2014 Miami Marlins

C – Chad Wallach  – LoA Greensboro/HiA Jupitor –  23 yo;  –  (2013 – 5th round) –
  • .322 – 7 HR – 57 RBi – 54 R –  .431/.457/.888 slash  –   csPAG: 3.39
  • Baseball America -NR   –  MLB Pipeline-NR   –  Baseball Prospectus-NR
  • The 6’3 – 210 lb. righty is one of those prospects tabbed [as one] that lacks the proper pedigree most experts seek out. But again, this is our inaugural All-Star list.  A list aimed only at highlighting the top performers at each position for each organization; and UTR, which isn’t supposed to be the atypical, usual prospect list.  After debuting for Batavia of the New York-Penn League in 2013, the Cal State Fullerton alum struggled posting a 43 game PAG score of 1.91, batted .226 and collected only six extra base hits. However, he received a promotion to LoA Greensboro in 2014 and surprised with a 3.60 PAG for the Grasshoppers, yet came down to earth upon his promotion to HiA Jupiter logging in a PAG score of 2.53.  In 2014, Wallach led all Marlins catchers in batting, ranked second in doubles (22) – (Realmuto with 25 for AA Jacksonville) – drew more walks than strikeouts (62:46) and posted a .993 fielding percentage; another best among back-stops receiving regular playing time with their specific level within the system.  2015 will see Wallach (possibly) dawning the black and orange of the Bakersfield Blaze, the Cincinnati Reds HiA affiliate. Wallach went to the Reds along with top prospect Anthony DeSclafani in the recent trade that brought star hurler Mat Latos to Miami. 
1B – Felix Munuz – LoA Greensboro – 22 yo;  – (2008 – International/DR)
  • .300 – 16 HR –  91 RBi – 81 R –  .368/.476/.844 slash  –   PAG: 3.69
  • BA-NR   –   MLB Pipeline-NR   –   BP-NR
  • The 22 year old Munoz had a solid season. Let’s get that out of the way first and foremost; and this is a 2014 All-Star list.  Yet, when looking at his overall numbers, it’s clear that the lefty swinging Dominican’s 2014 season was a product of playing in the hitter paradise known as NewBridge Bank Park in downtown Greensboro. From his debut all the way through the 2013 season, Munoz hasn’t reached the 3.00 PAG level with 2013 being the closest (2.99) for Short Season Batavia. NewBridge Bank’s short right field porch leaves many a lefty frothing at the mouth, yet the 6’2 – 175 lb. Munoz’ production was more potent away from the comfy confines posting a home/away PAG split of 3.30 -to- 4.06.  It will be interesting to see where Miami assigns Munoz for 2015 and follow whether his bat continues to climb or descends to where most think it will. 

 

2B – Avery Romero  – LoA Greensboro/HiA Jupiter – 21 yo;  – (2012 – 3rd round)
  • .320 – 31 2B  – 5 HR – 56 RBi – 63 R – 10 SB –  .367/.423/.790  slash  –   csPAG: 3.03
  • BA/#5 –  MLB Pipeline/#3   –  BP/#7
  • As I’ve said numerous times before regarding several American League prospects, Romero is one of those prospects that regardless of the numbers he’s posting, it’s clear he’s the one of the top position prospects in the Marlins system. He has all the tools: can hit, can field, has a plus arm, possesses all the intangibles, makeup and work ethic to make him a future star. So, I’m choosing Romero because of his 2014 season mixed with his overall body of work as a 21 year old.  However, the UTR in me feels 2014 – 19th rounder Mason Davis can’t be ignored. The switch hitter from The Citadel debuted with Short Season Batavia posting a 3.61 PAG and led the Muckdogs in every statistical category besides runs scored and stolen bases. The generously listed 5’9 – 165 pounder doesn’t hold any plus tools, but he’s known as a gamer, a scrappy player who carried virtually no stat lapse from amateur to pro ball. Davis might begin the season in LoA Greensboro, but if he hits the ground running much like he did in his debut, a quick promotion to HiA Jupiter will be in short order. 
 
