From Joe Fisaro, MLB.com
MIAMI — A few extra text messages reminded Giancarlo Stanton that he did something impressive on Tuesday night. The slugger connected on his 30th home run in the Marlins’ 8-4 loss to the Brewers.
“You get a few extra texts, ‘Congrats for 30.’ You don’t necessarily see that for 25 or 29,” Stanton said. “It’s definitely something cool to do.”
The Marlins are in their 20th season, and just 17 times has a player reached the benchmark.
Stanton is a repeat performer, belting 34 in 2011, which is tied with Miguel Cabrera for the second most ever by a Marlin. Cabrera reached the 30 mark three times, and Dan Uggla did it four times.
Stanton also is the fifth player in MLB history to reach 30 homers before his 23rd birthday. Cabrera was the last to do so, as a Marlin in 2004-05. According to Elias, the others were Jimmie Foxx (1929-30), Eddie Matthews (1953-54), Albert Pujols (2001-02) and Cabrera.
If Stanton can match or surpass 34, he would be pleased.
“Especially being out for a month or two, to do what I did last year,” the 22-year-old said.
Stanton missed a month due to right knee surgery. And in April, he hit just one homer because he was hindered most of the month by a sore left knee.
“That’s pretty impressive,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Not just because he got No. 30, but because how much time he lost. He spent time on the DL.
“The thing I worry about now is everybody going to add and subtract and say, ‘He hit 30 home runs in 240 at-bats. Next year, for sure, he’s going to hit 90, because he will have 500 at-bats.’ That’s the wrong way to look at it. This kid is a 30-home run hitter. Just stay with 35 home runs. Don’t get the expectation that next year we’re going to build the ballclub around Stanton hitting 50 home runs and 190 RBIs. Then we’re making a big mistake.”
Stanton made his big league debut on June 8, 2010, and he’s already hit 86 homers.
That number puts Stanton in some elite company. It’s the eighth-most homers by a player ever before age 23. Foxx also hit 86 before turning 23. With one more, Stanton would pull even with Johnny Bench and Ken Griffey Jr. for the sixth most, according to STATS LLC.
The Marlins’ single-season record is 42, set by Gary Sheffield in 1996.
To reach that in 2012, Stanton mused: “We have some work to do.”