Giancarlo Stanton earned an accolade for his power hitting even before the Home Run Derby began Monday night.
Stanton was named the National League’s Player of the Week after hitting five home runs and finishing with 10 RBI last week.
Stanton hit four of those five home runs in four consecutive at-bats during back-to-back games against the Mets in New York.
The streak was the first of its kind since Albert Pujols homered four in a row in 2006, and the first-ever by a Marlin.
The final homer of the streak was the 200th of Stanton’s career and followed a 470-foot blast that was the longest ever hit at Citi Field. His 1.087 slugging percentage last week was the best in the majors during that span.
Stanton, who was seeded fifth among eight Home Run Derby participants Monday, has 20 home runs this season and has 50 RBI. He has hit 20 or more home runs in all seven seasons in the majors.
Stanton, who was bracketed with 2011 Derby champion Robinson Cano, took part in the competition for the second time in his career. Stanton, who hit six home runs in the 2014 Derby in Minnesota, became the sixth Marlin all-time to participate.
A.J. Ramos said he usually sleeps during the team’s flights during the season.
That didn’t happen on the way to the All-Star Game.
Ramos, Marcell Ozuna, Fernando Rodney, Jose Fernandez and Stanton turned the flight to San Diego into a festive atmosphere.
“If I started to sleep, Jose would come over and tap me on the cheek and wake me up,” Ramos said.
Then there was Ozuna’s singing to some of his favorite Dominican music.
“Marcell sings a lot, I wish he wouldn’t,” Ramos joked. “He put on some music he likes and started song especially to one song he loves that makes sounds like a chicken to the beat of drums or something like that.
“I loved it though. Between that, and the music it was a fun time.”
Ramos and Ozuna, each first-time All-Stars, have been cherishing the experience at the All-Star Game with their families.
“My parents were sitting in the lobby and watching guys like Dellin Betances and Bryce Harper walk by,” Ramos said. “My dad told my sister, ‘Can you believe your brother is on the same team with these guys.”
Ozuna, who worked with Cano at his academy in the Dominican Republic in the offseason, said he got a chance to catch up with him and one of his idols, David Ortiz on Monday.
Ozuna has credited his offseason work with Cano as one of the reasons for his turnaround this season at the plate.
“Cano saw me and told me he was very proud of me and all the work I put in to get here,” Ozuna said. “His help in the offseason opened the door for me.”
Josh Naylor, the Marlins’ 19-year-old first baseman prospect and the youngest in Sunday night’s All-Star Futures Game, thoroughly enjoyed every minute of his experience participating in the annual showcase for minor-league players.
Naylor, the Marlins’ No. 2 overall prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, recorded a pair of hits and an RBI that contributed to the World Team’s 11-3 victory over Team USA.
“It was everything I thought it would be and more,” Naylor said. “I had too much fun. It was phenomenal.”
Naylor, the Marlins’ 12th overall pick in the 2015 draft, started the day by putting on an impressive power display, smacking seven home runs during batting practice, which was the most by anyone on the World Team’s roster.
In 74 games this season at Single A Greensboro (North Carolina), Naylor has hit only .254. But he’s put up good power numbers with nine home runs, 47 RBI and 18 doubles.
“My confidence is through the roof right now,” Naylor said. “I know who I am, and I know what I can do. I try not to get down on myself too much. Today I just tried to enjoy it, and I couldn’t stop smiling. It was such an incredible experience.”