 
3B – Brian Anderson – Short Season Batavia/LoA Greensboro  – 21 yo;  –  (2014 – 3rd round)
  • .300 – 11 HR – 49 RBi – 38 R –   .363/.496/.859 slash  –   csPAG: 3.75
  • BA/#9  –   MLB Pipeline/#15  –  BP-NR
  • Choosing Anderson was both a no-brainer and bittersweet. In the well documented Pennsylvania Furnace fantasy baseball league Jim and I share together,  I was (once) the proud owner of Marlins stud outfield prospect Jake Marisnik. Rebuilding mode was taking shape and the 5-tooler was a rather large cog in the prospect machinery of my roster; but just like that (snaps fingers), the 6’4 – 225 lb. Riverside, CA native was part of an MLB Trade deadline deal that sent he and  2013 – 1st round third baseman Colin Moran to Houston for big leaguer right hander Jarred Cosart. This trade not only created a huge hole in my budding fantasy outfield, but just as great a prospect hole at third for the Miami Marlins. Enter the 6’3 – 175 lb. Arkansas University utility man Brian Anderson. Now Anderson doesn’t get a free pass. He still has to produce and produce he did. He debuted with Short Season Batavia, saw a mid-July promotion to LoA Greensboro and logged in a csPAG 3.75. Anderson primarily played third, but he came to Miami having logged time at second and all three outfield positions for he Razorbacks. Regardless of where he plays on the diamond, his bat is what will carry him. He can hit for both power and average having swatted 11 home runs and 10 doubles in his two stops this past season. His current profile is that of an offensive threat at second base, but employs the athleticism to shift over to third or even an outfield corner.  
SS – Justin Bohn – LoA Greensboro/HiA Jupiter –  22 yo;  –  (2013 – 7th round)
  • .295 – 25 2B  – 6 HR – 59 RBi – 68 R – 11 SB –  .376/.416/.791 slash  –  csPAG: 3.38
  • BA-NR   –   MLB Pipeline-NR  –  BP-NR
  • With most of the (rightful) prospect love being given to super-athlete and 2014 Gulf Coast League star Justin Twine, again in usual fashion, we’re going to steer the UTR car in a different direction and choose another Justin, 2013 – 7th rounder Justin Bohn.  After leading Feather River JC in batting as freshman and sophomore, the Marlins wrestled the 6’0 – 180 lb. righty away from a commitment to Oregon State, drafted him and assigned him to Short Season Batavia. He struggled mightily in his debut posting a csPAG of 1.85 for the Muckdogs and then a 12 game late season stint for LoA Greensboro. The Marlins had faith by assigning the Medford, OR native to Greensboro to start 2014 and Bohn didn’t disappoint batting .293 with a .34 extra base hit percentage and drew 39 walks to 49 strikeouts. A late June promotion to HiA Jupiter saw a slight dip in production (2.88 PAG), however Bohn’s overall 2014 could help secure a start for HiA and possibly a mid-to-late season jump to AA Jacksonville in 2015. 
LF – Austin Dean – LoA Greensboro –  21 yo;  –  (2012 – 4th round)  –
  •  .308 – 9 HR – 58 RBi – 67 R –   .371/.444/.815  –  PAG: 3.49
  • BA/#14 (2014)   –   MLB Pipeline/#11   –   BP-NR
  • The 2012 – 4th rounder out of Klein Collins HS (TX) is the consensus leader among the bevy of Marlins left field prospects. Equipped with plus bat speed, Dean can barrel up on balls and has shown gap power so far in his three year career, however this isn’t the home run power the organization was hoping to see at this stage of his development. His PAG progressions since his 2012 debut (2.26 – 2012/GCL; 2.73 – 2013/SS Batavia-LoA Greensboro) proved that 2014 was the breakout the organization was waiting for. The Spring, TX native needs to develop more patience and allow himself to work into deeper counts. Dean brings unequalled work ethic to the ballpark and even though defensively he’s still a (solid) work in progress after beginning his career as an infielder, it’s his bat that will continue to carry him through the ranks. 
CF – Anfernee Seymour – Gulf Coast League –  19 yo;  –  (2014 – 7th round)
  • .245 – 0 HR – 3 RBi – 24 R – 11 SB –  .333/.265/.599  –  – PAG: 2.92
  • BA-NR  –   MLB Pipeline-NR  –   BP-NR
  • If you’ve been following our UTR work since April 2014, you’d already know that Jim and I carry an affinity for certain types of prospects. I love those project prospects who can do several things well, lack one tool, yet can be described by those two exciting words: blazing speed.  Such is the case of the Bahamian born Seymour.  The right handed speedster was drafted out of American Heritage HS (FL) as a shortstop, but played most of his games in centerfield in his debut in the Gulf Coast League. I believe Seymour is just getting started and a full season in either a short season or full season league could help pave the way for the 5’11 – 170 lb. to cement his standing as not only the fastest man in the Marlins system, but possibly in all the minor leagues. 
RF – Isael Soto – Gulf Coast League –  18 yo;  –  (2013 – International signee/DR)
  • .251 – 7 HR – 23 RBi – 26 R –   .302/.426/.728  –  PAG: 2.76
  • BA-NR  –  MLB Pipeline-NR  –  BP-NR
  • The fun part about using PAG  is I get to use it in conjunction with the rest of the core stats to help sift out the who’s who for each position; and I get extremely excited when  the top position prospect is a 17 year old kid that draws comparisons to both Raul Mondesi (Sr.) and organizational mate Marcel Ozuna. The 6’0 – 190 lb. lefty has incredible raw power, possesses a condensed swing path, but as expected from a 17 year old, collects his fair share of strikeouts. Soto posted a 2.76 PAG in his debut season for the Gulf Coast League  which for some, isn’t double-take worthy, but when you combine his age, level, his projectable skills, speed,  plus arm and a fairly clear path through the system, you have the makings of a potential superstar. 

