The Miami Marlins have not had a Home Run Derby competitor since Hanley Ramirez in 2010. They will have one this season, as the Fish are sending Giancarlo Stanton to compete in his first Home Run Derby. National League captain Troy Tulowtizki approached him over the weekend and Stanton agreed to the honor of representing the NL in the Derby for the first time in his prolific power career.
National League captain Troy Tulowitzki confirmed Saturday afternoon that Stanton would be participating. In fact, Stanton was one of the first players Tulowitzki contacted after he was named captain on Monday. There are still three spots open on the five-man team, but no word yet about who will fill them.
That Tulowitzki has yet to name the three other players means he came to Stanton first and foremost, and rightfully so. Stanton leads the National League with 21 home runs and is just the fourth Marlins player to end the first half with over 20 bombs and 60 RBIs. Stanton has also hit a ridiculous .313/.408/.590 (.422 wOBA), which ranks third in all of baseball behind only Tulowitzki and Mike Trout.
Stanton's first half has carried Miami's offense despite its tailspin in June, and the team has to be extremely happy that he is being honored with a Home Run Derby visit. Fans watching the 2014 All-Star Game festivities live should be honored to see an exciting show by Stanton and the other competitors. Since the institution of ESPN Home Run Tracker and its true distance tracking capabilities, no player has hit a longer home run than Stanton's 494-foot blast in 2012 against the Rockies. Thus far this season, no player has a better average home run distance than Stanton's 422 feet.
Despite all of this, however, Stanton remains behind Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gomez, and Yasiel Puig in the All-Star voting for the NL outfield! Gomez currently is pacing Stanton still after overtaking him last week. The numbers, however, still support Stanton.
Gomez is a deserving candidate, as are the other two current starters, but Stanton clearly is the best player of the bunch so far this year. He owns the best batting line, one of the best star appeals as an elite home run hitter, and has the best performance overall thus far.
You can help to get Stanton in the 2014 MLB All-Star Game. All you have to do is vote, up to 25 times online! You can cast an additional 10 ballots if you are an MLB.com registered user as well! I did it, and so can you! Cast your votes for Stanton and all your favorite Marlins right here.