Giancarlo Stanton hit yet another home run for the Miami Marlins last night, his 27th of the season. He is now just one shy of Mike Lowell's Marlins record for home runs before the All-Star break, and he is essentially a lock to shatter that mark given the way he has been playing. The month of June has been his personal plaything; he has hit 12 home runs during the month and owns a ridiculous .361/.418/.855 (.529 wOBA) batting line. He is tearing it up, climbing the National League leaderboard for best hitter (though it is unlikely he will catch either Paul Goldschmidt or Bryce Harper until they cool down). Everything has been pointing in the right direction for the Marlins' would-be All-Star.
The team, however, has been heading in the opposite direction, particularly offensively. The club scored 82 runs in 22 games in the month of June, and while that has been good for a .500-ish mark and even play, it has not helped the team get back into contention. The team's 3.72 runs per game have been below the league average of around four runs a game, meaning that despite having one of the top 15 hitters in baseball this year playing at his absolute best, the Marlins still could not be an average offensive team as of right now.
The reason is that the rest of club has struggled to keep up with Stanton's pace. The struggles of the rest of the team's outfield have been well-noted. Christian Yelich has improved significantly as of late but is still having plate recognition problems he never displayed in 2013 and 2014. Marcell Ozuna still has not found his power stroke. The problem is that, unlike in April and May, when the team also had the transcendent early start from Dee Gordon, this past month has been a quiet one for the speedster. Gordon has played at about his previously expected level for the last month, which is leaving Miami without a lot of weaponry on the offensive end.
Consider the following. As of before yesterday night's contest, the Marlins had scored 101 runs in the past 30 days. FanGraphs's wRC stat is an attempt at providing a raw number of runs produced by a player based on his context-neutral batting line. Essentially, just how many runs was Giancarlo Stanton and the rest of the crew providing. In the last 30 days, FanGraphs had the Marlins producing 107 runs, which is approximately how many runs they scored. That tallies to an average of 3.96 runs per game, which would almost reach league average.
Take a look at the production of the top five players by wRC in those past 30 days.
|Player, 30 days||PA||AVG||OBP||SLG||wRC|
By the way, you saw Gordon's line correctly: he has not walked once in the past 30 days as of before yesterday.
Stanton is accounting for a whopping 26 percent of the Marlins' entire run-scoring production from last month. That is a large chunk of the offensive load for the Fish. If you take out the plate appearances from the pitchers, Stanton is only accounting for 11 percent of the 940 plate appearances that the Marlins have created, He beats out the production of the next two most productive players combined. The rest of the team just has not stepped up.
This phenomenon has not quite reached the heights that it has in Miami for other star-powered teams. Only one club, the equally poor Arizona Diamondbacks, have depended as much on their one star as the Marlins have on Stanton's tear this past month. Goldschmidt has accounted for 27 percent of his team's production this past month, with four regulars posting average or better numbers for the team. In comparison, Stanton has put up 26 percent of his team's run scoring, but he has only had one other regular post a number above average (a number of players are just below league average for their plate appearances). Miguel Cabrera and Bryce Harper are at 20 and 21 percent respectively.
If the Marlins want to compete and play at their best in the coming months, they are going to need a hefty dose of Giancarlo Stanton. However, it is clear that they also need more from the rest of their team offensively. The Fish were just just a tad below league average with the best version of Stanton. They need hs teammates to step up and assist him at the plate, or the Marlins can put away any idle thoughts of contention.