 

Top 5 Starting Pitchers – (Mention Points) / TPS
 
1. RHP Trevor Williams – (15) SP/TPS .120
  • 22 years old – (HiA Jupiter / Double-A Jacksonville)
  • 2nd round – 2013
  • Ranked #11 by Baseball America / #4 Baseball Prospectus / #4 MLBPipeline
  • The right-handed Williams just completed his second season as a pro, but the fact is…he is a seasoned hurler that should find his way to Miami real soon. A product out of Arizona St, the 22 year old quickly become one of the top pitchers in the Pac-10 during his sophomore year in 2012. He already possesses a durable 6’3″ 228 lb frame that projects as innings-eating workhorse. He also displays a solid 4-pitch repertoire consisting of a mid-90’s fastball, decent change-up, a wicked slider, and a 12-6 curve. The only knock on Williams is that he doesn’t strikeout many hitters, backed-up by his 6.2 K/9. He does however compensate with excellent control and producing of ground balls.
 
2. RHP Ryan Newell – (14) SP/TPS .096
  • 23 years old – (LoA Greensboro)
  • 7th round – 2012
  • 2014 UTR Breakout
  • 3-Time UTR Mentions (April 10thApril 27thMay 25th)
  • Newell almost fits the same mold as Williams, but reports state that his change-up must improve for him to project as a starter. He shows a high-arm slot delivery that is unique by allowing him to get a more prominent downward plane to the plate. Usually with a high slot, it tends to flatten out a fastball, but Newell somehow gets more sink from his offerings, which was reported by Nathaniel Stoltz at Fangraphs.com. I projected Newell as a breakout candidate in 2014 after putting up decent numbers in the New York-Penn League. There he posted a 2.09 ERA with 75 K’s and 21 BB’s over 82 innings and only allowing one home run. He put up similar stats with LoA Greensboro this past season, but the jury is still out until we see some innings at the higher levels.
 
