Why Mike Stanton Will Win 2012 NL MVP

Michael ChristieContributor IFebruary 20, 2012

Mike Stanton is on the verge of becoming a superstar
Mike Stanton is on the verge of becoming a superstarJim McIsaac/Getty Images

One young player who can emerge as a MVP candidate in 2012 is Mike Stanton from the Miami Marlins.

This guy is a great athlete, standing 6'5" and weighing over 230 pounds.

And, he is only 22 years old.

As a rookie for the Marlins in 2010, Stanton hit 22 home runs in only 100 games, and added to those numbers in 2011 as he become their every-day right fielder. He hit 34 home runs in 150 games.

Not only did he improve his power numbers, but his discipline at the plate was much better in his sophomore season. Stanton improved on his walk and strikeout totals—in 2010, he walked 0.34 times per game compared to 0.47 times per game in 2011.

He struck out 1.23 times per game in 2010 and lowered that to 1.11 times per game.

These are the types of improvements made by players that lead them to superstar status.

Being disciplined at the plate and being able to lay off balls will help Stanton take more walks and strikeout less, increasing his numbers across the board. Being on base more helps your OBS, OPS, ability to steal more bases, ability to score more runs and, most importantly, ability to help your team win.

There are also things out of Stanton’s control that will help him develop as a player.

The Marlins made some nice additions this season and hope to improve their record of 72-90 from last year. Adding Heath Bell, Mark Buerhle and Carlos Zambrano is good news for their pitching staff, but the addition on Jose Reyes is great news for the offense, and particularly for Stanton.

Reyes is a great hitter and will get on base more in front of Stanton; giving him a great opportunity to improve on his 87 RBI’s that he tallied in 2011.  Also, Reyes could help Hanley Ramirez return to MVP form, which will also benefit Stanton.

Reyes, Ramirez and Stanton is an amazing trio to have at the top of a batting order.

The new ballpark could also lead to some recognition for this team full of young talent that many people overlook.

With all of these factors, Stanton is on the verge of a breakout year.

The 2012 season is his time to shine in South Beach.