MIAMI -- During batting practice on Wednesday, Giancarlo Stanton unloaded on a drive to center field that sailed into the second level in the vicinity of the giant Marlins Park scoreboard.
The ball landed in the part of the park that has a sign that measures 502 feet.
Stanton is one of the strongest players in the game.
The 22-year-old's batting-practice drives are often talked about by players and fans who watch the Marlins warm up. Recently, when the Red Sox were in Miami, Cody Ross, formerly with the Marlins, gathered a couple of Boston players in the dugout to watch Stanton take batting practice.
Soon, the rest of the league and an international audience will get a glimpse at Stanton's immense power.
On Wednesday, Stanton confirmed to reporters coming off the field after batting practice that he has accepted an invitation to represent the National League in the Home Run Derby on July 9 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. The Derby will be televised live at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
One Marlins coach already is volunteering to pitch to him.
"I'm hoping he asks me," third-base coach Joe Espada said.
Espada regularly throws batting practice, and he's surrendered numerous tape-measured shots to Stanton.
Stanton also has a chance to be selected to the All-Star Game. The slugger is batting .274 with 17 home runs and 46 RBIs.
On Tuesday night, Stanton belted a home run to center field off St. Louis' Kyle Lohse that was estimated at 454 feet.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is the National League's Home Run Derby captain. He recently extended the invitation to Stanton.
Robinson Cano of the Yankees is the American League captain.
Infante: Key for Marlins is staying loose
MIAMI -- The wins may not have been plentiful in June, but the togetherness in the Marlins' clubhouse has remained.
"We're fine. We are playing together. We are a family," Omar Infante said. "We have good energy. We have to play good baseball, and show energy."
Infante, batting .287 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs, has had an All-Star caliber season. He's currently fifth in voting among National League second basemen.
The veteran shares the frustration of the club.
"Not lucky," he said. "Everything is the same as last year. We make an error. Sometimes we don't play good baseball. That's the key, playing good baseball. Some guys have been struggling. It's hard."
The Venezuela native also endured the tough month of June in 2011, when the team won five games.
Key for the club, he says, is staying loose.
"When you play with pressure, that's no good," he said. "We've got to play good baseball.
"I think we're better than this. We're a good team. We've got to stay positive."
Pair of Marlins' top pitching prospects promoted
MIAMI -- Two of the Marlins' top pitching prospects are settling in at Class A Jupiter.
Jose Fernandez and Adam Conley, the team's first- and second-round picks in 2011, are making their debuts with the Hammerheads. They are ranked No. 3 and No. 7, respectively, among Marlins prospects by MLB.com.
Fernandez, 19, will be pitching for the first time at Jupiter on Thursday night at Roger Dean Stadium.
On Wednesday night, the left-handed Conley got the starting nod in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Lakeland.
Fernandez, a hard-throwing right-hander, was 7-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 14 starts at Class A Greensboro. He has thrown 79 innings, striking out 99 with 18 walks. Batters are hitting just .189 off him.
Conley, who turned 22 this past Sunday, was 7-3 with a 2.78 ERA in 14 starts, striking out 84 in 74 1/3 innings.
Marlins vice president of player development Marty Scott says both accomplished at the lower Class A level. Now, they're ready for higher competition.
"You want to continue the development without rushing them," Scott said. "You want to make sure they earn each promotion and not just push them because of where they were drafted or who they are."
As an organization, the Marlins are mindful of developing their top prospects without having to rush them. The aim is to give them as much seasoning as possible before they arrive at the big leagues.
"It's not always the development of those guys, but the development of the organization, and building some depth," Scott said. "You do that by not rushing them, and letting them develop a step at a time. Sooner or later, that all filters to the top.
"Hopefully, the days are over of rushing people just out of necessity to get to the big leagues because they have potential. You hope the process is slowed down a little bit to give them the experience they need, so when they are ready to come to the big leagues, they come and they stay. It's not a revolving door back to Triple-A and back to the big leagues all the time."