The Homer Numbers of a Hypothetically-Healthy Giancarlo Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton has missed significant playing time since his MLB debut in 2010 and has never played more than 150 games of a 162-game season (145 and 123 games being his next two highest totals). In spite of his injury-shortened seasons, Stanton has still been among the league home-run leaders in 2011, 2012, and 2014 (his 150, 123, and 145-game seasons, respectively).

Giancarlo Stanton Since Debut (June 2010)
Season Games PA HR HR MLB Rank Injury Report
2010 100 396 22 T-55 ——
2011 150 601 34 9 Hamstring issues limited time
2012 123 501 37 7 15-day DL: Arthroscopic knee surgery
2013 116 504 24 T-31 15-day DL: Strained right hamstring
  2014* 145 638 37 2 Season-ending facial fracture
2015 74 318 27 T-25 15-day DL: Season-ending hamate (hand) fracture
2016 119 470 27 48 15-day DL: Strained left groin
*=finished 2nd in NL MVP race (Clayton Kershaw)

Career-wise, Stanton has amassed a total of 208 home runs, good enough for 16th-most of any player through their age-26 season and among the likes of Miguel Cabrera and Jose Canseco.

HR-leaders through Age-26 season
Rank Player HR
1 Alex Rodriguez 298
2 Jimmie Foxx 266
3 Eddie Matthews 253
4 Albert Pujols 250
5 Mickey Mantle 249
6 Mel Ott 242
7 Frank Robinson 241
8 Ken Griffey, Jr. 238
9 Orlando Cepeda 222
10 Andruw Jones 221
11 Hank Aaron 219
12 Juan Gonzalez 214
13 Johnny Bench 212
14 Miguel Cabrera 209
14 Jose Canseco 209
16 Giancarlo Stanton 208

Given Stanton’s injury-plagued career, his career home-run numbers are a lower bound on what he may have accomplished had he played full, injury-free seasons following his debut. To quantify how Stanton’s injuries have suppressed Stanton’s career power numbers thus far, I extrapolated the home-run totals of Stanton’s injury-shortened seasons into full-season hypothetical home-run totals (hHR) using the formula below:

hHR = FLOOR(HR/G * 162)

The formula simply assumes that Stanton maintains his HR/G rate through a whole 162-game season and then conservatively rounds down. We can now compare home-run totals between the real Giancarlo Stanton and our hypothetical Giancarlo Stanton. I excluded his 2010 debut from the extrapolation.

Real Giancarlo Stanton vs. Hypothetical Giancarlo Stanton
Season Games HR HR MLB Rank hGames hHR hHR MLB Rank
2010 100 22 T-55 100 22 T-55
2011 150 34 9 162 36 8
2012 123 37 7 162 48 1
2013 116 24 T-31 162 33 T-9
2014 145 37 2 162 41 1
2015 74 27 T-25 162 59 1
2016 119 27 48 162 36 T-16

The real Stanton never led the MLB in home runs, but our hypothetical Stanton climbs into the MLB lead in three of his hypothetical seasons (2012, 2014, and 2015).

Career-wise, our hypothetical Stanton would have hit 275 total home runs. This hypothetical Stanton adds 67 home runs to his real total, jumping from 16th to second place on the Age-26 leaderboard, only 23 home runs behind the far-away leader, Alex Rodriguez.

HR-leaders through Age-26 season
Rank Player HR
1 Alex Rodriguez 298
2 Giancarlo Stanton (hypothetical) 275
3 Jimmie Foxx 266
4 Eddie Matthews 253
5 Albert Pujols 250
6 Mickey Mantle 249
7 Mel Ott 242
8 Frank Robinson 241
9 Ken Griffey, Jr. 238
10 Orlando Cepeda 222
11 Andruw Jones 221
12 Hank Aaron 219
13 Juan Gonzalez 214
14 Johnny Bench 212
15 Miguel Cabrera 209
16 Jose Canseco 209
17 Giancarlo Stanton (real) 208

Of note, using the same formula to calculate Stanton’s career strikeout totals predicts a whopping 1271 strikeouts for our hypothetical Stanton. His 977 strikeout “real” total through age 26 (second-highest) balloons and surpasses Justin Upton‘s age-26-leading 1026 for a clear command of first place.

In reality, Stanton is a three-time All-Star, a Silver Slugger (2014), and a Home Run Derby champion (2016), and he historically ranks among the best in home-run totals for his age, all while facing injury issues in all of his first six full big-league seasons. Our hypothetically-healthy Giancarlo Stanton greatly improves his career numbers and garners himself a few MLB home-run crowns, giving a glimpse into how much larger his career numbers could be today had his first six full seasons been injury-free. As Stanton’s career progresses, it will be interesting to see where his home-run totals end up, and, unfortunately, how much greater they could have been.

Credit to Baseball-Reference for all publicly available data.



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