Miami Marlins 2018 Top 50 Prospects

Miami Marlins Top 50 Prospects for 2018

Marlins fans rejoiced when it became official that Jeffery Loria was no longer the owner of the Miami Marlins. The Sherman – Jeter group is here and fans just might finally have the ownership structure they deserve. That feeling faded quickly when reality set in and Loria left the team with a crappy farm system and a major league roster with as many holes as it did have answers. One thing they did have was arguably one of the best outfields in all of baseball with Yelich, Stanton, and Ozuna. They had a proven 2B who can set the table and a couple up-and-comers with a proven track record in Realmuto and Bour. Well, they still have Bour and Realmuto, for now! The team as it stood may or may not have been successful in this upcoming year but I feel the new owners did the right thing and may have saved baseball in Miami. It is a hard pill to swallow now after the owner before but they are looking at setting up a sustainable winner and not just a flash in the pan and that starts with rebuilding your young talent pipeline and ensuring the financial stability for the long term.

The Marlins made some moves during the season to try and help fortify a weak farm system by completing multiple trades sending out Tom Koehler, AJ Ramos, David Phelps, Adeiny Hechavarria, and cash to acquire Osman Gutierrez, Eury Perez, Merandy Gonzalez, Ricardo Cespedes, Brandon Miller, Brayan Hernandez, Lukas Schiraldi, Pablo Lopez, Ethan Clark and Braxton Lee. Could one of these players be a starting position player for your Marlins this year? It is entirely possible depending on how competitions go during spring training.

Then came this offseason, and here’s your Marlins offseason trade tracker:

Editor note: The Yelich trade from just a few days ago on January 25th was not taken into consideration as Stoffer was making this Top 50 list. Brinson (1), Harrison (4), Diaz (7) and Yamamoto (22), already ranked on Steve Hammerling’s Milwaukee Brewers Top 50 Prospects, are not included on this list but would have been ranked similarly in the Marlins organization.  All 4 will be included in a follow up piece he’s planning in February.

A flurry of events have changed the entire face of the franchise. Fans are left to wonder if the ownership group just dumped salary or did they dump salary while acquiring building blocks for the future? Time will tell how these trades will impact the organization but one thing is clear, the Miami Marlins are in rebuild mode once again! The writing is on the wall with Realmuto, and Castro is not happy with the state of the franchise. When will they become the next casualties? Who will the fans root for this season if they are dealt?

We are less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting! There will be opportunity throughout the lineup for young players to step up and make a difference. There will also be the opportunity to try and prove everyone wrong by being competitive despite the massive amount of talent they sent to other teams. I find it hard to hold back the excitement as Spring Training looms near.

I have complied a list of my top 50 prospects for your Miami Marlins and let’s take a trip together to see where the rookies they acquired via trade end up in the Top 50. Could the number one be a repeat from last year’s number one minor leaguer, Braxton Garrett, or did someone else capture the top spot? How many of the traded players ended up in the top 10?

Below is my Top 50 prospects for the Miami Marlins minor league organization. I am looking forward to your comments. I welcome any feedback and suggestions and my take is more from a fantasy baseball perspective.

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for several years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster




Tier 1:

None

Tier 2:

1. Sandy Alcantara, RHP
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: MLB (with Cardinals)
Alcantara was one of the key players involved in the trade that sent Ozuna to the Cardinals. Alcantara has a minor-league career 1.34 WHIP and average against of .245. He also averages a strikeout per inning and the sample is 369 innings. He was brought up in 2017 with the Cards and he pitched out of the bullpen firing 8.1 innings amassing 10 strikeouts. The bad is that he also allowed 6 BB and his WHIP came in at 1.80. He has the skill set to settle in the rotation right out of ST and looking like he will be a #2 or #3 starter for his career. He should make a couple of All Star appearances once he limits his free passes and develops his pitches.

2. Jorge Guzman, RHP
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A-
Guzman is one of the 3 players that the Marlins received for Stanton. In Short Season A last year he started 13 games amassing 66.2 innings with a 1.04 WHIP and 88 strikeouts. He has the potential to be a solid number 2 with the floor being a dominate MLB closer/set up man.

3. Trevor Rogers, LHP
Age: 20
Highest 2017 Level: Did Not Pitch
Trevor Rogers could be the best pitcher in the 2017 draft or at least the best left handed pitcher in the draft. He is 6’6” firing 95 MPH with the type of frame that could lead to more velocity. He has a couple of other pitches, a change-up that he hasn’t thrown much and a sweeping breaking ball either a slider or hard curve depending on who is reporting and it has the potential to be a plus pitch. I think the ceiling for him with proper development and staying injury free could be a #1 starter but he is more than a couple years away.

