Age 24
Ages 25-37
Rocky Colavito
14.4%
11.0%
Reggie Jackson
25.5%
21.6%
Ralph Kiner
15.3%
11.2%
Manny Ramirez
18.4%
18.5%
Jose Canseco
23.0%
24.3%
Jack Clark
13.1%
19.3%
Frank Robinson
13.5%
12.6%
Duke Snider
14.3%
15.3%
Darryl Strawberry
23.5%
20.3%
Boog Powell
18.1%
14.5%
 
Here’s a weird one: only Jack Clark saw his strikeout rate increase as he aged. Everyone else either struck out at the same level they used to, or made slightly more contact.
 
How about walk rate?
 
Player
BB%
BB%
Name
Rookie to Age 24
Ages 25-37
Rocky Colavito
13.5%
12.4%
Reggie Jackson
12.8%
11.6%
Ralph Kiner
13.8%
16.7%
Manny Ramirez
12.7%
13.8%
Jose Canseco
9.0%
12.0%
Jack Clark
10.3%
17.4%
Frank Robinson
10.2%
12.5%
Duke Snider
8.6%
13.0%
Darryl Strawberry
12.7%
13.0%
Boog Powell
11.4%
13.5%
 
If Jack Clark’s strikeout rate increased, the parallel effect was that his walk rate also jumped up, from 10% to 17%. Duke Snider also saw an increase. No one really lost the capacity to draw free passes.  
 
I’ll note, again, that I didn’t choose these players deliberately: I was looking at a row of metrics, and trying to find which players had numbers that looked the most like Stanton’s.
 
I am surprised, then, at how versatile the list turned out to be. Only one player, Rocky Colavito, experienced a significant decline. And, really, we’re using the word ‘significant’ pretty aggressively: from the age of twenty-five to thirty-three, Colavito’s average batting line was 34 homers, 103 RBI’s, 90 runs scored, and an OPS of .851. This was the sixties: his OPS+ was 131 over those years. He made six All-Star teams and finished 4th, 5th, and 8th in MVP votes. This is our worst player, in terms of diminished skill.
 
This isn’t to say that all of these players had brilliant careers in the thirteen years after they turned 25. Darryl Strawberry had five excellent seasons and then he washed out. Canseco’s greatness as a hitter was overshadowed by a few bone-headed events and some poor life choices. Ralph Kiner was out of baseball at an age when the Marlins would still owe five years of salary to Stanton.
 
But even with the washouts….all of them remained elite hitters. Darryl Strawberry had a 1.112 OPS the last year he was in the majors. Ralph Kiner his .243 in his last year, but it wasn’t an empty .243: he had a .452 slugging percentage, walking more than he struck out.
 
What this suggests is that Giancarlo Stanton will be the same hitter he has been: over the duration of this contract, we can expect that Giancarlo Stanton will continue to hit about as well as he has hit.
 
Which gets us to our next – and more speculative – question: how likely is it that Giancarlo stays healthy for the duration of his contract?
 
Here are the games played for each player, from 25 to 37:
 
Name
Games
Years
Avg. Gm/Year
Rocky Colavito
1458
10
146
Frank Robinson
1844
13
142
Manny Ramirez
1805
13
139
Reggie Jackson
1797
13
138
Duke Snider
1602
13
123
Boog Powell
1356
11
123
Ralph Kiner
1176
10
118
Jack Clark
1398
12
117
Jose Canseco
1319
12
110
Darryl Strawberry
1067
13
82
 
This is, again, encouraging. Excepting Darryl Strawberry, these players avoided significant injuries. Some players, like Kiner and Colavito, retired well before they reached thirty-seven, but both men were generally healthy before their retirement.
 
And…Giancarlo Stanton seems more like the guys on the top of the list than the guys on the bottom. Boog Powell isn’t really like Giancarlo Stanton, and unless Stanton has a drug problem that we (and, presumably, the Marlins) don’t know about, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect him to miss substantial time like Strawberry or Canseco.
 
