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Miami Marlins Top 20 prospect for 2018: mid-season review

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Checking up on the results of the Marlins list

MLB: Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays
Brian Anderson
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing with our mid-season organization reviews, we turn our attention to the Miami Marlins farm system.

This list was originally published January 26th, 2018




1) Lewis Brinson, OF, Grade B+: Age 24, drafted by the Texas Rangers in first round in 2012 from high school in Coral Springs, Florida, went from Rangers to Brewers in the 2016 Jonathan Lucroy deal then traded to Marlins in Christian Yelich trade; very disappointing, hitting .186/.232/.338 in the majors, 10 homers, 14 walks, 94 strikeouts in 290 at-bats, nice power but overall production undone by poor approach; hitting bad enough to overshadow defensive contributions; tools will continue to entice and probably not much of a point to additional AAA time once he is back from his hip injury; too much natural talent to give up on him yet.

2) Jorge Guzman, RHP, Grade B/B+: Age 22, signed by Astros in 2014 from Dominican Republic, then over to the New York Yankees as component of Brian McCann trade; traded to Marlins in Giancarlo Stanton deal; 3.81 ERA in 80 innings in High-A with 81/52 K/BB, 68 hit; I played a hunch with an aggressive grade here and so far my hunch is not working out; hit and whiff rates point to upside but command remains erratic and holds him back.

3) Monte Harrison, OF, Grade B; Age 23, drafted by Brewers in the second round in 2014 from high school in Lee’s Summit, Missouri; over in the Yelich deal; hitting .235/.312/.395 with 17 homers, 24 steals, 38 walks, 185 strikeouts in 451 at-bats in Double-A; like Brinson the tools are excellent with notable power/speed combination but approach remains very raw; be interesting to see if the Marlins are more cautious with Harrison following the Brinson struggles.

4) Isan Diaz, 2B-SS, Grade B: Age 22, drafted by Arizona Diamondbacks in comp round in 2014 from high school in Massachusetts, traded to Milwaukee in the 2016 Jean Segura deal; over to Miami in the Yelich deal; hitting combined .245/.360/.433 with 13 homers, 65 walks, 122 strikeouts in 379 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A; steady glove, productive power/patience combo with the bat, low batting average; this will likely be his style in the majors as well.

5) Brian Anderson, INF, Grade B/B-: Age 25, third round pick in 2014 from University of Arkansas; hitting .278/.357/.403 with nine homer, 47 walks, 89 strikeouts in 471 at-bats in the majors; playing right field with solid glove results; I think more home run power will come eventually, overall a successful debut.

6) Sandy Alcantara, RHP, Grade B/B-: Age 22, signed by St. Louis Cardinals out of Dominican Republic in 2013, traded to Marlins in Marcell Ozuna deal; 3.57 ERA in 108 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 85/41 K/BB; walked five in five innings in one major league start but allowed just one run; profile hasn’t changed, live arm and reasonably effective overall but a few too many walks and not quite enough strikeouts for true comfort, with many observers still seeing him as a reliever long-term.

7) Merandy Gonzalez, RHP, Grade B/B-: Age 22, signed by Mets out of Dominican Republic in 2013, traded to Marlins last summer in A.J. Ramos deal, 4.32 ERA in 73 innings in Double-A, 47/33 K/BB; 5.73 ERA in 22 major league innings, 19/8 K/BB; all metrics considerably worse than last year, transition to high minors and majors hasn’t been easy, I still like his long-term potential but has looked rushed.

8) Trevor Rogers, LHP, Grade B-/B: Age 20, first round pick in 2017 from high school in New Mexico; activated in June, 5.34 ERA with 72/22 K/BB in 59 innings in Low-A, 67 hits; some brilliant outings including 12 strikeouts in 7.2 innings on July 29th, but just enough bad games to put an unattractive spin on overall numbers; key to watch here is the strikeout rate which has been very good; neither a big success nor failure at this point.

9) Dillon Peters, LHP, Grade B-/B: Age 25, 10th round pick from University of Texas in 2014; I liked him as an MLB-ready arm pre-season but that hasn’t panned out, 7.16 ERA in 27.2 MLB inning, 17/15 KBB, and just a 6.26 ERA in 78 Triple-A innings, 59/25 K/BB and 102 hits; command has regressed this year and he doesn’t have the pure stuff to get away with that.

10) Nick Neidert, RHP, Grade B-/B: Age 21, second round pick in 2015 by the Seattle Mariners from high school in Georgia, acquired in Dee Gordon trade; very successful transition to Double-A with 3.13 ERA, 140/28 K/BB in 135 innings, 124 hits; command has held up, should be ready for a trial next year.

11) Magneuris Sierra, OF, Grade B-: Age 22, from Dominican Republic, acquired from Cardinals in Ozuna trade; .260/.287/.341 in Triple-A with 14 steals, 13 walks, 73 whiffs in 346 at-bats; hitting .179/.179/.209 in 67 major league at-bats; lack of power and little patience approach not working as well this year, looking like a fourth outfielder to me at this point.

12) Brian Miller, OF, Grade B-: Age 22, compensation round pick in 2017 from University of North Carolina; .324/.358/.398 in 256 High-A at-bats, then .250/.312/.303 in 188 Double-A at-bats; 31 steals combined; no power at this point, also looking like a fourth outfielder to me.

13) Braxton Garrett, LHP, Grade B-: Age 20, first round pick in 2016 from high school in Alabama; rehabbing Tommy John.

14) Zac Gallen, RHP, Grade B-: Age 23, third round pick in 2016 from University of North Carolina by the Cardinals, traded to Miami in Ozuna deal; steady year in Triple-A, 4.06 ERA with 116/45 K/BB in 115 innings, 131 hits; hittable but that’s the PCL for you; still projects as strike-throwing number four type.

15) James Nelson, 3B, Grade B-: Age 20, 15th round pick in 2016 from Cisco Junior College, good reviews for raw power but it is not showing up on the field in High-A, .218/.268/.302 with just two homers in 179 at-bats; 10 walks, 49 strikeouts; that won’t get it done, but too young to give up on yet; grade was clearly too high however.

16) Joe Dunand, SS-3B, Grade B-: Age 22, second round pick in 2017 from North Carolina State; .263/.326/.391 in 243 High-A at-bats, but .182/.254/.339 in 165 Double-A at-bats with 59 strikeouts; intriguing tools and I think he can remain at shortstop; nice power potential in the bat but contact has been problematic in AA; stock holding overall though.

17) Edward Cabrera, RHP, Grade C+: Age 20, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015, 4.16 ERA with 84/38 K/BB in 93 innings in Low-A, 97 hits; can hit mid-90s, secondaries slowly progressing, unclear if he starts or relieves in the long run but has shown some breakthrough potential for next year, particularly during some strong starts in early July.

18) Trevor Richards, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, signed as undrafted free agent in 2016 out of independent Frontier League, has held his own in major league trial, 4.28 ERA in 90 innings, 88/40 K/BB, 90 hits; I think the walks will come down eventually as he adapts; sleeper prospect who made good and can be decent inning-eater going forward.

19) Braxton Lee, OF, Grade C+: Age 24, 12th round pick in 2014 from University of Mississippi by the Tampa Bay Rays, traded to Marlins last summer; .223/.306/.279 in 251 at-bats with 30 walks between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A; 3-for-17 in the majors; hasn’t lived up to his strong 2017 season but still in the mix as reserve outfielder.

20) Christopher Torres, SS, Grade C+: Age 20, signed by Mariners for $375,000 in 2014 from Dominican Republic; acquired from Mariners in Dee Gordon deal; tiny sample as his season didn’t begin until July but has played well, .338/.451/.486 in 74 at-bats between NY-P and Low-A; definitely keep an eye on him for next season.

