You see Giancarlo Stanton with 50 home runs and 108 RBI before Labor Day, and you probably think everything’s finally fallen into place. The 6-foot-6 powerhouse always seemed meant to dominate the sport on this level. He’s always had the physical ability like few we’ve ever seen, plus the baseball skills to make it count.
But until 2017, Stanton never did put together a season for the ages. He came close to an NL MVP award in 2014 but saw his season shut down after the ugliest beaning we can remember. Between injuries, good-but-not-great seasons, and one dangerous pitch to his face, the Marlins slugger at times was in danger of becoming a “failed potential” story. Even before the All-Star Game this season, his name came up mostly as part of trade rumors.
Actually, looking back to 2007 draft day, the California kid named “Michael” followed a path to superstardom that was anything but typical. Before we get caught up in his chase of history, here’s a look at how he became the most terrifying hitter in baseball.