Jack Clark was a fine hitter, and the rare player who said what was on his mind most of the time. But Jack Clark was a bridge-burner: he pissed off every franchise he played for, picking fights with guys who had better reputations that he did. He hasn’t exactly stopped doing that in retirement.
 
The guys at the top were the hard workers. Manny Ramirez, for how loopy he sometimes seemed, was a very hard worker. Frank Robinson worked hard. Reggie had an ego, but he worked his tail off. Duke Snider did, too. If you had to guess which group Stanton belongs in, you’d take the top-half. Maybe that’s not a particularly mathematical answer, but it’s the right one.
 
So we’ve reached two conclusions. Or, I have:
 
1.       Giancarlo Stanton will be about the same hitter for the duration of this contract as he has been, and,
2.       Giancarlo Stanton is a solid bet to stay healthy for most of the contract. 
 
*             *             *
 
When I heard the news, my initial response was the same as everyone else: I was shocked that any team was offering a 13-year contract, and I was surprised that the team offering it was the Marlins.
 
But…the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that it’s a great contract. I fully suspect that Giancarlo Stanton, just in terms of what he will do on the field, will provide more value than the $325 million the Marlins have invested. If he plays the contract out, I think he’ll actually be a bargain at $25 million per year. If he opts out, it’ll turn out to be an absolute heist for the Marlins, who will have underpaid for his peak seasons.
 
There is, too, the reality that $25 million a year is going to be a very different number in thirteen years than it is today. Just to illustrate that, here are the top-five teams by payroll for 2001, and from 2014:
 
Team
2001 Payroll
Team
2013 Payroll
NYY
$113
LAD
$254
BOS
$110
NYY
$246
LAD
$109
BOS
$178
CLE
$93
DET
$154
NYM
$93
PHI
$151
 
$25 million in salary would have represented a quarter of a top team’s salary in 2001. This year, $25 million would’ve been 1/10th of the team payroll of the Dodgers or Yankees. The top team’s payroll has more than doubled over the last thirteen years….it is possible that when Stanton is at the tail end of his contract, the highest team payrolls in the league will be nearing $500 million. Within that context, the money Stanton will get at the end of the contract won’t seem prohibitive for many teams, or crippling.
 
There is a strong tendency, in our small corner of the baseball realm, to worry about what it will be like at the end of these mega contracts. What we seem to forget about is the immense bargain that these players are in their early years. Robinson Cano, the previous big-contract signer, might not be a great player in 2023, but he was great in 2014: he was the best second baseman in baseball last year, not from a lack of quality challengers. Maybe the Mariners will regret the contract seven years down the road, but Robinson Cano absolutely delivered in Year One: he helped the moribund Mariners contend in a tough division.
 
And….though I am reluctant to bring up Alex Rodriguez, it seems relevant to note that his original ten-year contract, the one that the Rangers offered him for his Age-25 to Age-34 seasons, was a tremendous value. If you prefer fancy metrics like WAR, A-Rod averaged a 7.1 bWAR over that decade. If you prefer more traditional numbers, Rodriguez averaged 42 homeruns and a .971 OPS. Even if you expand A-Rod’s initial contract to thirteen years, you have a player who averaged 6 wins above replacement for the duration.
 
Giancarlo Stanton isn’t going to match Alex Rodriguez. And Stanton probably won’t be a bargain when he’s a thirty-seven year old first baseman. But he is a bargain now, and all evidence suggests that he’ll be a bargain for most of the years of his contract. The Marlins were smart to lock him up.
 
David Fleming is a writer living in Wellington, New Zealand. He welcomes comments, questions, and suggestions here and at dfleming1986@yahoo.com. 
 
