Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has been destroying the month of June to make up for his poor May. He has eight home runs so far in the month and is batting .388/.455/.980 (.593 wOBA) so far, dragging his overall line back among the elites in the National League. Unsurprisingly, he has done this in large part via the long ball, especially since he has been facing off against the Colorado Rockies. Over the weekend, Stanton hit three more home runs in the four-game set against the Rockies and as a result has 23 homers on the season.
We touched on the massive home run streak by Stanton earlier this month, and since then he has taken the home run lead in the majors. He has been on such a massive tear this month, however, that he is exceeding even his own awesome credentials so far. Stanton's 23 bombs are now a career record for first-half home runs.
Stanton beat out his own pace from last year, which was his career-best season thanks to a relatively clean bill of health. In 2012, he had just 18 home runs before the All-Star break but had a chance at reaching the 20's before his knee injury sidelined him for a month and change. However, the biggest difference between 2012 and these past two seasons is a relative consistency in the power department; Stanton has launched homers at a steady pace since the start of the year, eschewing his usual slow April starts for the second straight campaign.
Mike Lowell holds the franchise mark, but you have to expect that Stanton will beat that easily and as early as this upcoming week. It would not surprise anyone to see Stanton come away with five homers in the next week with the way he has been hitting the ball. Stanton and the Marlins finish the home stand today and tomorrow with a quick two-game set against the New York Yankees, but then they travel to New York for two games before finishing up with a three-game series in Cincinnati. Those two stadiums are hotbeds for home runs; as of 2014, Yankees Stadium has the seventh-highest park factor for home runs for right-handed hitters by FanGraphs' park factors, while the Great American Ballpark ranks second!
The question becomes just how many homer Stanton may reach by the time we get to the All-Star Break. Stanton played the entire first half of last season and accumulated 413 plate appearances. Presuming he reaches a similar mark this year, he has about 135 plate appearances left before the Midsummer Classic. ZiPS projects 25 home runs in 382 plate appearances remaining for the season, meaning that Stanton would be projected to hit almost nine more homers before we hit the break. That would give him 32 home runs before the All-Star Game, which would be a club record and definitely give him an easy chance at 40 home runs.
By the way, that 25 projected home runs means that Stanton is on pace to finish the year with 48 home runs this season. That would be a hugely impressive performance in the confines of Marlins Park.
At this point, watching Stanton play is almost a nightly requisite; you never know when he's going to launch one into the depths of any park. Keep an eye out for those dingers.