Last Updated on October 8, 2023 by Matt Musico
This is not a comparison game, but we’re going to compare the Miami Marlins to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a second. These two franchises are in drastically different situations. The Marlins’ first season was in 1993, while the Dodgers’ was more than 100 years before that. Despite this, the Marlins have had one season of 50-plus home runs, and the Dodgers have zero. Baseball, man. Let’s check out how many times Giancarlo Stanton shows up among the single-season Marlins home run leaders list.
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Marlins Home Run Leaders: Top 6
Giancarlo Stanton: 59 Home Runs in 2017
We should be thanking our lucky stars that Giancarlo Stanton was healthy enough to play a full year in his prime. His 59 dingers are among the most home runs in a season in MLB history, and he made that effort worthwhile. He not only led baseball with that number, but he also led the league with 132 RBI and won his first NL MVP Award.
We’ve already discussed how a powerful July and August helped make this performance from Stanton possible (he slugged 30 of his 59 home runs over that two-month span). So, let’s look at it in a different way. As one would imagine, when the right-handed slugger was cookin’, the Marlins were winning. He slashed .381/.476/.862 with 41 home runs and 96 RBI in victories. Those numbers dropped to .183/.273/.403, 18, and 36, respectively, in losses.
It’s also worth noting that Stanton spent the majority of his plate appearances in the two-hole. He racked up 493 plate appearances in that spot of the order, and it’s a spot where he launched 47 of his home runs.
Gary Sheffield: 42 Home Runs in 1996
Gary Sheffield is also on the Dodgers’ single-season home run leaderboard. But before that happened, he enjoyed his first 40-homer campaign with the Marlins. Sheff had been with Florida since the middle of the 1993 season, but 1996 was the first opportunity he had to play more than 140 games. He appeared in 161 and took advantage by slashing .314/.465/.624 with 42 home runs, 120 RBI, and 118 runs scored.
The outfielder found a way to be consistent in most situations during this campaign. Whether he was facing a lefty or a righty, at home or away, or doing it before or after the All-Star break, his OPS wasn’t much different.
The same could be said when looking at his performance on a monthly basis. He posted an OPS above 1.000 in five of six months, with the lone exception being a .985 mark in May. He also didn’t hit fewer than five homers in any month, with April (11) and August (nine) being the high points.
Giancarlo Stanton: 37 Home Runs in 2014
The 2014 season was Stanton’s age-24 campaign, but he’d already racked up plenty of dingers. This performance was the second time he slugged 37, and it was his third year with at least 30 homers. It was the first time he appeared in 140-plus games since 2011 and it was also the first time he led the league in homers.
Despite playing in a cavernous Marlins Park, Stanton made a habit of slugging plenty of dingers in front of the home crowd. In this instance, 24 of his 37 homers came in Miami. And while he didn’t enjoy a month with double-digit home runs, he did hit eight on three occasions (April, May, and August). Those were also the only three times he racked up at least 20 RBI in a month, too.
Marcell Ozuna: 37 Home Runs in 2017
While Stanton was busy lighting the world on fire, his teammate, Marcell Ozuna, was enjoying his own career year. In the two seasons that preceded his 2017 performance, the outfielder collected 33 homers and 120 RBI in 1,102 plate appearances. It took him about half the time (679 plate appearances, to be exact) to outperform both of those numbers (37 homers and 124 RBI).
Similar to Stanton, Ozuna also enjoyed hitting at Marlins Park, where 22 of his homers were launched. And if we look at his season in two-month increments, he remained quite consistent in the power category. Ozuna slugged 14 homers by the end of May, and another 10 between June and July. He finished strong by slugging a combined 13 round-trippers between August and September.
Jorge Soler: 36 Home Runs in 2023
Overall in 2023, the Marlins weren’t the best on offense. However, who knows how bad things would’ve been without Jorge Soler in the middle of the lineup? After hitting just 13 homers in 72 games played for Miami in 2022, he slugged 36 across 137 games played the following year.
This was the first time he surpassed the 30-homer plateau since setting the Royals’ franchise record in 2019 with 48 taters.
Soler posted two months of double-digit homers. This included 12 in May and 10 in August. And if he wasn’t limited to just 12 games in September/October, he would’ve hit more than one. That would’ve enabled him to shoot up the leaderboard a little higher. Finishing in fifth ain’t too shabby, though.
What jumps out in his splits is he loved jumping on pitchers in his first plate appearance. When facing a starting pitcher for the first time in a game, Soler hit 10 total homers. And when he faced a reliever for the first time, he hit 12 total homers.
Miguel Cabrera: 34 Home Runs in 2007
We had a tie here between Miguel Cabrera and Stanton, who also hit 34 homers in 2011. So, we went to the tiebreakers, and Miggy won in both wRC+ (142 vs. 141) and fWAR (5.0 vs. 4.2). This was Cabrera’s final season with the Marlins before getting traded to the Detroit Tigers, and he went out with a bang.
It was his fourth straight season with 100-plus RBI, a streak that would go on for another seven years. It was also his third season of 30-plus homers, and his first of seven straight years reaching that benchmark.
Regarding 2007, it’s obvious that if you kept Miggy in check at the plate, opposing teams had a good chance of winning. In wins, Miggy slashed .424/.508/.784 with 23 home runs and 81 RBI. In losses, his triple slash dropped to .235/.308/.386 with 11 homers and 36 RBI. For those keeping score at home, that’s an OPS of 1.292 in victories and .694 in losses.
As it turns out, he got himself onto another home run list or two in the coming years.
Marlins Home Run Leaders: The Rest
Here are all the other seasons of at least 30 homers in Marlins history:
- Giancarlo Stanton, 2011: 34 home runs
- Hanley Ramirez, 2008: 33
- Miguel Cabrera, 2005: 33
- Dan Uggla, 2010: 33
- Carlos Delgado, 2005: 33
- Miguel Cabrera, 2004: 33
- Dan Uggla, 2008: 32
- Mike Lowell, 2003: 32
- Mike Jacobs, 2008: 32
- Cliff Floyd, 2001: 31
- Derrek Lee, 2003: 31
- Dan Uggla, 2007 and 2009: 31
- Preston Wilson, 2000: 31
Check out the rest of the Marlins’ single-season home run leaderboard on FanGraphs.
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