Giancarlo Stanton hits baseballs really far, and last night, he hit his 37th home run of the season in similar fashion. For the Miami Marlins, it was a much-needed insurance run in an eventual 6-4 victory. For Stanton, it not only tied a career mark in home runs in a single season (tied with his 2012 total), but it also tied Dan Uggla's career Marlins home run record at 154 home runs. Stanton is now one home run shy from being the true and rightful home run king in Marlins history.
What is perhaps most impressive about Stanton is not that he ended up with this record. That seemingly was his ever since he launched 21 homers in 240 plate appearances in Double-A Jacksonville. The most impressive thing that he has done is how quickly he has accomplished this. Stanton has only racked up 2628 plate appearances as a Marlin. That is only ninth in Marlins history, and it will remain ninth in Marlins history at least until next season. Yet Stanton has far surpassed the four guys behind him on the home run list in record time.
Uggla was the closest in plate appearances per home run, and it is not a particularly close race. Stanton blew out all comers with a truly fantastic mark, averaging just 17 plate appearances to his next homer. Stanton is the only hitter in Marlins history with at least 1000 plate appearances to average over 30 homers in a full season (600 plate appearances) for his career. In terms of rate of power, he stands alone as well.
Stanton now closes in on two records. The first is the overall career home run record, which is essentially his. Even if Stanton leaves next season via trade, he should have plenty of time to rack up one more home run and beat out Uggla for the career record. The other mark is just five home runs away: Gary Sheffield's 42 home runs in 1996 loom as Stanton's next challenge. At this point, Stanton is projected to finish with 42 homers by ZiPS and Steamer, presuming he stays healthy and plays through the rest of the year. Stanton will have done it over 700 plate appearances, which is an encouraging sign of health if anything.
At his career rate, Stanton needs just 85 plate appearances to finish with 42 home runs. There are 20 games left. If he plays a full season's worth of starts, he only needs 4.2 plate appearances per start to make the mark. At this point, this all seems quite doable. Get ready for another busted record.