Slugging Stanton selected as All-Star reserve
Voted in by players, outfielder says NL manager told him he'll serve as DH
ST. LOUIS -- Along with having immense raw power, Giancarlo Stanton also possesses plenty of star power. Fittingly, the 24-year-old will now stand among the stars.
Stanton will represent the Marlins in Minnesota on the National League All-Star squad, which was announced on Sunday night.
"What he's been able to do from Spring Training on, you can see a guy with a lot of drive and a lot of focus on what he needed to do," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "You see him smiling, and he's happy. It's a guy having a monster year."
Giancarlo Stanton, OF
Prior ASGs: 2012
ASG W-L: 1-0
ASG Stats: Did not play
How he made 2014 NL team: Player selection
Why he's an All-Star: The 24-year-old has been one of the most imposing players in the National League, mounting an MVP case. Stanton paces the NL in home runs (21) and RBIs (62).
Did you know?: While Stanton was selected to the All-Star Game in 2012, the slugger wasn't able to attend. The reason: He underwent right knee surgery two days before the game. Stanton was also supposed to participate in the Home Run Derby that year. Stanton will be in the Derby this year. As a Minor Leaguer, Stanton finished second in the Derby when he played at Greensboro.
Quotable: "He's got the strength and God-given bat speed. No one else is close to him. The closest is Miguel Cabrera. He's just fun to watch hit. He hits balls that physically are not supposed to happen." -- Marlins infielder Jeff Baker
There was some irony in Stanton finding out he is going to the All-Star Game in St. Louis. In 2012, Miami was at Busch Stadium when Stanton's right knee flared up and he returned to South Florida for his surgery.
"As long as I get out of here safely, we'll be all right, right?" Stanton joked.
Stanton is the lone Marlin to be selected. The organization pushed hard for third baseman Casey McGehee, who paces everyone at his position in the NL in batting average, hits and RBIs. But McGehee wasn't ranked among the top five at his position in the fan vote. The third baseman is one of five finalists for the NL Final Vote.
In the eyes of Stanton, he owes some of his success to McGehee being so productive behind him.
"It's hand-in-hand," Stanton said. "What he does helps me simplify what I do when I'm hitting with runners in scoring position. I feel like we feed off each other with that. If they pitch around me to get to him, he shows them they shouldn't have done it more often than not. As of late, they've pitched around him as well."
Making the squad was not surprising for Stanton, who paces the NL in home runs (21) and RBIs (62).
"His power is generational," Baker said. "There is not someone else in the league that is close to his power."
In question was whether the slugger would be voted into the starting lineup by the fans. Early on, the results were encouraging, with Stanton as high as second among the three starting outfielders.
But in recent weeks, Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez received a strong push, joining Andrew McCutchen and Yasiel Puig.
While he wasn't voted into the starting outfield, it appears Stanton will start at designated hitter. The slugger told reporters after the Marlins' win over the Cardinals on Sunday that St. Louis manager Mike Matheny -- who will manage the NL team -- informed him that Stanton would serve as the DH in the All-Star Game.
Earning a starting outfield spot would have been a nice reward for a dominating first half, but Stanton isn't caught up in the process.
"I really don't care at the end of the day, because there's a small group of people that know who should be there," Stanton said, "and the big group is the ones we have in the bigger markets, with more fans or whatever. Those are the people that want to see them. It's about making money. You can't always keep everyone happy, whether it's fair or unfair. So it is what it is."
Stanton promises to be active during All-Star week in Minneapolis. He has agreed to participate in the Home Run Derby.
Stanton has selected Redmond to pitch to him in the event. Redmond regularly throws batting practice to Stanton's group, and the slugger has familiarity with him.
As a player, Redmond was a backup catcher. Now, he goes to the All-Star Game to throw to Stanton.
"Of course I want to be there," said Redmond, who also played for the Twins. "I'm going to have my kids and my wife there. I was honored he came and asked me.
"I know when I retired, I didn't think I ever had a vision of throwing batting practice to someone in the Home Run Derby. I'm going to enjoy the experience as much as anybody else."
In terms of pure power, Stanton is in a class by himself. According to the ESPN Home Run Tracking site, the slugger paces the Majors in average home run distance at 423.8 feet.
When Stanton is at the plate, everyone is on alert. Christian Yelich, for instance, notes it can be unnerving being on third base with the slugger at the plate. Third-base coach Brett Butler is typically up the line in foul territory when Stanton is up.
"Bugsy [Butler] is always in left field, and the third baseman is in left field too," Yelich said. "I'm the only one in there, like 70 feet away."
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.