4. Brian Anderson, 3B
Age: 24
Highest 2017 Level: MLB
Anderson reached the show last year to the tune of 84 AB in 25 games. He is still searching for his first big league homer but that will come with time. He is a modest power hitter sending 22 out in the minor leagues in 2017 but he is a guy that gets on base as evident by his career minor league OBP of .341. He could make an impact this year depending on what the team wants to do with Prado but this will be an interesting story line to follow through spring training.

5. Braxton Garrett, LHP
Age: 20
Highest 2017 Level: A
Finally, healthy after being drafted in the first round in 2016. Garrett got 4 starts totaling 15.1 innings with 16 strikeouts. His WHIP was 1.24 and held the opposition to a .220 average. He has the ceiling of a number 1 starter but he as well as Rogers are more than a couple years away but it will be intriguing to follow these two young lefties as they develop.

6. Nick Neidert, RHP
Age: 21
Highest 2017 Level: AA
Brought to the Marlins in the Dee Gordon trade, Neidert is a prospect that shows great potential. He has 55 career starts in the minors and he owns a 1.07 WHIP with 214 strikeouts and only 44 BB in 254 innings pitched. He knows how to pitch and 2018 could be the year he gets a shot. I project with a good year this year he could be a September call up unless injuries require an earlier debut.

7. Magneuris Sierra, OF
Age: 21
Highest 2017 Level: MLB (with Cardinals)
Sierra made it to the show last year and seemed to fair well. He had 60 AB producing a .317 average and a .359 OBP. His 19 hits however were all singles although he did swipe 2 bags while getting caught twice. He should hit at the top of the order to take advantage of his speed as he has stolen almost 100 bases in his minor-league career. With the marlins retooling the minor league roster this piece from the Ozuna trade should be able to step in right out of the gates.

8. Dillon Peters, LHP
Age: 25
Highest 2017 Level: MLB
Dillon got the call last year and started 6 games for the Miami Marlins. He pitched 31.1 innings with 27 strikeouts, 19 BB for a 1.63 WHIP. Barring any significant signings, he should be the 4th or 5th starter for the marlins this year. He has the potential to be a #3 or #4 starter. In his 48 career, minor league starts spanning 236.2 innings he has a 1.10 WHIP and 200 strikeouts.

9. Merandy Gonzalez, RHP
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A
Acquired in the Ramos trade, Gonzalez has shown some promise in his years in the minor leagues. He has logged 369.2 innings with 316 strikeouts, 108 BB for a 1.12 WHIP. He has the potential to be a #4 or #5 starter but could also be highly effective as a swing man in the bullpen. He should get the bump to double A and his future could get a clearer picture there.

10. Brian Miller, OF
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A
It appears the Marlins hit with this future leadoff hitter. The CBA pick made 233 AB with a .322 average and a .384 OBP. He had one homer but he paired that with 17 doubles. He stole 21 bases while getting caught only 6 times. Production like this from the OF prospect and he will rise rapidly.

11. Brayan Hernandez, OF
Age: 20
Highest 2017 Level: AAA
Acquired in the David Phelps deal he reached AAA for a very small taste. He logged 5 AB in 3 games but he did get 1 steal. In his minors career he has 612 AB with a .313 OBP and 35 stolen bases. He will need to raise his average up from his career .260 to move up the ladders but I project he will be starting this season in A ball.

12. James Nelson, 3B
Age: 20
Highest 2017 Level: A
The 20-year-old round 15 product made 395 plate appearances this season producing a .309 average and a .354 OBP. He smacked 7 home runs with 31 doubles and 3 triples. He has room in his frame to add muscle which should add to his power numbers going forward.

Tier 3:

13. Braxton Lee, OF
Age: 24
Highest 2017 Level: AA
Lee was acquired in the trade with Tampa for Adeiny Hechavarria. The 12th round pick from Mississippi has amassed 1,439 AB in the minor leagues. He has a career .272 average with a .343 OBP. He is not a power hitter but more of an old school leadoff hitter. Watching him play for the Jumbo Shrimp one thing became apparent, he has an infectious energy which is something that he may need to provide this year as it looks as he will have every opportunity to win the CF job in spring training.

14. Chris Torres, SS
Age: 19
Highest 2017 Level: A-
Torres was another piece the Marlins received in the Dee Gordon trade. The young switch hitting SS has 584 career minor league AB with a career .358 OBP but a low .248 average. He 46 stolen bases with 25 doubles and 8 triples. If he can elevate his average his minor-league career .907 fielding percentage will be welcome with open arms.

15. Zac Gallen, RHP
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: AAA
The 2016 third round draft pick was another piece received in the Ozuna trade. Gallen has risen quickly since being drafted and with 32 appearances (29 starts) he has 157.1 innings pitch with 136 strikeouts and only 35 BB. He has a minor-league career 1.14 WHIP and could be battling for a rotation spot.

16. Jeff Brigham, RHP
Age: 25
Highest 2017 Level: A
Brigham was acquired in the Mat Latos trade all the way back in 2015. Brigham has battled injuries in 2016 and 2017 but did garner pitcher of the week in FSL in June 2017.

17. Cody Poteet, RHP
Age: 23
Highest 2017 Level: A
Poteet, a 4th round pick in the 2015 draft, has a minor-league career WHIP of 1.26. He has pitched 224 innings with 170 strikeouts and 71 BB. He has proven to be effective but will start again at A and see if he can improve his WHIP and strikeout numbers.

18. Tyler Kolek, RHP
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie
2017 was a comeback year for Kolek and with a full offseason of training under his belt 2018 should be the season that Miami finds out what they have in the 6’5” right hander out of Texas.

19. Colton Hock, RHP
Age: 21
Highest 2017 Level: A-
Drafted in the 4th round out of Stanford in the 2017 MLB draft, Hock appeared in 11 games starting 2. He flashed with 23 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched. Looking for him to start at A again and get a little more clarity if they will fast track him as a RP or develop him into a starter but I think the best-case scenario for Hock would be a RP in high leverage situations.

20. Thomas Jones, OF
Age: 20
Highest 2017 Level: A-
The 3rd round pick in the 2016 MLB draft had a rough 2017. His batting average and OBP declined from his 2016 campaign. He did flash a bit more power smacking a 16 extra base hits. 2018 will be a determining season for Thomas to see if he can take his play to the next level but the physical tools are present.

21. Joe Dunand, 3B
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A+
The 2017 2nd round pick from NC State only received 27 AB in his first go but he did not disappoint. He had a .370 average and a .471 OBP with 1 home run and 5 doubles. What else would you expect from the nephew of Alex Rodriguez.

22. Riley Mahan, 2B
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A
Mahan has a smooth left handed swing that produced a .336 average for Kentucky before being drafted in the 3rd round of the MLB draft.

23. Ryan Lillie, RHP
Age: 21
Highest 2017 Level: A
Drafted in the 5th round of the 2017 MLB draft, Lillie appeared in 12 games starting 7 of them. He pitched 35.2 innings with 34 strikeouts and 1.15 WHIP.

24. Sam Perez, RHP
Age: 23
Highest 2017 Level: A
Perez has a career minor league WHIP of 1.13 in 159 innings pitched. He has 119 strikeouts to 34 walks. If he can limit the home runs allowed, he may be able to rise pretty quickly as a RP.

25. Trevor Richards, RHP
Age: 24
Highest 2017 Level: AA
Richards had a stellar 2017 season. He pitched in 27 games, starting 25. In 146 innings pitched he had 158 strikeouts, 30 BB, producing a 1.03 WHIP. If he can get that type of production again he will be one of the first pitchers to get the call.





Tier 4:

26. Brandon Miller, RHP
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A
Another piece coming to the Marlins via the Phelps trade, Miller has 178.2 career innings pitched with 157 strikeouts and a 1.18 WHIP. He did allow 19 home runs last year and if he can limit those he will rise quickly.

27. Edward Cabrera, RHP
Age: 19
Highest 2017 Level: A-
Cabrera does not walk a lot of batters as evident by his 8 BB in 82.2 innings pitched. If he can induce more swing and misses he could be shoot up quickly.

28. Pablo Lopez, RHP
Age: 21
Highest 2017 Level: A+
Lopez has pitched 333.2 innings in his career and that has amounted to a 1.07 WHIP. He doesn’t have elite strikeout numbers but he also does not walk a lot of batters.