 

COMMENTS (17 Comments, most recent shown first)

DaveFleming
Well...the Marlins contended last year, with a pretty weak offense and Jose Fernandez on the shelf. I think there are a few reasons to be optimistic about the team's future, though I remain skeptical that any Florida city is particularly inclined to support a major league baseball team.
8:04 PM Nov 24th
 
FrankD
Excellent article. As towards is it a good 'buy' for the Marlins? Without knowing their overall economics it is impossible to answer. Like they said about Ralph Kiner, the Marlins can not make the playoffs with or without Stanton. The Twins went all in for Mauer - not such a good purchase as of today but maybe necessary to the franchise to get new stadium. Stanton is a good buy IF the team can also pay for a decent supporting cast, otherwise the Marlins are a one horse show, not able to win and not able to 'dump' their only attraction ..........
2:47 AM Nov 24th
 
FrankD
Excellent article. As towards is it a good 'buy' for the Marlins? Without knowing their overall economics it is impossible to answer. Like they said about Ralph Kiner, the Marlins can not make the playoffs with or without Stanton. The Twins went all in for Mauer - not such a good purchase as of today but maybe necessary to the franchise to get new stadium. Stanton is a good buy IF the team can also pay for a decent supporting cast, otherwise the Marlins are a one horse show, not able to win and not able to 'dump' their only attraction ..........
2:35 AM Nov 24th
 
DaveFleming
Studes brings up a good point about the opt-out, the gist is that by giving Stanton an opt out, the Marlins are in a lose/lose situation: they're on the hook if he's worse-than-expected, but they don't get to keep him if his skills and/or the changing market makes the back end of his contract look favorable. They're taking a (big) risk and giving up some of the potential reward.

And thanks, Tom, for mentioning the average WAR for the ten comparables...I actually had a spreadsheet with that, but I just didn't feel like putting it in. I don't know why I felt that way: a part of me was reluctant to give this article a 'conclusion'....to state something like: 'Giancarlo should produce about a 43 WAR over the course of the contract."

The range is interesting: on the one hand you have Frank Robinson (71.9 fWAR) and then Manny/Reggie Duke (58, 54, 50). Kiner, Colavito, and Clark were essentially even (36 WAR, give or take one), and Powell, Straw, and Jose were the 'busts' (27-29 WAR). I think, again, it seems clear that Stanton has more in common with the guys on the top of the table than the guys at the bottom.

Anyway, thanks for writing.
3:22 PM Nov 23rd
 
tangotiger
Dave: good job.

You missed the final step, which is to show total WAR expected. The top 10 averaged 1483 games over that age span, as well as 4.58 WAR/162G Put the two together, and that's 42 WAR expected.

Or, simply look at the total WAR for each, and the average based on that is 43 WAR.
10:12 AM Nov 23rd
 
studes
Good article, Dave, but I do have a bone to pick about the way you brush off the player opt-out clause. It's true that, if the player opts out of the contract the team did well on the first part of the deal, but it also means that they won't get the benefit of his (presumably better-than-expected) later performance.

If the player does better than expected, he opts out because he can presumably get a better deal elsewhere. This means that the team is only carrying the downside risk on years after the opt-out, but very little of the upside reward.

This has nothing to do with your analysis. Just something that is a pet issue of mine, I guess.
9:44 AM Nov 23rd
 
chill
Great stuff. I always enjoy thinking about one-of-a-kind players like Jack Clark [standard Jack Clark at bat: walk to the plate, watch 5 to 7 pitches go by into the catcher's mitt without the bat leaving his shoulder, then either head back to the dugout with a strikeout or to first base with a walk. You could see how it would take a "I don't give a crap what you think" personality to get away with that plan.]. It's interesting that the stats essentially show him doubling down on that approach after mid-career.

