Stanton's return can help Marlins bats 

June, 10, 2013
6/10/13
12:13
PM ET
One gets the feeling the Miami Marlins really don’t have much of a plan, and they’re winging it from day to day, but since their offense could again feature the No. 14 option from ESPN live drafts as early as Monday night, fantasy owners have no choice but to pay close attention. A few days ago, it was believed that right fielder Giancarlo Stanton would return from his hamstring injury later this week. Now, oddly enough, because of an injury to underwhelming teammate Casey Kotchman, Stanton could come off the disabled list Monday and be worth activating in weekly formats. Whatever the case, fantasy owners are running out of time to buy low on one of the premier sluggers in the game. I mean, the Fish face the terrible Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff this week. Activate Stanton!

We’ve been over this myriad times how Stanton will be able to produce enticing statistics commensurate with what he did a year ago, despite being featured in the worst offense in baseball. A year ago the Marlins were terrible, yet Stanton smashed 37 home runs and hit .290 in only 123 games. There’s no such thing as lineup protection to start with, so move on from that notion; Stanton was terrific in 2012 and will be again, and while I wouldn’t call him a safe top-20 hitter the rest of the way, he’s close. What interests me is how there are several intriguing pieces on this Miami offense -- for deep leagues, of course! -- especially if the team decides to really go young.
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Gregory Castillo/El Nuevo Herald/MCT via Getty Images Giancarlo Stanton was hitting .227 with three homers when he went on the DL.

Stanton is the team’s signature asset. He wasn’t off to a great start this season, but the guy has serious power and it would be a shocking development if the team traded him. He’ll be in right field. Prospect Marcell Ozuna has capably handled right field in Stanton’s absence, hitting .331 and topping the Player Rater for Miami options over the past 30 days. Ozuna is, according to his coaches, a quick learner and does bring power potential. He’s expected to move to center field regularly. And lurking in Double-A Jacksonville are top prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick. The Marlins can be patient with each, or they can promote one to handle left field immediately. Marisnick, who recently had a game with two grand slams, is probably closer to getting the call; Yelich is on the minor league DL with an abdomen strain.