This morning we continue with our organization reviews with a look at the Miami Marlins. Please remember, this is the PRE-SEASON LIST. This is not a new list. These are pre-season rankings and grades. This is a general overview of 2014, not a detailed preview for 2015.
1) Andrew Heaney, LHP, Grade A-: Borderline B+. Age 23, posted 3.28 ERA with 143/36 K/BB in 137 innings between Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans, 120 hits. 5.33 ERA in 25 major league innings with 17/6 K/BB. One of the very top LHP prospects in all of baseball.
2) Colin Moran, 3B, Grade B+: Age 21, hit .294/.342/.393 in 361 at-bats for High-A Jupiter, then .304/.350/.411 in 112 at-bats for Double-A Corpus Christi after being traded to Houston Astros in Jarred Cosart deal. Pure hitting skills unquestioned, power remains a ?.
3) Justin Nicolino, LHP, Grade B-: Borderline B. Age 22, posted 2.85 ERA with 81/20 K/BB in 170 innings for Jacksonville, 162 hits. Outstanding durability with excellent control, low strikeout rate is the caution flag here but you can’t complain about the overall results.
4) Brian Flynn, LHP, Grade B-. Age 24, posted 4.06 ERA with 105/50 K/BB in 140 innings for New Orleans, 169 hits. Led the PCL in ERA last year but not this year, with some command slippage boosting his ERA. I still think he’s interesting.
5) Adam Conley, LHP, Grade B-: Age 24, posted 6.00 ERA with 48/26 K/BB in 60 innings for New Orleans, 65 hits. Bothered by elbow trouble and didn’t pitch after July 20th; status unclear at the moment.
6) Anthony DeSclafani, RHP, Grade B-: Age 24, posted 3.78 ERA with 97/31 K/BB in 102 innings between New Orleans and Jacksonville. In the majors, 6.61 ERA with 23/5 K/BB in 31 innings, 39 hits. Command-oriented innings type, more potential than the high early ERA indicates.
7) Jake Marisnick, OF, Grade B-: Borderline C+. Age 23, hit .277/.326/.434 with 10 homers, 24 steals in 343 at-bats for New Orleans. Traded to Astros, hit .280/.308/.379 with five walks, 39 strikeouts in 161 at-bats. Good glove, good athlete, but bat remains an issue due to very aggressive approach.
8) Avery Romero, 2B, Grade C+: Borderline B-. Age 21, very strong year, hit .320/.367/.423 with 31 doubles, 10 steals, 32 walks, 60 strikeouts in 46 at-bats between Low-A Greensboro and High-A Jupiter, steady production at both levels.
9) Jose Urena, RHP, Grade C+: Borderline B-. Age 23, posted 3.33 ERA with 121/29 K/BB in 162 innings for Jacksonville, 155 hits. Another guy with sharp control who can eat innings.
10) Nick Wittgren, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, posted 3.55 ERA with 56/14 K/BB in 66 innings for Jacksonville, 73 hits, 20 saves. Not as dominant as 2013 but still a decent season, could get bullpen spot in next year or two.
11) Arquimedes Caminero, RHP, Grade C+: Age 27, older prospect but has a good arm, 4.86 ERA with 79/30 K/BB in 63 innings for New Orleans, 70 hits. Potential middle man.
12) J.T. Realmuto, C, Grade C+: Age 23, hit .299/.369/.461 with eight homers, 41 walks, 59 strikeouts in 375 at-bats for Jacksonville, also 18 steals. Much improved over 2013 although he is repeating the level. 4-for-21 in the majors so far. Stock up, although how much I’ve yet to determine.
13) Austin Barnes, C-2B, Grade C+: Age 24, hit .304/.398/.472 with 13 homers, 31 doubles, 69 walks, 61 strikeouts in 464 at-bats between Jupiter and Jacksonville. A little bit of an older prospect but has always hit well, deserves far more attention than he’s received.
14) Jesus Solorzano, OF, Grade C+: Age 24, disappointing .233/.255/.316 season with nine walks, 78 strikeouts in 301 at-bats for Jupiter. Has tools but old for the level, bad plate discipline.
15) Sam Dyson, RHP, Grade C+: Age 26, fine power sinker, posted 2.01 ERA with 33/13 K/BB in 40 innings in the majors. Should continue to perform well.
16) Colby Suggs, RHP, Grade C+: Age 22, posted 5.09 ERA with 47/25 K/BB in 58 innings for Jupiter, 59 hits. Disappointing campaign with command issues.
17) Jarlin Garcia, LHP, Grade C+: Age 21, posted 4.38 ERA with 111/21 K/BB in 134 innings for Greensboro, 152 hits. Breakthrough candidate wasn’t bad but didn’t break through as hoped; best asset is excellent control but he’s hittable. Young also, could improve a great deal.
18) Grant Dayton, LHP, Grade C+: Borderline C. Age 26, posted 3.13 ERA with 79/26 K/BB in 72 innings between Jacksonville and New Orleans. Continues to post outstanding strikeout ratios without getting many press clippings as a prospect.
19) Trevor Williams, RHP, Grade C: Borderline C+. Age 22, posted 3.13 ERA with 104/35 K/BB in 144 innings for Jupiter and Jacksonville, 160 hits. Another inning-eating strike-thrower type with a sinker.
20) Ryan Newell, RHP, Grade C: Age 23, posted 3.36 ERA with 94/21 K/BB in 110 innings for Greensboro, 110 hits. Finished year on disabled list with mononucleosis.
The Miami Marlins will finish below .500. I had the system ranked 24th pre-season and would move that up a few notches now. There are strengths here but weaknesses as well.
There is a lot of pitching. Heaney is ready for a full trial and can be a number two starter. Nicolino, DeSclafani, Urena, Williams, Flynn, Conley if healthy, there are many arms here who should be ready within the next year or two. And there are even more beyond them, guys who are very promising but didn’t make the pre-season list including hard-throwing right-hander Domingo German, workhorse right-hander Austin Brice, Jarlin Garcia, and most importantly 2014 draft monster Tyler Kolek.
Hitting is much weaker. There’s catching depth with Realmuto and underrated super-utilityman Austin Barnes. Avery Romero and 2014 draftee Brian Anderson provide some infield hitters of promise, but the overall offensive impact depth isn’t anything close to the pitching. He is a long way off, but 17-year-old outfielder Isael Soto hit seven homers in the Gulf Coast League, which isn’t easy, and could blossom if some contact issues don’t get in the way.