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Mike Stanton sent to Double A

Not surprisingly, Mike Stanton has been assigned to Jacksonville.

The Marlins sent top prospect Mike Stanton down to Double A Jacksonville, where the 20-year-old, power-hitting outfielder is expected to begin the season. He just might not be there very long.

What Stanton showed in his second spring with the big-league club left an impression on manager Fredi Gonzalez.

``We sent him down, but he'll let us know when he's ready,'' Gonzalez said Wednesday.


In 24 at-bats, Stanton slugged three home runs, drove in eight RBI and hit .333 in seven games before hyperextending his left elbow when he homered off the TwinsFrancisco Liriano on March 15.


Don't worry about the elbow, that seems to be fine.  The reason Stanton was sent down is to work on his plate discipline and his contact rate.  In Double A last season he struck out 33% of the time and he walked 9.1% of the time, the walk percentage is below the Major League average.  This needs to change or he will just become a low OBP batter who hits home runs and not much else.  Of course, one can have a reasonably long career doing that but it isn't ideal.  Improving his contact rate and drawing more walks is something he can do, especially since he is just 20 years-old, it is a learned skill.  Stanton needs more seasoning, but if it is done right, he can become the player we all hope him to be.

Expect him to be in the Minors all season and only to appear when the September call ups take place.  He is too important to the future of the Marlins to rush him before his skill set is ready.