Why a Hot, Healthy Giancarlo Stanton Can Get the Marlins Back to the Playoffs

Brandon ShawContributor IIMay 16, 2012

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 29: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins hits a home run in the ninth inning during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Marlins Park on April 29, 2012 in Miami, Florida. The Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Miami Marlins 8-4. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

Coming into the 2012 MLB season, one of the Marlins main keys to success was battling injuries and unsure how effective a certain player would be.

This player is not Jose Reyes or Hanley Ramirez, it's Giancarlo, formerly Mike, Stanton.

He makes nearly the league minimum in salary, but he's making his mark on the Miami Marlins team.

After recently hitting just the third walk-off grand slam in team history, Stanton is providing the spark needed to get this team into playoff contention. He's having a tremendous month of May while hitting six home runs, 13 RBI and hitting an impressive .327.

Stanton's game-winning grand slam against the division-rival Mets nearly hit the bright and flashy home-run sign that measured a new ballpark record 433 feet. He's proving he can hit the ball just as far as anyone else in the league.

His 6'5'' and nearly 250 pound-frame only made people wonder about his potential, and now it's clearly evident what a special player he is.

Giancarlo Stanton is filling the shoes of Miami's franchise player, power-hitting role that was left vacant when the team traded Miguel Cabrera to the Detroit Tigers. For years, the team has regretted that trade as he's now paired with Prince Fielder in combining two of the games biggest power-hitting duos on the same team.

It's safe to say the recent Miami Marlins turnaround is due in part to Stanton's current offensive explosion.

The Marlins have been the hottest team in the MLB in the month of May with an 11-3 record. The team is only 3.5 games out of first place behind the Atlanta Braves for the NL East division.

The future only looks brighter for Stanton once manager Ozzie Guillen decides to put him back as the cleanup hitter. Guillen has been using Stanton at the fifth and sixth spot of the lineup as of late.

If Stanton can stay healthy and continue to hit at his current rate, he's projected to end up somewhere around 30 HR, 100 RBI and close to a .300 AVG season.

Not bad for a guy that is only 22 years old.