29. Ricardo Cespedes, OF
Age: 20
Highest 2017 Level: A
The 6’1” Cespedes has had 796 career AB in the minor leagues. He has 22 SB with a couple of HR and 19 doubles, 8 triples. If he can lower his strikeout rate the counting numbers will improve.

30. Caleb Smith, LHP
Age: 26
Highest 2017 Level: MLB (with Yankees)
Smith appears to have accomplished all he can in the minors and was called up for 9 appearances with the Yankees in 2017. He had two starts and appears that he could be the Marlins swing man this season with a good spring training.

31. John Norwood, OF
Age: 25
Highest 2017 Level: AA
Big time power comes with big time strikeouts! Norwood fits the bill. In 2017 he smacked 19 homers, 17 doubles, and 4 triples. In 2017 he did see a decrease in stolen bases but if he can lower his strikeout rate he might have a shot as a full time OF in the bigs.

32. Garrett Cooper, 1B
Age: 27
Highest 2017 Level: MLB (with Yankees)
Big time power potential, could find himself in a corner OF spot to begin the year.





Tier 5:

33. Ethan Clark, RHP
Age: 23
Highest 2017 Level: A
Solid WHIP in 34 starts needs to increase his strikeouts to be a viable option in the higher levels of the minors.

34. Rafael Ortega, OF
Age: 26
Highest 2017 Level: AAA
Has a few MLB AB in 2016, but a speed first guy with a good OBP could make a push in spring training.

35. Ben Meyer, RHP
Age: 24
Highest 2017 Level: A+
Great K rate and WHIP could rise quick if successful to start 2018.

36. Isaac Galloway, OF
Age: 28
Highest 2017 Level: AAA
Been around for a long time. Has some speed and a small amount of pop. Depth issues could make him a 4th or 5th OF as early as this year.

37. Corey Bird, OF
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A
Has speed and a good batting eye. Voted Marlins best baserunner.

38. Robert Dugger, RHP
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A+
In 156.2 innings pitched he has 154 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP. One to keep an eye on. Part of the Dee Gordon deal.

39. Daniel Castano, LHP
Age: 23
Highest 2017 Level: A-
Part of the Ozuna trade, he has solid numbers and could become a steal if he continues to develop.

40. Jose Devers, SS
Age: 18
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie
Acceptable OBP and SB potential. Still only 18 years old and playing a skill position.

41. Lukas Schiraldi, RHP
Age: 24
Highest 2017 Level: A+
Big time strikeout guy but walks too many and needs to lower that WHIP if he’s going to climb the organization ladder.

42. Colby Lusignan, 1B
Age: 25
Highest 2017 Level: A+
Smacked 15 home runs in 2017 but needs to improve his .327 OBP.

43. Trenton Hill, 1B
Age: 23
Highest 2017 Level: A
Has the OBP but needs to develop that stick to play 1B at higher levels.

44. Alejandro Mateo, RHP
Age: 24
Highest 2017 Level: A
Future is in the bullpen. Solid strikeout numbers.

45. Ynmanol Marinez, SS/3B
Age: 16
Highest 2017 Level: N/A
Number 12 International prospect according to MLB Pipeline.

46. Jhonny Santos, OF
Age: 21
Highest 2017 Level: A
Excellent defender and if he can summon anything from his bat will rise quickly.

47. Eric Gutierrez, 1B
Age: 24
Highest 2017 Level: A
2017 saw a big increase in OBP. Another prospect to keep an eye on.

48. Jarett Rindfleisch, C
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A
Great OBP and good power potential from a catcher.

49. Luis Pintor, SS
Age: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A
Decreased average and OBP but uptick in power from the previous year.

50. Osman Gutierrez, RHP
Age: 23
Highest 2017 Level: A
Good strikeout percentage may find himself dominate closer if he can decrease his walks.

4 Comments

      • Yeah I did check those out. I’d be surprised if Harrison isn’t #2 in this system. Quick question: On September’s 186 ranking, you have Trevor Richards (RHP) from the Marlins as #152. Are you guys sure that shouldn’t have been Trevor Rogers (LHP) 1st round pick from last year’s draft?

        • Richards had a great year between advanced A and AA. Combining for a 1.03 whip with 158 k’s in 146 IP. Rogers (1st cousin of Cody Ross) unfortunately was not able to pitch there for causing him to fall out of our staffs top 100 selections. I suspect that will not last long.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Sunday January 28, 2018 - Fantasy Baseball Links - FantasyRundown.com
  2. Interview with Marlins 3B prospect James Nelson | Prospects1500

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