Giancarlo Stanton is going to Kansas City in two weeks for more than just the Home Run Derby.
The 22-year old slugger, who made his debut just two years ago, earned his first All-Star Game invitation Sunday and will be the Marlins' lone representative when the National League and American League meet for the 83rd time at Kauffman Stadium on July 10th.
"If one thing is very bright for us, it's him," manager Ozzie Guillen said before Sunday's series finale against Philadelphia at Marlins Park. "For me, it's a shame. I looked at this ballclub in December and I said 'Wow we got a few All-Star guys.' Unfortunately they didn't play good enough to get in the All-Star Game."
But Stanton being selected, Guillen said, is great for baseball because he's a young power hittereveryone can fall in love with. Stanton went into Sunday's game with 18 homers, third-most in the National League.
"That's something baseball needs. Because when everybody was hitting home runs [before] they were under something," Guilen said. "Now having kids like that coming up, enjoy this home run thing, that's good for everyone. Kids can see new kids doing that. That's a motivation for people to watch the game."
Stanton's 49 RBI, 44 runs scored and .910 OPS leads the Marlins. His .283 average ranks second to second baseman Omar Infante among everyday players.
Pitcher Josh Johnson, a three-time All-Star selection, said his advice to Stanton is to enjoy the trip.
"It's going to be a really fast three days, two and half days really. It's going to be non-stop," Johnson said.
Earlier this week, Stanton confirmed he also will participate for the National League in the Home Run Derby, which can be seen on ESPN at 8 p.m. on July 9. The All-Star Game, scheduled for an 8 p.m. start, can be seen FOX.
Since he was promoted from Double-A Jacksonville on June 8, 2010, Stanton's 74 home runs are the fifth-most in the Major Leagues.
In May, he batted .343 with 12 home runs and 30 RBIs, earning NL Player of the Month honors. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since 1920, the only other player under the age of 23 who had that many home runs, RBIs and a batting average that high in a calendar month was Joe DiMaggio.
Teammates believe Stanton will be a perennial star.
"I think he's real capable of being an All-Star, not just the Home Run Derby, but to be an outfielder out there," closer Heath Bell said. "He'd be one of those guys who should be starting in a couple of years. Maybe next year, people will start seeing who he really is, and people will start voting him in. And Miami fans will start voting him in for next year."