The Miami Marlins were hoping to have a big season in 2012. They were opening their awesome stadium (I have been there and it was incredible) and they spent big time money to bring in Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell and manager Ozzie Guillen. But, they finished the first half in 4th place in the A.L. East with a 41-44 record, 9 games behind the Nationals. Here is a look at the players who made the biggest impacts in the first half of the 2012 season, in my opinion:
Team MVP: Giancarlo Stanton - 22-year old righty swinging RF Giancarlo Stanton was by far the best player the Marlins had in the first half of the 2012 season. He has played in 80 games for the Marlins so far this year and he is 81 of 285 (.284 avg, .919 OPS) with 46 runs scored, 19 homers, 50 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. The Marlins are really going to miss Stanton in the second half as he is going to miss the next 4-6 weeks after undergoing knee surgery.
Biggest Surprise: Justin Ruggiano - When the Marlins dealt with the Astros for 30-year old righty swinging outfielder Justin Ruggiano, it barely made a blip on baseball sites. But, he has been hitting the heck out of the baseball for the Marlins so far this year. Ruggiano has played in 32 games for the Marlins so far this year and he is 32 of 82 (.390 avg, 1.214 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 6 homers, 17 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. The Marlins need Ruggiano to keep up the good work in the second half of the 2012 season.
Biggest Disappointment: Heath Bell - The Marlins gave 34-year old righty reliever Heath Bell a big contract over the winter to close for them. But, he has been pathetic so far this year. He has pitched in 40 games (0 starts) for the Marlins so far this year and he is 2-5 with 19 saves, a 6.75 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP.