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Power Outage: What a loss of Mike Stanton would mean to the Fish in 2012

After hearing that Giancarlo Stanton was hit on the wrist and removed from the game on Sunday I immediately feared the worst. Thankfully, in light of the good news concerning his X-ray results, the Marlins dodged a potentially harmful bullet. In his second season Stanton improved across the board and is projected to have another great season in 2012.

Though injury was avoided in this case, the situation got me thinking about how serious a long term injury to Stanton would be and how much of an effect it would have on the team. My first impression was that an injury to Stanton would be the most damaging to the Marlins in the upcoming season, one which is filled with so much excitement and potential.

The Marlins lack quality outfield depth so an injury or absence to any starter, especially a loss of Stanton that would keep him out for an extended period of time, would severely hurt the chances of the Marlins making the playoffs in light of the addition of the second Wild Card spot. Not only is Stanton the most valuable position player, but the lack of depth to replace him only increases his value.

Dependable, consistent if not spectacular Gaby Sanchez mans First Base. An injury to Sanchez would allow Logan Morrison to cover during any missed time by Gaby. Utility man Greg Dobbs could also fill in at First if necessary. Second Base is also an area of relative depth. Any missed time from starter Omar Infante would be taken by Emilio Bonifacio. The left side of the infield is also full of somewhat interchangeable parts. New Shortstop Jose Reyes, who has a rather injury prone history, could be replaced by the man he displaced to Third, Hanley Ramirez. An injury to Ramirez could be handled again by Bonifacio. Matt Dominguez also provides depth at the position. John Buck provides the potential for 20 Home Runs and is a decent option behind the plate. Brett Hayes is a capable backup and spot starter to give Buck the occasional night off.

So, any prolonged absence from Stanton would obviously hurt the team, not only losing his bat but also because of the lack of options that fill the depth chart behind him. The drop off from Stanton to any potential replacement is the largest of any player on the team. Below are the ZiPS projections for 2012 and the projected wRC differential.

Starter Projected wRC Replacement Projected wRC wRC Differential
Giancarlo Stanton 105.1 Bryan Petersen 59.6 45.5
Emilio Bonifacio 59.8 Bryan Petersen 59.6 0.2
Logan Morrison 80.9 Bryan Petersen 59.6 21.3
John Buck 43.8 Brett Hayes 17.2 26.6
Gaby Sanchez 79.8 Logan Morrison 80.9 -1.1
Omar Infante 54.1 Emilio Bonifacio 59.6 -5.5
Hanley Ramirez 83.5 Matt Dominguez 58.4 25.1
Jose Reyes 80.0 Hanley Ramirez 83.5 -3.5

The above data ignores defense based on the assumption that the replacement player is not an absolute albatross in the field. The use of wRC as the comparative stat is also used for this reason. This is an attempt to show, all else being more or less equal, what losing Stanton and his tremendous offensive production would mean to the Fish. The drop off in production from Stanton to Petersen is close to double that of the next largest differential. Factor in the projected numbers for both and things are even more clear.








Giancarlo Stanton







Bryan Petersen







We all know much of Stanton's value and production is tied to his tremendous power. Few players in the league can compare with his elite power skill. While the drop off in batting average isn't drastic, and a projected .334 OBP for Petersen is above average, these numbers still do not compete with what Stanton is expected to put up this year. Factor in the difference in projected ISO (.282 vs. .120) and Home Runs (37 vs. 9) and Stanton's superiority makes itself even more clear.

This rough estimation, based on ZiPS projections for the upcoming season, backs up the obvious statement: an injury to Stanton would be devastating for the Marlins and their aspirations for the promising 2012 season.