Marlins hitting coach Jim Presley was a player with the Seattle Mariners in 1989 when a 19-year-old rookie named Ken Griffey Jr. began his major league career. Griffey was "The Kid," a major talent -- the classic five-tool package -- who had everyone drooling. He's also Exhibit A why Presley cautions not to expect so much from the "Big Worm," Mike Stanton, when he's brought up.
"That year, this kid hit .270 something, 16 home runs and 70 some RBI," Presley said of Griffey. "That's why I said, with Mike Stanton, it would be unfair to put numbers on him now."
Griffey's actual stats were .264, 16 and 61. He was a whiz defensively, vastly superior to anything Stanton brings to the fielding table. But the point is, Griffey's numbers that first season were nice but not astronomical. Heck, Griffey didn't even win AL Rookie of the Year, finishing behind both Gregg Olson and Tom Gordon. But everyone knew that it was only a matter of time with Griffey, and before long he lived up to all the early hype.
"You're talking about a first-ballot Hall of Famer," Presley said of Griffey (see stats), who retired Tuesday.