Giancarlo Stanton hit his 40th home run Friday, and it was another beauty -- a 433-footer.
Gary Sheffield’s club record of 42 homers is no longer just doable. It’s all but a given that Stanton, barring some unforeseen injury, will shatter the mark that was set in 1996 -- perhaps, even, by the end of the weekend.
But how high can Stanton go?
Marcell Ozuna offered a wild prediction following the Marlins’ 6-3 win over the Rockies.
“He can get 70,” Ozuna said. “Why not? The way he’s going right now?”
At the moment, with 48 games remaining, Stanton is on pace to finish with 56, which is nothing to sneeze at, a figure achieved by only 12 players in big-league history.
Consider that Barry Bonds, who broke the Major League record with 73 homers in 2001, never hit as many as 50 in any other season, in large part due to the number of times pitchers took the bat out of his hands by walking him.
Ozuna is basing his stratospheric figure on the way Stanton has been swinging the bat of late, and in that regard, he isn’t far off the mark.
Stanton has clubbed 14 homers in 26 games since the All-Star break. And if that torrid pace was to continue, he’d end up with 65 -- five shy of Ozuna’s sky-high number.
Just don’t count on it.
It would mean Stanton would total 39 second-half homers, and that’s never been done. The second-half record belongs to Mark McGwire: 37 in 1996.
Just getting to 40 homers was an achievement for Stanton, who has been badgered by injuries throughout his career and had never hit more than 37 in any one season.
"I've had the seasons lined up for it,” Stanton said of the 40-homer threshold that has always eluded him. “Just couldn't be out there (on the field) enough for it."
Stanton still has plenty of time left in the season to do some more damage, dent a few more seats.
He’s pulling away from the field in the Majors’ home run race.
Aaron Judge, who was all the rage in the first half with his prodigious power, has slumped since he bested Stanton and everyone else in the Home Run Derby and now sits second overall with 35. The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger is seven homers behind Stanton for N.L. bragging rights.
While 70 home runs for Stanton is a wild pipe dream, and even 60 would take some major doing, it remains to be seen where he ends up.
“There’s no limit,” Ozuna said.
Said the more cautious Stanton, who figures 50 home runs is a much more achievable milestone: “I’ve got a ways to go. I’ve got time.”