**** The missing player I sort of expected to show up on the comparables list was Albert (then Joey) Belle, but I don't *really* remember him that clearly, so I'm sure there's a reason.
5:59 AM Nov 23rd
 
DaveFleming
I assume that Marlins have done their diligence on the medical front. The issue with Tony Conigliaro's beanball wasn't that he got scared...it was that the injury actually wrecked his eyesight. After the beanball Conigliaro couldn't see the ball looking straight ahead: he had to read the pitch from the peripheral edge of his vision. It is remarkable that he continued to be a productive hitter after the injury. I assume Stanton's eyesight is fine, and he'll go back to being the hitter he was before the injury.
3:08 AM Nov 23rd
 
jemanji
Good stuff. With yer all the way. :: golf clap ::

If you're signing the checks, how do you factor in the beanball? Or do you at all?
2:18 AM Nov 23rd
 
DaveFleming
Oh...I see. I completely missed what you meant by Thome/Howard. Sorry. That's an interesting point...the degree that a highly paid player can sort of keep a franchise from making good decisions.

But...that is an organizational issue, not a player issue. Thome was still a good hitter whom someone would've wanted: that the Phillies couldn't figure out how to move him when they realized what they had in Howard doesn't change that.

It is possible that the Marlins will get in a situation where Stanton blocks some up-and-comer in the minors. But...a) that's the team's choice, and b) it won't take away the value that Stanton provides when he is sprightly enough to play a corner outfield position.
10:55 PM Nov 22nd
 
3for3
Dave: In 2003 Howard hit 304/375/514. In 2004 he was up to 291/380/637 with 46 home runs. Of course that was in the minors, but he could obviously play. Or at least hit. By 2005, he finally got 348 PA in the bigs, and in 2006, he got the regular job. It was obvious at the time the Phillies would have been better off spending the Thome money somewhere else on the field, and getting Howard's bat in the lineup sooner.
10:18 PM Nov 22nd
 
MarisFan61
To me your basic approach is utterly spectacular. It's a kind of thing that I wish would occur much more in this field. I love, love, love how you use the 'smell test' every step of the way, and how you stop and give such serious and creative thought between steps, in order to determine the whole nature of the next step -- looking at what the last step has yielded, reflecting on it by means of your own overall image of the player which takes account of more and more kinds of data, not pre-determined but going on what feels relevant in view of what the last step has yielded, and also taking account of what your gut tells you. IMO this is absolutely perfect sabermetrics, of a sort that we don't quite see often enough.
8:41 PM Nov 22nd
 
DaveFleming
Ryan Howard, at the end of his Age-24 season, had played exactly 19 games in the majors...I don't how his career arc should particularly concern the Marlins....

Jim Thome, from the age of 35 to 37, posted .269/.394/.554 batting line. He averaged 141 games during those years, hitting 111 homers and posting an OPS+ of 143. I'm sure the Marlins would be happy to have similiar production at the end of Stanton's contract.
7:35 PM Nov 22nd
 
doncoffin
Nicely done, Dave.

I don't think I have ever seen Stanton play (definitely not in person, and I don't think I've seen a Marlins game on TV except when they were in the WS, so I have nothing to go on but the numbers. I'm sure the Marlins hope you are right.
7:03 PM Nov 22nd
 
3for3
I really dislike the idea of signing a right end of the defensive spectrum player in the NL. If he can stay in right field till his mid 30s it is one thing; if he needs to move to first earlier than that, you have the Thome/Howard problem the Phillies had.
6:47 PM Nov 22nd
 
rgregory1956
I hate to say this, but the player that Stanton has always reminded me of, watching HOW they played, is Tony Conigliaro. The resulting numbers don't look that much alike, not as similar as your ten comps, but the style of play is so reminiscent.
5:28 PM Nov 22nd
 
izzy24
Thanks for a great article, Dave. One guy I was surprised not to see was McGwire. I believe their ISOs are just about identical through age 24. Stanton's a better athlete but they seem to have a similar approach at the plate (although McGwire always seemed to try to hit flyballs while Stanton tends to hit a lot of screamers).
4:58 PM Nov 22nd
 
 
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