Top 20 Florida Marlins Prospects for 2010
All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don't get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get beyond the Top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you want to emphasize. Complete reports on these and over 1,000 other players will be in the 2010 Baseball Prospect Book, now available for pre-order, shipping on February 2nd!
1) Mike Stanton, OF, Grade A-: The strikeouts are worrisome, yes, but he's only 20 years old and hit 16 homers in half-a-season of Double-A ball. Upside: 40-homer production for years. Downside: he loses the strike zone and ends up like Jeff Francoeur.
2) Logan Morrison, 1B, Grade B+. I still love this guy. Tremendous improvement with his strike zone judgment stands out, and power slippage is likely attributable to hand injury.
3) Matt Dominguez, 3B, Grade B. Defensive raves continue, but the bat didn't look as good in the more difficult Florida State League. Will struggle if rushed, they need to give him 900 at-bats in the upper minors.
4) Chad James, LHP, Grade B: Has B+/A- potential but would like to see some professional data first.
5) Ryan Tucker, RHP, Grade B: Gets an injury mulligan and the same grade as last year. I love his stuff, still worry about command. Downgrade to B- considered, but at least it was a knee injury and not an elbow or shoulder.
6) Gaby Sanchez, 1B, Grade C+: Age 26 limits his upside, but should be a solid hitter to hold down first base until Morrison is ready.
7) Scott Cousins, OF, Grade C+: Tools are underrated, does a lot of things well, plate discipline is sketchy however. Could be perfect fourth outfielder.
8) Bryan Petersen, OF, Grade C+: Similar to Cousins, not as athletic but with better plate discipline.
9) Kyle Skipworth, C, Grade C+: Borderline C. VERY difficult to grade. His performance has been horrible, but he was so good in high school and at age 20 it is too soon to give up on him. However, one more season like this one and people will be heading to the exits.
10) Jake Smolinski, 3B-2B, Grade C+. This bat has considerable potential, however he is apparently injury-prone and still looking for a position.
11) Jhan Marinez, RHP, Grade C: borderline C+. Excellent arm, could dominate in the pen if command comes around.
12) Issac Galloway, OF, Grade C: Great tools, no performance yet.
13) Brad Hand, LHP, Grade C: Pitched better in second half, may need more time as a cold-weather high school guy.
14) Garrett Parcell, RHP, Grade C: Could contribute in the bullpen quite soon if he proves durability.
15) Chris Leroux, RHP, Grade C: Another possible middle relief arm.
16) Steve Cishek, RHP, Grade C: Like Parcell and Leroux, he can help in the pen.
17) Arquimedes Caminero, RHP, Grade C: Powerful Dominican bullpen arm hit 98 in the New York-Penn League but has control issues.
18) Ramon Benjamin, LHP: Another NY-P pitcher with plus stuff but command issues.
19) Marcell Ozuna, OF, Grade C: Big numbers in the Gulf Coast League from a potential power hitter, but need more data from higher levels.
20) Tom Koehler, RHP, Grade C: Looks like a potential inning-eater type.
OTHERS (Grade C): Pete Andrelczyk, RHP; Bryan Berglund, RHP, Jay Buente, RHP; Jose Ceda, RHP; Marquis Cooper, OF; Rodolfo Encarnacion, RHP; Josh Hodges, RHP; Dan Jennings, LHP; Kyle Jensen, OF: Jorge Jimenez, 3B; Graham Johnson, RHP; Kyle Kaminska, RHP; Brent Keys, OF; Jai Miller, OF; Edgar Olmos, LHP; Curtis Petersen, RHP; A.J. Ramos, RHP; Graham Taylor, RHP; Elih Villanueva, RHP; Jay Voss, LHP.
This system doesn't have as much depth as I thought it did.
Beginning with the hitters, you have Mike Stanton, who has the tools to be a superstar but also has the potential to crash and burn badly if he's rushed too fast. He needs another 300 at-bats in Double-A, and 400 in Triple-A, before being pushed to the majors. He has All-Star upside, but he still has flaws in his game that could prevent his talent from fully coming through if he's not handled properly.
Morrison may be a notch overrated at A- and I'm going to sleep on that grade. Dominguez should be a solid regular although I'm doubt at this point he'll hit enough to be a genuine star. Sanchez, Cousins, and Petersen all look like they could be useful role players, but none of them project as stars. I don't know what the hell to make of Skipworth at this point. After that there are some tools guys but no one I'm really wild about, though Smolinski could surprise if he can stay healthy.
The pitching features Chad James as the headliner, a possible number two starter if he reaches his ceiling. After that it thins out fast. There are a large number of potential bullpen arms, beginning with future closer Ryan Tucker and a boatload of potential setup men with good arms. But other than maybe Brad Hand, I don't see a lot of potential starting pitchers on the horizon.
Although things look thin with this current list, some of the Grade Cs have the potential to improve, and they graduated considerable talent to the majors last year. They've recharged before and they'll do so again. It will be interesting to see what approach they take in the '10 draft, and if the resolution of the stadium situation opens the pocketbook for player development a bit more.