3. RHP Domingo German – (13) SP/TPS .096
  • 21 years old – (LoA Greensboro)
  • Undrafted – 2009
  • 4-Time UTR Mention (April 6thApril 17thMay 9thJune 15th)
  • Traded to NYY
  • From a fantasy standpoint, for someone in a NL-only league, let me tell you it was real disappointment to see German heading to the Bronx. I thought about leaving him  off this list with the trade, but re-considered so our readers could place his name on their draft list for mixed leagues. German just started to hit the radar last season, starting 25 games and making the Futures Games roster, but he is no stranger to me. Since becoming a pro in 2010, German has been ranked on my tracking sheets with amongst the likes of Justin Nicolino, Adam Conley, Jose Fernandez, Anthony Desclafani, and Andrew Heaney. German has great tools and regardless whether he hits a ceiling either as a starter or in relief, he will be solid in the Yankees staff someday. Here’s hoping that the 21 year old finds his way back to the National League.
4. RHP Austin Brice – (13) cSR/TPS .102
  • 22 years old – (HiA Jupiter)
  • 9th round – 2010
  • Ranked #27 by Baseball America / #13 MLBPipeline
  • 3-Time UTR Mention (April 13th, May 21st, August 11th)
  • I would have thought that if the Marlins were to throw in a chip during an off-season deal, it would have been Austin Brice. He’s had a roller coaster career since being drafted in 2010, but has held a steady TPS rate since 2012; his first full season after two years in the GCL. Brice’s struggles have been with his control, but he made strides in 2014 in cutting down on his walks issued.  His strike outs also slid somewhat, but the brighter side was an increase to his groundball rate (38% in 2013 / 46 % in 2014). Brice has a projectable frame (6’4″ 205 lbs) and solid stuff (plus FB and outstanding curveball that BA rated best in the Marlins system for 2014). Once the mechanics become more consistent and the right-hander gains command of his pitches, he should be a stud mid-rotational starter.
 
5. LHP Jarlin Garcia – (10) SP/TPS .118
  • 21 years old – (LoA Greensboro)
  • Undrafted – 2010
  • Ranked #28 by Baseball America / #8 MLBPipeline / “On the Rise” by Baseball Prospectus
  • 2-Time UTR Mention (May 27thJuly 17th)
  • As we watch the Chicago Cubs making a possible upswing behind some outstanding young bats, the Marlins are a step away from doing the same….but with arms. At only 21 years old, Garcia is at the tail-end of a pipeline of arms in the Marlins system. He’s not to be ignored though, because the lefty possesses plus velocity, two very promising off-speed pitches; all of which he throws with command and control. He put together a deserving first full-season at LoA which could see him assigned at HiA Jupiter in 2015.
 
Top 3 Relief Pitchers – (Mention Points) / TPS
 
 1. LHP Miguel Del Pozo – (9)  RP/TPS .073
  • 21 years old – (LoA Greensboro)
  • Undrafted – 2010
  • The Marlins commitment to stockpiling starting pitching is apparent by the bare cupboard in the bullpen. Which is OK..as some of those arms in the dwells of the depth charts are tweeners who will make solid swing guys. Three former UTR guys currently sit in-waiting for their opportunity in Grant Dayton & Nick Wittgren (AAA) and recently acquired Andrew McKirahan, a Rule 5 pick from the Cubs. Wittgren is promising and McKirahan is intriguing in that he’s only seen 117 hitters at his highest level (Double-A). Del Pozo could be one of the first young relief pitchers to make the push to Miami. He has the ability to miss bats as he struck out 85 in 66 innings at LoA Greensboro. One promising stat was his BB/9 rate which hovered around 6.o over his first 3 years as a pro, but was slimmed to 2.6 last season in 41 appearances. One area he needs to improve is holding runners from scoring, based on his career  4.71 ERA.
2. RHP Sean Donatello – (7) RP/TPS .084
  • 23 years old – (LoA Greensboro / HiA Jupiter / LoA Greensboro)
  • 25 round – 2011
  • Could this be the year that Donatello cracks into Double-A Jacksonville roster?  In each year since being drafted, Donatello has seen spot appearances with HiA Jupiter. This could have had an effect on his overall development, as he hasn’t been able to provide any consistency. 2015 should be a watershed year for the right-hander. He could either breakout or have another mediocre season which could be the start of him becoming an organizational type pitcher. He was dealing with some issues late last season, but did post decent numbers with LoA Greensboro. Time is running out for the now 24 year old.
3. RHP Esmerling De La Rosa – (4)  RP/TPS .075
  • 23 years old – (LoA Greensboro)
  • Undrafted – 2010
  • De La Rosa’s development has taken some time before getting his chance at full season ball at LoA Greensboro. He spent two seasons each in the Dominican and Gulf Coast Leagues and only saw a total of 47 appearances (89.2 IP), so we really don’t know his full potential from those small samples. He throws a mid-90’s fastball and a decent change-up from a low 3/4 slot. He was used primarily as the set-up guy for Donatello while at LoA Greensboro.
Top 5 TPS – Starting Pitchers
 
