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Slugging Stanton recognized for defense

Slugging Stanton recognized for defense

Slugging Stanton recognized for defense

MIAMI -- Mention the name Giancarlo Stanton, and the image of immense power and thunderous home runs immediately come to mind.

After all, Stanton is blessed with brute strength, evident by his 37 home runs this season for the Marlins.

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As much attention Stanton receives for his power, the 22-year-old takes tremendous pride in being an all-around player. And his ability to make an impact with his glove has now been recognized.

Stanton has been named the Marlins' recipient of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award.

This is the first time ever that Wilson has presented the awards, which are given to a player on each of the 30 big league clubs.

The winners were announced on Sunday on MLB Network.

Stanton played a spectacular right field all season, posting a .974 fielding percentage. Showcasing his arm, he added six assists.

His assists totals could have been more, but Stanton was hampered by injuries, limiting him to 123 games, with 117 in right field. He missed substantial time in Spring Training with a sore left knee.

But his biggest physical setback came on July 8, when he underwent surgery to remove two cartilage chips from his right knee. The procedure caused him to miss a month.

When healthy, Stanton is clearly a presence, whether he is at the plate or patrolling right field. In Atlanta early in the season, he had a terrific diving catch to rob Jason Heyward of a two-out hit.

Perhaps his best moment in the field came against the Phillies in August. At spacious Marlins Park, Stanton sprinted into the gap in right-center field, extended his 6-foot-5 frame and hauled in a long drive off the bat of Erik Kratz.

Another standout defensive moment came in late August when he dove in shallow right field to snare a shot by the Nationals' Kurt Suzuki. The play helped Ricky Nolasco get out of a jam.

"He's a complete player," Nolasco said after the game. "Everybody is obviously aware of his talents offensively, but there are things people don't see. He's putting in the time and work to be an all-around good player."

While Stanton hauled in the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award for a Marlin, he wasn't able to corral the honor for the top defensive player in the National League. Atlanta center fielder Michael Bourn came away with that honor.

In the American League, Angels center fielder Mike Trout was the top overall winner.

The best overall team award went to the Atlanta Braves.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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