For many reasons, perhaps 325 million reasons, the Miami Marlins wanted Giancarlo Stanton to call Marlins Park home for the rest of his career and become the face of the franchise. Yes, there is an opt out clause in his contract that he can, and probably will, use after six seasons, but the Marlins could owe Stanton the whole third of a billion dollars over 13 years.
The Fish and Giancarlo Stanton came to an agreement even after he had been hit in the face with a Mike Fiers fastball in September and not stepped into the box since the incident. They trusted that he could reproduce similar numbers to his 2014 campaign in which he was a cut above the rest in the National League and would have probably been crowned the MVP if not for the injury and an outrageous season by Clayton Kershaw.
But just how much of that serious chunk of change is he worth right now? As of today, he leads the major leagues in home runs (24) and runs batted in (62), and is second in strikeouts (84). He is batting .265 and leads the Marlins with 43 runs scored. While Stanton's average has risen significantly over the last two weeks, it is still lower than his career average and the on-base percentage he has posted is the lowest since his rookie year in 2010.
While one would like the average to be 10 points or so higher at least, Stanton is being paid to help the Marlins win ballgames. Crushing gargantuan home runs on a career-high pace and driving in more runs than anyone else in baseball is certainly doing just that. Giancarlo Stanton is currently being projected to finish 2015 with 45 home runs and 122 RBI's - both career highs and franchise records. 181 strikeouts are also being projected but you have to take the good with the bad here. What more can you ask of a star player who is on pace to hit 40 dingers and drive in over 100 runs?
Some people are being over-critical of Stanton when he is not the cause of the Marlins' struggles. This is not a one man team, and he can't be expected to be the man to hit all of the home runs and produce the highest batting average at the same time. He has been the most exciting Marlins player to watch for a very long time (although there is a special buzz in Miami when Jose Fernandez pitches every five days).
Even though Stanton has surpassed his career-high for homers before the All-Star break, he is not in line to start in the midsummer classic as he trails Nori Aoki for the third and final outfield spot. Aoki is having a great year, but Stanton deserves to start for putting this Marlins team on his back. He is the pride of Miami and one of the best young hitters in all of baseball; he needs your votes readers!
The debate on whether he is worth $325 million may rage on for 13 years, but Giancarlo Stanton is having an All-Star campaign so far. If he reaches those predicted numbers, he will be in the MVP race for the second straight year. The baseball world should sit back and enjoy when Stanton is at the plate, even if a few of his numbers are down this year.