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2016 Marlins Season Review: Giancarlo Stanton

After another injury-plagued season, Miami will need a fully healthy Stanton if they'd like to compete in 2017.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2016 Stats: .240, 27 HR, 74 RBI, .326 OBP, .489 SLG, .815 OPS, 2.5 WAR

For every good team, there's a player that is essentially the catalyst of their offensive success. For the Fish, Giancarlo Stanton is that player. Don't get me wrong, there is certainly other talent in the lineup (Yelich, Gordon, Ozuna, to name a few). But this team goes as Stanton goes, and if they want to compete for a division title next season, they will need more than what they got from Stanton in 2016.

With 27 home runs and 74 RBI in 122 games, there was no shortage of power from the young slugger. Stanton would endure a vicious slump in the first half of the season, however, which led him to a career low batting average of .240. From May 16 to June 16, Giancarlo put up a slash line of .118/.211/.206. Within that time frame, he also had a strikeout rate of 46%, which doubles the MLB average of 21.1%. Additionally, his fWAR of 2.5 was his lowest since 2013. He posted a 6.5 fWAR and 3.7 fWAR in '14 and '15, respectively. Basically, Stanton remains an incredible talent that is sure to be an impact player for years to come. However, two factors may serve to limit just how much that impact will be: injuries and strikeouts.

Some people will point to the freak accident in 2014 (of him being hit in the face by Mike Fiers) as a statistical turning point. But for the most part, that theory doesn't hold much water. Before his season-ending injury in 2015, Giancarlo was on an insane hot streak. In just 74 games, he hit 27 home runs while knocking in 67 RBI. At the time, his slash line was .265/.346/.606 which led to a .952 OPS. To say that he lost a step because of the 2014 incident just isn't true. But even with those numbers, his slump in 2016 was very real and very frightening.

At age 27, Stanton has plenty of time to live up to his astronomically pricey contract. The Marlins don't need Stanton to be a perfect player, they just need him to be himself. Not the injury-riddled/slumping Giancarlo Stanton, but the home-run hitting/solid batting average Stanton that they've seen in years prior.