1. RHP Matt Milroy – cSR/TPS .087
  • 23 years old – (Short-Season Batavia / LoA Greensboro)
  • 11th round – 2012
  • Ranked #17 by MLBPipeline
  • 4-Time UTR Mention (April 12thApril 24thMay 17thJune 12th)
  • Milroy has the pure stuff with a 95 mph fastball which he can match-up with a plus slider. He has always struggled with command issues, but seemed to put that behind him during his time at LoA Greensboro (12.4 K9 / 3.3 BB9). It came back to haunt him after a June promotion to HiA Jupiter where he walked 38 and struck out just as many (37).
2. RHP Jose Adames – cSR/TPS .090
  • 21 years old – (Short-Season Batavia / LoA Greensboro)
  • Undrafted – 2010
  • Adames is all fastball which should plot his track into the bullpen, but he got his first real taste in a rotation this past season and the results were surprising. He posted a 3.65 ERA in 10 starts and struck out 42 hitters over 44.1 innings, with most of those starts with Greensboro. His fastball has been described as explosive with excellent lift, but lacks pinpoint control. His other offerings are fringy at best, with a inconsistent curveball and poor change-up. Its surprising with that type of mix that he had any success. There still time for improvement for the right-hander who will be 22 year old for the 2015 season.
3. LHP Chris Sadberry – cSR/TPS .095
  • 22 years old – (Short-Season Batavia / LoA Greensboro)
  • 6th round – 2014
  • In fantasy drafts, when your sitting on the fence with a fringy player, but don’t want to waste a pick, it best to hold off till the end-game where you can take a flier. It works the same way in the MLB draft, but the Marlins liked what they see in Chris Sadberry and pulled him off the boards in the 6th round. He was the second left-handed arm taken behind Michael Mader in the 3rd round. Sadberry had a resume of success during his time at Texas Tech University, his only season there before being drafted as a junior. Sadberry needs to add to his repertoire if he wished to remain in a rotation. He currently throws a fastball (mid 90’s)-slider combo.  
4. RHP Ryan Newell – (14) SP/TPS .096
  • 23 years old – (LoA Greensboro)
  • 7th round – 2012
  • 2014 UTR Breakout
  • 3-Time UTR Mentions (April 10thApril 27thMay 25th)
  • Newell almost fits the same mold as Williams, but reports state that his change-up must improve for him to project as a starter. He shows a high-arm slot delivery that is unique by allowing him to get a more prominent plane to the plate. Usually with a high slot, it tends to flatten out a fastball, but Newell somehow get more sink from his offerings, which was reported by Nathaniel Stoltz at Fangraphs.com. I projected Newell as a breakout candidate in 2014 after putting up decent numbers in the New York-Penn League. There he posted a 2.09 ERA with 75 K’s and 21 BB’s over 82 innings and only allowing one home run. He put-up similar stats with LoA Greensboro this past season, but the jury is still out until we see some innings at the higher levels.
5. RHP Domingo German – (12) SP/TPS .096
  • 21 years old – (LoA Greensboro)
  • Undrafted – 2009
  • 4-Time UTR Mention (April 6thApril 17thMay 9thJune 15th)
  • From a fantasy standpoint for someone in a NL-only league, let me tell you it was real disappointment to see German heading to the Bronx. I thought about leaving him  off this list with the trade, but re-considered so our readers could place his name on their draft list for mixed leagues. German just started to hit the radar last season, starting 25 games and making the Futures Games roster, but he is no stranger to me. Since becoming a pro in 2010, German has been ranked on my tracking sheets with amongst the likes of Justin Nicolino, Adam Conley, Jose Fernandez, Anthony Desclafani, and Andrew Heaney. German has great tools and regardless whether he hits a ceiling either as a starter or in relief, he will be solid in the Yankees staff someday. Here’s hoping that the 21 year old finds his way back to the National League.
 
 Top 3 TPS – Relief Pitchers
 
 1. LHP Miguel Del Pozo – RP/TPS .073
  • 21 years old – (LoA Greensboro)
  • Undrafted – 2010
  • The Marlins commitment to stockpile starting pitching is apparent by the bare cupboard in the bullpen. Which is OK..as some of those arms in the dwells of the depth charts are tweeners who will make solid swing guys. Three former UTR guys currently sit in-waiting for their opportunity in Grant Dayton & Nick Wittgren (AAA) and recently acquired Andrew McKirahan, the Rule 5 pick from the Cubs. Wittgren is promising and McKirahan is intriguing in that he’s only seen 117 hitters at his highest level (Double-A). Del Pozo could be one of the first young relief pitchers to make the push to Miami. He has the ability to miss bats as he struck out 85 in 66 innings at LoA Greensboro. One promising stat was his BB9 rate which hovered around 6.o over his first  3 years as a pro, but was slimmed to 2.6 last season in 41 appearances. One area he needs to improve is to hold runners from scoring, based on his career  4.71 ERA.
2. RHP Esmerling De La Rosa – RP/TPS .075
  • 23 years old – (LoA Greensboro)
  • Undrafted – 2010
  • De La Rosa’s development has taken some time before getting his chance at full season ball at LoA Greensboro. He spent two seasons each in the Dominican and Gulf Coast Leagues and only saw a total of 47 appearances (89.2 IP), so we really don’t know his full potential from those small samples. He throws a mid-90’s fastball and a decent change-up from a low 3/4 slot. He was used primarily  as the set-up guy for Donatello while at Greensboro.
3. LHP Kyle Porter – RP/TPS .079
  • 22 years old – (GCL Marlins / HiA Jupiter)
  • 31st round – 2014
  • A starter in the Pac-10 (U. of California), the Marlins may have the right fit for Porter in the bullpen, who could project in long relief. He has a decent mix of pitches to fill that role: a 90 mph fastball that he runs on right-handed batters; and a swing & miss curveball with loads of downward plane. His journey through the system will hedge on this change-up that, with the proper coaching, could be a plus pitch for the lefty.
2014 Breakout Grades
 
The following pitchers were chosen in early March. Their selection was based solely on their previous season’s TPS rating and using the UTRMinors.com criteria for those under the radar.
 
 SP Ryan Newell  – Newell ranked #2 in mentions this season, as he was one of the most consistent starting pitchers in the Marlins system. He took another step forward in his development and we could see his name appear on this list at the end of the 2015 season. If for chance things fall apart for Newell as a starter, his sinker/slider combination would allow him to be a serviceable arm in a long relief role. Grade A-
 
RP Josh Easley – Sometimes when I make predictions whether it being a pitcher as a breakout candidate or something else….it seems to be the kiss of death. In fact, in covering high school wrestling for local radio recently…I made a bold prediction about a senior wrestler who was posed to have the best season ever. Well, I made that comment on the first dual meet of the season….and things haven’t gone well for the young man. Im so sorry! Josh Easley was drafted in 2013 and made some noise blowing through batters from the GCL to a stint at HiA Jupiter. Easy Pickings when time came to pick the Marlins RP Breakout. He started the 2014 season at LoA Greensboro and things were going extremely well up the end of June…..then the black cloud of UTR Prognostication came….and Josh Easley was released. Where did that come from?  Grade F

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