21) Brayan Hernandez, OF, Grade C+: Age 20, signed out of Venezuela by the Mariners in 2014 for $1,850,000, traded to Marlins last summer in David Phelps deal; .225/.299/.371 in 178 at-bats in the NY-P; 18 walks, 45 strikeouts, seven steals; no real change in profile, toolsy with power/speed potential but not a ton of production yet, young enough to change that.

22) Elieser Hernandez, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, signed by Houston Astros out of Venezuela in 2012, acquired by Marlins in December 2017 Rule 5 draft; 5.08 ERA in 57 major league innings, 39/22 K/BB; not a great year but he’s held his job well enough to avoid being returned to Houston; any sign of a breakout will occur first with a rising strikeout rate.

23) Tyler Kolek, RHP, Grade C+: Age 22, first round pick in 2014, second overall; still working his way back from Tommy John and associated command problems, 7.56 ERA in 8.1 innings between rookie ball and NY-P, 5/6 K/BB; at this point he’s only a prospect due to the money they invested in him, put him in the Grade C range now.


Jared Barnes, C: On 60-day DL

Andy Beltre, RHP; Injured all year

Brandon Miller, RHP; 5.51 ERA in 111 innings in Low-A, 87/28 K/BB, 130 hits; sleeper prospect still in slumber, too hittable.

Jose Devers, INF; Just 18 years old, hitting .272/.313/.330 in 345 at-bats between Low-A and High-A; very reliable glove; no power yet but runs well, athletic, looks like a player, and very young for his levels; stock moving up.

Robert Dugger, RHP; 4.07 ERA in 122 innings, 107/36 K/BB, 125 hits in HighA/Double-A; part of the Dee Gordon trade; not a great year but not terrible, throwing strikes but generally hittable.

Ryan Lillie, RHP; 3.12 ERA in 110 innings between Low-A and High-A, 106/22 K/BB, 94 hits; a very nice season, need to see how transition to AA goes.

Pablo Lopez, RHP; Excellent in Double-A/Triple-A (1.44 ERA, 66/12 K/BB in 62 innings) has held his own in the majors (4.79, 38/12 in 47); seems like he can improve from this level, sleeper prospect made good.

Riley Mahan, 2B; Hitting .242/.298/.329 with 23 walks, 118 strikeouts in 359 at-bats in High-A; solid glove at second base but he shows neither power nor OBP skills at this point;

Ben Meyer, RHP; 4.28 ERA in 61 innings in Triple-A with 47/18 K/BB; 8.22 ERA in 15 major league innings with 8/8 K/BB; another sleeper type who made it to the majors, will compete for 11th/12th spot on a pitching staff, can start or relieve.

John Norwood, OF; .248/.313/.350 in Double-A with 13 steals, 35 walks, 105 strikeouts in 363 at-bats; not the season he needed at age 25, sharp decline following strong 2017 season at same level.

Caleb Smith, LHP; 4.19 ERA in 77 innings in the majors, 88/33 K/BB, 63 hits; a solid MLB season until going down with shoulder soreness, now on 60-day DL

Chad Smith, RHP: 1.71 ERA in 32 innings in High-A, 39/19 K/BB; 10 saves; will be in the bullpen mix sometime next year if his command improves a bit.

Jordan Yamamoto, RHP: Fighting injuries this year but effective when healthy, 2.18 ERA in 54 innings between rookie rehab, High-A, and Double-A, 63/13 K/BB; keep a close eye on him for 2019.


Mixed results here. Brian Anderson has been strong and several of the young pitchers have flashed considerable promise, but the struggles of Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison show that star-level tools aren’t the same thing as star-level skills.

2018 draftees Connor Scott, Osiris Johnson, and Will Banfield excite scouts with their impact potential but are several years away from being ready to help. Tristan Pompey could shoot up the charts quickly as could holdover Christopher Torres.

I had Austin Dean as a Grade C pre-season. He’s just arrived in the majors thanks to a .345/.410/.511 breakout in the high minors at age 24, with sound strike zone judgment his best attribute. I think he’s jumped up into the B- range at this point.