CHICAGO -- Mike Stanton put on a power display for 40,000 plus at Wrigley Field on Saturday, pounding his 19th and 20th home runs off Carlos Zambrano to confirm his status as a slugger. But Jack McKeon is intent on turning Stanton into a "complete player,"not just a one-dimensional ball crusher.
"I told him, 'You can be a 30/30 guy, easy,'" McKeon said. "I've just got to sell him on the idea that this is what you've got to do."
Despite his imposing frame, Stanton possesses natural speed. He was a wide receiver in high school. He's just never been asked to utilize his speed as a base-stealing threat.
Stanton was slowed by a quad injury at the start of the season and never attempted a stolen base under Rodriguez. Since McKeon took over, though, he has been successful on three of five stolen base attempts.
"Once learn how to steal bases, I think I can (steal more)," Stanton said. "I just need to learn."
Said McKeon: "He needs a little polish on the bases. But that’s because he has not had that much experience. I gave him the steal sign one night a while back and he stood there standing up. I was like, 'Get in position to steal.' All of a sudden, 'Boom!' He steals it easy. This guy has so much explosive speed. His first step, you can’t believe."
But McKeon said he wants Stanton to become more consistent as a hitter, too.
"I'd like to see him put the ball in play, because when he puts the ball in play, he hits it hard," McKeon said. "Just have to cut down on some of strikeouts, become a little more selective. Like today he was great. And some other day he'll be terrible. Some other time you'll see him strike out four times. Looks like he's lost."