It’s probably an exercise if futility posting anything to do with the Miami Marlins right now. Derek Jeter and company have made it clear changes are coming (and already rolling). New prospects are usually a direct end result of that.
The show must go on, however. While it’s improved on what it has been up top, there is still work to be done on the system’s depth. Here are three prospects that may be off the radar.
Cody Poteet, RHP
Poteet didn’t fare well in his Florida State League debut this year. While he doesn’t possess elite stuff, his ability to throw innings still says there’s hope on the horizon.
The 23-year-old righty out of UCLA had a successful 2016 run through the South Atlantic League. That’s where I saw him twice, and walked away both times impressed with his fastball-slider combo, and ability to pitch to contact and work quickly. His fastball isn’t much, normally in the high-80s, but he gets it into the 90s. His slider freezes people and is a strikeout pitch. The curve and the changeup are still behind, but improving.
This season, Poteet missed nearly two months with injury and it may have shown its effects. He went 3-7 with a 4.16 ERA, striking out just 40 while walking 23 in 80 FSL innings. Let’s watch a fully healthy 2018. If Poteet can revert back to his Sally-self, he can be a back-end of the rotation arm.
Trevor Richards, RHP
Another DII baseball great, Richards went undrafted before latching on with the Marlins. He pitched well in the Sally last year, started the season strong in the FSL this year, and proved he was no fluke, excelling in the Southern League by years end.
Combined, Richards went 12-11, posting a 2.53 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. He struck out 158, walking 30 in 146 innings. He went six innings or more in eight of his 14 Double-A starts so we know he can go innings.
That’s because he doesn’t have an overpowering arsenal. He has a low-90s fastball that he pairs with a changeup that most feel is his best weapon. A deceptive delivery and the awareness of how to change up speeds helps Richards control both the strike zone and opposing hitters. His curve is behind, but seems to be improving.
Richards breakout was so impressive the Marlins named him their pitcher of the year. With such an impressive Double-A debut, he may only spend half a season in Triple-A before getting his shot.
Joe Dunand, 3B
Dunand is the nephew of Alex Rodriguez. Whether or not his raw-hit tool pans out or not, Dunand is going to grab some attention.
The 22-year-old was the Marlins’ second-rounder out of NC State this past year. We new he had a big bat and a big arm that made him a nice choice for the hot corner. Here’s what our own Michael Cook said about him in his draft preview.
Dunand could be one of the more underrated college bats this year - but that’s a common refrain among the top ten here. He’s hit .287/.368/.632, with eighteen home runs, nineteen walks, and 45 strikeouts. His big issue is contact, noted by the low BA and the high K/BB ratio. But the power is legit, and he’s good enough to play shortstop in college, so his defense is well above average. Oh, and he’s the nephew of A-Rod.
Maybe it was a small sample size, but Dunand outplayed the expectations laid upon him. He only played eight games, five in the GCL and three in the FSL. Still he looked like a hitter as opposed to a slugger. He slashed .370/.471/.667 with five doubles and one home run. He struck out eight times, but did walk five, a much better balancing act than in the past.
Again, it’s too small a sample to say he’s turned a corner, but there is enough there that makes Dunand an intriguing prospects, baseball bloodlines aside. It will be interesting to see how fast he moves and if indeed he’s a good fit at third.