Only one Marlin has ever hit 40 home runs in a single season. In 2017, Miami has two outfielders on pace to hit 57.
Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna are both out to break Gary Sheffield’s franchise mark of 42 home runs, set in 1996. Stanton currently holds the second-best single season tally of 37, which he reached in both 2012 and 2014.
While there are a lot of games left to play this season, and it is unlikely that either player will be able to sustain their torrid homer-hitting pace, the duo could achieve a rare feat in the history of the franchise.
The Marlins have not had two players hit more than 30 home runs in a season since 2008, when Hanley Ramirez hit 33 balls out of the park, and both Mike Jacobs and Dan Uggla hit 32. Additionally, multiple outfielders have never hit more than 30 homers in the same season in Marlins history.
Unfortunately, Stanton and Ozuna are both susceptible to long-term slumps, which may hinder their chances at reaching such lofty home run totals. Just one year ago, Marcell Ozuna batted .209 after starting in the All-Star game, and only hit seven more home runs after collecting 17 in the first half of the season. With 23 homers overall in 2016, though, Ozuna still tied a career high.
Giancarlo Stanton posted the worst batting average of his career last season, and despite collecting hits more consistently after the All-Star break, the right-fielder struggled to hit it out of the park, producing only seven round-trippers for a total of 27 on the season for the second year in succession. Stanton traditionally hits home runs in bunches, as evident by his four home runs in the last three games after not hitting one out during the previous 11 games.
Most likely to hold Stanton back from beating Sheffield’s record of 42 home runs is injuries. While most of the ailments have been unrelated, Stanton has only played in 140 or more games twice is six full seasons. In 2015, he was on pace to hit 58 dingers before breaking a bone in his hand in late June. If he stays healthy, streaks such as the one he is currently on can easily get him over the 40 homer hump for the first time in his career.
The single season RBI mark, set by Preston Wilson when he collected 121 in 2000, could also be within reach for the two outfielders, as Ozuna and Stanton are on pace for 151 and 135, respectively.
Realistically, it will be very hard for Stanton and Ozuna to keep hitting home runs at such a rate given their career history thus far. Current fantasy projections have Ozuna hitting 30 homers and collecting 97 RBIs, and Stanton hitting 39 home runs and collecting 101 RBIs.
Nevertheless, Stanton and Ozuna are making it fun to watch Marlins baseball right now, even though the team is not winning all that often at the minute. A full season battle between the two outfielders to break the aforementioned team records will give Marlins spectators something to cheer for, and while the current projections have them coming up short, baseball has repeatedly taught us to never say never.