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Florida Marlins Top 20 Prospects

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Jeremy Hermida in the Arizona Fall League (MLB photo)

The last system report. We will summarize the data tomorrow. Anyone willing to figure up the GPAs, please do so and post in the comments. I'll then take that and make some adjustments and come up with some final farm system rankings.

  1. Jeremy Hermida, OF, B+
  2. Scott Olsen, LHP, B+
  3. Taylor Tankersley, LHP, B
  4. Jason Vargas, LHP, B
  5. Chris Resop, RHP, B
  6. Logan Kensing, RHP, B-
  7. Josh Willingham, C-1B, C+
  8. Jason Stokes, 1B, C+
  9. Yorman Bazardo, RHP, C+
  10. Eric Reed, OF, C+
  11. Josh Johnson, RHP, C+
  12. Brad Davis, C, C+
  13. Adam Bostick, LHP, C+
  14. Randy Messinger, RHP, C
  15. Trevor Hutchinson, RHP, C
  16. Chris Aguila, OF, C
  17. Ron Belisario, RHP, C
  18. Luke Hagerty, LHP, C
  19. Robert Andino, SS, C
  20. Josh Wilson, SS, C
An average system overall at this point. Hermida took a major step forward last year, and further advancement would make him a Grade A- type guy. He has both tools and skills. The question will be how much his power develops, and a lot of scouts are very optimistic on that count. Scott Olsen doesn't get a lot of attention, but is one of the best LHP prospects around. He's always had good command, and as his velocity has picked up into the 90-95 range, his K/IP continues to rise without deterioration in his other ratios. Tankersley and Vargas, 2004 draftees, are both polished college pitchers who can advance quickly, giving the Marlins three impressive southpaws at the top of the system. Grade B ratings for Tank and Vargas are conservative.

Chris Resop is a converted outfielder who owns a mid-90s fastball and a 68/7 K/BB in 42 relief innings last year. He needs more experience, but continued pitching like that would raise his grade. Fellow RHP Kensing was badly rushed last year, jumping from Class A to the Show, where he had no business. He has a good arm but is raw, and pushing him into the Majors so quickly was a big backfire risk.

Josh Willingham is a favorite of statheads due to his power and excellent walk rate. Tradionalists are less sold on him due to defensive questions. I like his bat, but at age 26 and with no track record above Double-A, I gave him a conservative Grade C+.

Jason Stokes continues to impress people with his power, but he hasn't learned the strike zone and is not a refined hitter. I personally believe that he has a good chance of stalling out as a Triple-A slugger, although he's still young enough to prove that wrong.

Bazardo is another live-arm guy, who will move up to Double-A this year. His A-ball record is pretty solid, although his K/IP ratio is consistently below average, despite the fact that he can hit 95 MPH. Because of that I have some concerns about how he will hold up against better competition. Eric Reed has a career .306 average and is a major stolen base threat, but he lacks power and his plate discipline is inconsistent.

Josh Johnson suffers from the fact that his name is "Josh Johnson." If he had a more eye-catching name (Lance Powers, or Noble Valentine, or anything more interesting than "Josh Johnson") he'd get more attention. As it is, he's a 6-7 21-year-old righthander with decent command, a good sinker, and an adequate Class A track record.

Brad Davis is a Long Beach State product drafted last June. He has a good glove and made progress with the stick last year, but there's still some doubt about his bat at higher levels. Adam Bostick is a lefty with a consistently excellent K/IP ratio at the Class A level (163 K in 114 IP last year). He's got a great curveball, but his fastball is erratic (ranging from 86 to 93) and his command waivers.

Trevor Hutchinson and Randy Messenger were in Double-A last year and are looking for jobs. Messenger is more overpowering but is confined to a relief role. Hutchinson throws strikes but his stuff is marginal. Both look like "role pitchers" to me. You can make a case to put them higher on the list, above Bostick at least, depending on how you want to weight their better chance to help compared to the risky upside evident in Bostick's K/IP and youth.

Chris Aguila can hit .250-.270 with moderate power at the Major League level, adequate for a reserve job. Belisario is another guy with a good arm (90-95 MPH) but an erratic track record and weak K/IP marks given his velocity. Rule 5 guy Hagerty (from the Cubs system via trade with the Orioles) is a good bet to stick on the roster for rehab purposes. I liked him a lot before Tommy John; we just need to see how he recovers.
Shortstops Andino and Wilson can handle their positions but have questionable bats. Andino is younger and has better upside to improve. Wilson made some progress last year, but there is still skepticism about his long-term offensive potential, and he projects best as a bench guy.

UPDATE: I answered a few questions at MarlinBaseball.com about the Florida system.