Yes, that is a Beyonce reference in a baseball post. There will be more to follow. Also, there will be baseball analysis. But first, here's some obvious baseball analysis: Giancarlo Stanton can hit a baseball a really long way. He's currently the leader in ESPN Hit Tracker's Golden Sledgehammer award for longest average home run distance at 418 feet. His blast off Eric Stults way back in April is the second-longest home run of the year, and this laser hit off Stephen Fife has the top exit velocity.
Overall, Stanton has hit 33 home runs, which is just one fewer than Nelson Cruz. Cruz has the advantage of playing half his games in the cozy confines of Camden Yards. Spacious Marlins Park isn't nearly as conducive to hitting home runs. Nevertheless, with Stanton's power, Marlins Park can look like a bandbox. Other hitters may have more home runs than Stanton, but nobody hits home runs of the same grandeur. This was widely circulated a couple weeks back, but it bears reposting.
Giancarlo Stanton now has seven 450-foot HR in 2014 ... that's more than any other team pic.twitter.com/BQLhwFoSVc
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 12, 2014
While the average major league home run leaves the bat at just over 98 miles per hour, Stanton's average home run has an exit velocity of 108 miles per hour. His 33 home runs have traveled a total of 2.6 miles. This home run that Shelby Miller had the bad fortune to serve up isn't Stanton's longest home run of the year, or the quickest to leave the park, but it's terribly impressive. Get ready for Lift Off.
Note the sheer awe of the Marlins play-by-play man. It's worth mentioning that Stanton gave Miller a little dose of Deja Vu as he hit a 380 foot drive off the Cardinals hurler two innings prior to this display of Herculean power.
Besides hitting very long home runs, Stanton is hitting for a very high average, drawing plenty of walks and playing solid outfield defense. After hitting .249 last year, Stanton is boasting a .296 average this season, which is a personal best, and his .404 on-base percentage is nearly 40 points better than his previous career high. Even with one of the highest strikeout rates in the game, Stanton is in a virtual tie with Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen for the best hitter of the 2014 season. When he makes contact, there's no doubt that he's the most dangerous hitter in the game.
Punishing baseballs isn't all that Stanton can do. Here he is on Intentional Talk busting a move or two to Single Ladies, the song that's been played for the bouquet toss at every wedding since 2008.
When it comes to long home runs, Stanton is in a class of his own. With regards to his dance moves...well at least he tried. Maybe he's stepped up his dance game in the year since this appearance on MLB Network. After all, the hamstring that bothered him in 2013 has to be feeling better. Still, Giancarlo probably shouldn't abandon his day job to pursue an appearance in Beyonce's next music video. Enough dance analysis, back to baseball matters.
Maybe the Marlins and Stanton will Work it Out and get a contract extension together this offseason. Despite their apparent ineptitude and the untrustworthiness of owner Jeffrey Loria, there's some exciting young talent on this team, particularly if Jose Fernandez makes a full return from Tommy John surgery. If they can't do so, expect Stanton to be moved to a team such as the Boston Red Sox who have both the prospects to swing a deal and the money to lock him up long-term. The Sox wouldn't mind seeing if the Green Monster can withstand a Stanton Rocket or two.
Whether he's in Miami or elsewhere, Stanton is the most fearsome hitter in baseball. After a injury-plagued and lackluster (by his lofty standards) 2013 season, he's showing baseball fans just how good he is. Opposing pitchers couldn't be more terrified.
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Chris Moran is a former college baseball player at Wheaton College and current third-year law student at Washington University in St. Louis. He's also an assistant baseball coach at Wash U. In addition to Beyond The Box Score, he contributes at Gammons Daily. He went to his first baseball game at age two. Follow him on Twitter@hangingslurves