Mike Stanton is frequently compared to a young Dave Winfield.
On Tuesday, the rookie and Hall of Famer met for the first time, shaking hands at Dodger Stadium as the Marlins took batting practice.
“I have local friends who know him really well, and they told me a couple of years ago, ‘Man, Mike reminds me so much of you,” said Winfield, who lives in the Los Angeles area and works as an ESPN analyst. “So I watched him. I watched him perform in the minor leagues, followed him closely when he came up. So he’s one of those guys I kind of pull for. He’s a game-changer kind of a guy. He’s a presence, a big presence.”
Winfield was a multi-sports star before choosing baseball. He said he’s glad that Stanton chose baseball over football.
“Here’s a kid who could have played another spot, but I’m glad he didn’t,” Winfield said. “Baseball needs guys like this. I don’t want to hear he looks like a football player. No, he looks like a baseball player, a big, strong, good baseball player.”