Back when they were big boppers on bad ball clubs, “The Toy Cannon” and “The Capital Punisher” used to hear people say the same thing Giancarlo Stanton is hearing now.

They’ll pitch around him.

He’ll never get anything to hit.

They’ll take their chances with everyone else, but not him.

Jim Wynn and Frank Howard weren’t just sluggers on crummy teams, like Stanton is now with the denuded Marlins, who are almost universally targeted for 90 to 100 losses this season.

They were the only guys in the lineup who put fear in pitchers.

And, yet, despite all the skeptics, Wynn and Howard got their homers. As bad as their teams were, Howard’s Washington Senators and Wynn’s Houston Astros/Colt .45s, they piled up home runs, season after season.

They see no reason why Stanton, despite being the lone man on the totem pole, can’t do the same.

“You might suppress that kind of talent for a week, a month, or maybe two months,” said Howard, 6-foot-7, 255 pounds who belted tape-measure blasts to equal his size. “But after 162 games, that ability is going to surface. You’re not going to suppress that kind of ability. They might try to pitch around him, but he’s going to catch his 40 or 45 – maybe 50 – home runs.”

Said Wynn: “Stanton will be on his own. But he’s a good ballplayer, and once he learns the strike zone, he’s going to be a very good ballplayer. He can hit the ball out of any park.”

Stanton might have won the home run crown – probably would have won the home run crown – last season when he cranked out 37. But he missed a month because of a knee injury and finished second to Ryan Braun, who hit 41.

He’s already tallied 93 homers in his brief career, making him one of only six players in major-league history to hit that many before his 23rd birthday. The others are Mel Ott (115), Eddie Mathews (112), Tony Conigliaro (104), Alex Rodriguez (95) and Frank Robinson (93).

But how in the world will he continue putting the ball over the fence if he’s the only concern for opposing pitchers in the Marlins’ thinned lineup? Manager Mike Redmond is thinking of having Placido Polanco provide “protection” in the cleanup spot behind Stanton. Polanco has 13 home runs in the past three seasons combined.

“He’s got to be patient,” said Andre Dawson, a Hall of Famer and Marlins’ front office assistant who once managed to win the Most Valuable Player Award with the last-place Chicago Cubs in 1987. “They’re going to take the approach they’re not going to let him beat them. They’re going to avoid him at all costs and pitch to him only when they have to. When they do make mistakes, that’s when he has to capitalize. He’s going to get pitches to hit, but not many.”

It’s not going to be easy. But it’s also not impossible.

Take Wynn, for example. The expansion Colt .45s of 1962 finished either last or next-to-last in seven of Wynn’s 11 seasons with Houston from 1963-73, and had 90 or more losses in the first six of those.

Yet the 5-foot-10 Wynn somehow managed to hit 223 home runs during that time, and he did so in a terrible park for hitters, especially power guys like Wynn: the Astrodome, which opened in 1965.

“It was the toughest ballpark to hit a home run in in the ’60s and the early ’70s,” Wynn said. “And Stanton is dealing with the same thing now with their new ballpark.”