Stanton, 24, willing to take on leadership role

Stanton, 24, willing to take on leadership role

JUPITER, Fla. -- When you're a buff 6-foot-6, 250-pounder and belt a baseball as far as anyone on the planet, people take notice.

On a youthful Marlins squad, Giancarlo Stanton clearly stands out. Not just because of his massive stature and his threat at the plate, but because he is looked upon to be an example.

The word "leader" to Stanton is empty if it is not backed by action.

Stanton and new catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia have been tabbed as two of the leaders in Miami's clubhouse.

"A leader isn't self proclaimed," Stanton said. "[Saltalamacchia] shouldn't be answering if he is a leader. I shouldn't be answering if I'm a leader. You're a leader because of the person you are and how you carry yourself. Not by your performance or all that. You may be looked up to because of your performance, but you're not a leader just by that. There are other things that go into it."

Even though he is still young at 24, Stanton is the most-tenured Marlin of any regular.

"I've been here the longest, so obviously, people are going to look up to me in that role too," Stanton said. "It's the little things. Rather than, 'Hey, here's my leader stamp. Here's my tattoo.' Now, what am I going to do about it?"

What Stanton has been doing is speaking up when he has to. He isn't normally a big vocal guy, but the right fielder is telling teammates what he feels needs to be said.

"I'm more vocal, for sure, about things," Stanton said. "I'm not vocal about myself, I'm vocal about what we do. I like helping from what knowledge I have.

"You help out. You've got to be more vocal. If you see someone's swing [is off], don't step on toes, but say, 'Hey, I did that too.' Or you help with ground balls in the outfield, or if someone is not doing what they're supposed to, take care of it."

After losing 100 games last year, the Marlins are looking to go through a cultural change. One theme is to make fewer bold predictions and perform on the field.

Thus far, the team is unite, and the energy level is high.

"It's more of a team, and not a bunch of individuals walking around in a forced environment," Stanton said. "It's something that needs to continue once adversity happens. But the way we're going about it is the way winning teams go about it."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter