All posts by jtater42

Full-time paper pusher, part-time blogger. Looking for a future career in covering my boys the Miami Marlins. My stories on the Marlins are posted within the slide bar at the top of the page. All other advocates of the Marlins stories are posted within my blog feed. Hope you enjoy the site. #marlinsrising

2015 Miami Marlins minor league depth: Third Base

The Miami Marlins spun a gem this winter to solidify the third base position for the 2015 Season, trading flame thrower Nathan Eovaldi and top pitching prospect Domingo German to the New York Yankees in exchange for the versatile pitching of David Phelps and the ever consistent ultra-utility player Martin Prado. After the trade of Casey McGehee to the San Francisco Giants, Prado is now the Marlins starting third baseman. At this point of the season, this activity has to be one of the Marlins most successful trades this off-season. Casey McGehee has gotten off to a slow start with the Giants – loafing a .267 BABIP with a .238 average and 2 RBI’s in 22 plate appearances and has sat out the last two games with a left knee injury. Prado, on the other hand, a career .311 BABIP hitter with a career .966 fielding percentage at third, has played every game at the hot corner for the Fish.

Signed through 2016 for $11M a year, the Marlins are unlikely to re-sign Martin Prado after his contract runs out – making him another stop gap free agent signee at a position that has been a revolving door for years in the Miami Marlins organization. Prado became the 8th different third baseman since 2006 to start on the Marlins Opening Day roster. There has been so much turn- over at this position over the years that you have to go back to the Mike Lowell era (2000-2005) to find continuity at third base for the Fish. In the 10 seasons since the Lowell era, players like Miguel Cabrera,Jorge Cantu, Emilio Bonifacio, Donnie Murphy, Hanley Ramirez and Casey McGehee have all been slotted as the Marlins Opening Day third baseman.

The Marlins attempted to find continuity at third for the future in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft – taking North Carolina Tar Heels third baseman Colin Moran with their first overall pick. Unfortunately, we all know how that turned out. After two half-seasons in the Marlins minor leagues, the front office decided he hadn’t shown enough power offensively, and polish defensively, to be considered the future at third base. Marlins management eventually traded him at the 2014 trade deadline for current Marlins pitcherJarred Cosart.

Even with Prado holding down the hot corner for the 2015 season with Donovan Solano, and Don Kelly and Jeff Baker mixing in off the bench, the Marlins are still hunting through their minor leagues and future collegiate/prep draftees to find that third baseman to carry them into the future. So while the Fish scour the globe for the next best option for them at third base, I will highlight two players listed in Marlin’s minor leagues that are the Best of the Rest down on the farm, and who might be able to put a stop to the revolving door at third base in the future.

Best of the Rest

Brian Anderson

Listed as the Miami Marlins #10 prospect by MLB.com, the 21 year-old right-handed hitting Anderson was the first collegiate player drafted by the Marlins in the 3rd round – out of Arkansas University in 2014. Primarily playing second base in college, his sophomore year he led the Razorbacks team in avg. (.325), runs scored (47), hits (68), doubles (12), triples (5), total bases (102), slugging percentage (.488), walks (41), on-base percentage (.448) and tied for a team-high with 36 runs batted in and four homers. He was then named a second team Preseason All-American by Baseball American heading into his draft year his Junior season at Arkansas. With that kind of prowess in college, it’s hard to deny the offensive capabilities of the Miami Marlins 76th overall pick in the 2014 MLB draft. Anderson carried over that smooth swinging power stroke from college to his first season of professional ball, as highlighted in his statistics below:

Brian Anderson

After showcasing both his advanced offensive capabilities and defensive versatility playing for the Batavia Muckdogs in 20 games, he was quickly promoted up to the hitter friendly confines at Low-A Greensboro. He started 26 of his 35 starts at third for the Grasshoppers.  Standing at 6’3″ and 192 lbs., it’s his raw power at the plate that has the Marlins front office drooling over his future potential. As he starts this season at High-A Jupiter, he will look to continue his early success at the plate – hoping to become the future at third base for the Marlins.

Brian Schales

Drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 4th round of the 2014 MLB draft out of Edison HS (CA.), the then 18 year-old right-handed hitting high school shortstop showcased an advanced prep player approach at the plate in the Gulf Coast league for the Miami Marlins, while learning his footing at the hot corner:

Brian Schales

The successful statistics above aren’t a surprise to many though – especially the Brian Schales fans in SoCal. Mike Sciacca of the Huntinton Beach Independent newspaper described his play in high school:

“Schales, a four-year starter at shortstop for Edison, was a force in the field and at the plate. In 31 games, he hit .396, had 36 hits, homered seven times, walked 21 times, had 22 RBIs and struck out just eight times in 91 at-bats…”

“He does such a great job offensively but the one thing I think gets overlooked is his play on defense. He committed only four errors and I believe that says a lot about his abilities. He really saves us a lot this year.”

Even with the high-praise from his hometown supporters, the Miami Marlins #27 organizational prospect Brian Schales still has a lot to prove at the hot corner this season. With his hitting approach shown to be much more advanced than others of his age at times, the Marlins hope he can fill out his 6’1″ 181 lbs. frame, generating more power numbers down the line, while developing into the wall they are looking to have at third.

Brian has started 2015 with Low-A Greensboro starting six out of the seven games at third, where he will look to continue his development and growth. Improvement in his footwork and defensive approach will limit the mistakes made in his first season of pro ball, where he registered a .911 fielding percentage playing third base in 40 games with the GCL Marlins.

With that said, if Schales can avoid injury and continue to showcase the baseball make-up and  raw tools that have got him to this point, it’s not crazy to think that he could be nipping at the heels of Brian Anderson this season – or even pass him – on the Miami Marlins minor league depth chart at third base.

Other notable third basemen to watch:

Rehiner Cordova/6-foot-0 155 lbs./Signed by the previously named Florida Marlins at the age of 16 on September, 4 2010 out of Maracay, Venezuela.
Rony Cabrera/5-foot-11 180 lbs./Signed with the Miami Marlins at the age of 16 in 2012 out of Coche, Venezuela.

Miami Marlins vs. Tampa Bay Rays : Starting Lineups 4/9/2015

Tampa Bay Rays @ Miami Marlins, 7:10 P.M. ET

Rays

  1. CF: Kevin Kiermaier
  2. RF: Steven Souza Jr.
  3. SS: Asdrubal Cabrera
  4. 3B: Evan Longoria
  5. LF: Desmond Jennings
  6. 1B: Allan Dykstra
  7. 2B: Logan Forsythe
  8. C: Rene Rivera
  9. SP: Steve Geltz
Marlins

  1. 2B: Dee Gordon
  2. LF: Christian Yelich
  3. RF: Giancarlo Stanton
  4. 1B: Mike Morse
  5. 3B: Martin Prado
  6. CF: Marcell Ozuna
  7. C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
  8. SS: Adeiny Hechavarria
  9. SP: Dan Haren

Major League Baseball has started warning players about pace of play violations

OutsidePitchMLB LLC

Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America

Major League Baseball is serious about the new rules regarding pace of play.

In its first steps of enforcement, the league office has sent letters to 10 different players who have committed infractions, according to a spokesperson for the league. While the identities of all 10 players have not yet been reported, the Miami Herald reports that one of them is Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich.

The warnings continue for the next three weeks of play. Starting on May 1, infractions will carry more serious consequences. Players will be fined, with the amounts progressing with each incident for repeat offenders.

Overall, the rules have had the intended effect so far. Scott Boeck of USA Today Sports says that the changes have saved an average of 11 minutes per game. While the season is young and the sample size is relatively small, the time…

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 9, 2015

MLB Reports

Pedro Portal -  EL Nuevo Herald Pedro Portal – EL Nuevo Herald

Still at Washington State, I wonder if the Marlins will regret dropping 3 games to the Braves to start the year if they finish the season in a tight race. Plus the match up of Harvey and Strasburg make me hopeful for a dynamic NL East for years to come.

It islooking at the East from the Westepisode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Iglesias, Scott Kasmir, Jake Arrieta, Jacob deGrom, Adam Lind, Scott Feldman and Avisail Garciaall added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

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2015 Miami Marlins minor league depth: Shortstop

With Adeiny Hechavarria holding down the shortstop position at the big league level, Miami Marlins fans seemingly have nothing to worry about. His 2014 campaign earned him a .323 BABIP with 10 triples (2nd in NL) and a ranking as the second best defensive shortstop in the MLB behind the Atlanta Bravesshortstop Andrelton Simmons. If Hechavarria can continue to swing the hot bat we saw in the second half of last season, then the Fish might have just found their shortstop of the future. Making highlight reel plays on defense and driving the ball to the gaps at the plate have slowly started to become part of Hech’s M.O.

With that being said though, should Hechavarria struggle at the plate like he did in 2013 – slashing .227/.267/.298 – on a team that is in need of offense in 2015, or go down with an unforeseen injury, then the Marlins will most likely look to fill the position with stop-gap Triple-A options Miguel Rojas, Reid Brignac and Jordany Valdespin, receiving aid from Donovan Solano off the bench occasionally as the Marlins homegrown ultra-utility player.

Should those options dissatisfy you as a Marlins fan, don’t worry, hope is not lost. The Marlins have a bevy of minor league talent at the shortstop position, so let’s take a look at the Best of the Rest.

Best of the Rest

Austin Nola

You’re looking at the next best minor league option not in Triple-A. Drafted out of LSU in 2012 in the 5th round by the Miami Marlins, the 6’0″ 192 lbs. right-handed hitting Nola had gotten off to a slow start in his first season of professional ball. He ended the 2012 campaign at Low-A Greensboro with a .247 BABIP in 205 plate appearances. Nola quickly rebounded though in his first full season of professional ball in 2013 with a .295 BABIP in 489 plate appearances at High-A Jupiter. He started 122 games at shortstop with a .974 fielding percentage – statistics that ranked him within the Marlins Top 20 organizational prospects heading into the 2014 season. When you look at his 2014 statistics at Double-A Jacksonville, you see the continued improvement at the plate:

Austin Nola

After turning 25 years-old this off-season, Nola will have to continue his year-in-year-out improvements to stay atop the many other talented shortstop prospects in the Marlins minor league system if he hopes to be the next shortstop in the minor league system to crack the Marlins major league roster. Even with a healthy Adeiny Hechavarria holding down the shortstop position at the big league level, Nola could find time playing behind either he or Dee Gordon at second base – where he was showcased playing with the Marlins in spring training. At his late age though, it’s unclear how much more leash the Marlins will be willing to give Austin Nola, but if he can carry over his Arizona Fall League plate approach where he finished with a .311 BABIP in 59 plate appearances while striking out just three times, then the Marlins will be hard pressed not to find a spot for him in future major league lineup cards.

Justin Bohn

What can you say about the Miami Marlins MLB.com’s #20 prospect? He hasn’t registered a BABIP below .300 since his promotion to Low-A Greensboro at the end of 2013 season.  To be honest, there really isn’t much to say at all. Drafted in the 7th round by the Miami Marlins in 2013 out of Feather River Junior College in California, the 22 year-old 6’0″ 180lbs. shortstop has done nothing but make contact with the baseball at an alarming rate – shown in his 2014 statistics below:

Justin Bohn

Bohn also carried that same smooth swinging stroke from 2014 into the Arizona Fall League, where he finished with a .391 BABIP in 66 plate appearances for the Rafters, helping him regain his advanced approach at the plate after seeing a raise in his strikeout percentage – a jump from 17.2% in Low-A to 20.7% in High-A. MLB scouting analysts have described his play as:

“Bohn has a solid approach at the plate and knows how to work a walk. His simple swing enables him to make consistent contact, though he doesn’t produce much power. He’s a capable defender and gets rid of the ball quickly, but doesn’t stand out and may eventually end up in a utility role.”

These are all true facts when assessing Justin Bohn’s play up to this point in his minor league career. He won’t burn the opponent on the base paths and won’t wow you with web gem plays up the middle. However, if he can continue to consistently perform at the plate and make the easy plays look easy in the field, we should see Bohn promoted as high as Double-A Jacksonville this season – barring any unforeseen injuries.

J.T. Riddle

As Mr. Baseball in Kentucky in 2010, Riddle turned down the Red Sox in that year’s MLB draft out of Western Hills High School, KY, and took his game to the University of Kentucky. Kentucky was where he was eventually drafted in the 13th round by the Miami Marlins in the 2013 MLB Amateur draft after his junior season. A draft choice the Miami Marlins organization couldn’t be happier about. He uses every inch of his 6’3″ 175 lbs. wiry left-handed hitting frame to attack pitches at the plate with an aggressive approach – something that was showcased in his first full season of professional ball at Low-A Greensboro:

J.T Riddle

He was also able to showcase his defensive versatility. Labeled primarily as a second baseman coming out of college, the Marlins have had Riddle playing all over the infield – primarily on the left side seeing time at third base, but mostly at shortstop. Riddle started at shortstop in 58 games for the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2014, flashing his strong arm while finishing with a .958 fielding percentage. This should convince the Miami Marlins front office and prospect gurus that with a little more growth and development in the minors this year, MLB.com’s Miami Marlins #21 prospect J.T Riddle, in just his second full season of pro ball, could be heading for a breakout season in 2015 – right behind the Marlins highly touted infield prospect Justin Bohn.

Justin Twine

The three-sport star that is Justin Twine brings a tremendous amount of athleticism to the shortstop position. Drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 2nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft, this 5’11″ 205 lbs. right-handed throwing and hitting middle infielder owned the baseball field as well as the track his senior year in high school, winning three gold medals – for the long jump and two relays – at the 2014 Texas State Championships. He also owned the football field as well, as a duel-threat quarterback for his high school football team, leading him to eventually turn down several Div. I offers for football to sign with the Miami Marlins. Based on his 2014 Gulf Coast League numbers fish fans are glad he did:

Justin Twine

Despite having a .327 BABIP in 179 plate appearances, there is still a lot of room for development in Twine’s game defensively as well as offensively with his approach at the plate. Striking out 52 times and only walking 6 while continually fine tuning his craft at shortstop, makes him more of a project prospect than a fast-track prospect in the Marlins minor league system at the early age of 19 years-old. Although, if Twine can use his exorbitant amount of athleticism to quickly master the shortstop position, with his already solid build and raw talent potential he could quickly dash the “project” tag and put himself on the prospect fast-track to the Marlins major league roster.

Other Notable Shortstops to Watch

Javier Lopez/6-foot-3 185 lbs./Signed with the Miami Marlins at 17 years-old in 2012 out of San Gregorio de Nigua, DR.
Danny Black/6-foot-3 180 lbs./Drafted by the Miami Marlins in 2010 (14th round) out of the University of Oklahoma.

Jason Tate reports on the Miami Marlins minor league system at http://www.fishstripes.com. Follow him @MarlinsRising on twitter or at http://www.marlinsrising.com. Make sure to view this article in its original form at http://www.fishstripes.com/2015/4/9/8373697/2015-miami-marlins-prospects-shortstop

Marlins Wrap-UP: April 9, 2015 – Series vs. Atlanta Braves.

marlinsmash

Quick Summary:

Marlins: 3-0

Opponent: Atlanta Braves (3-0)

Location: Miami.

Results:

Games – 3

Braves sweep series

Pitchers: (GM 1) Henderson Alvarez (L), (GM 2) Matt Latos (L), (GM 3) Tom Koehler (L).

Total Runs Scored:

Marlins – 3  /  Braves 16

Attendance by game: GM 1- 36,000 / GM 2 – 17,000 / GM 3 – 16,000



The Good – The Bad – The Ugly:

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Miami Marlins Opening Day Line-up

Atlanta Braves @ Miami Marlins, 4:10 P.M. ET

Braves

  1. CF: Eric Young
  2. 2B: Jace Peterson
  3. RF: Nick Markakis
  4. 1B: Freddie Freeman
  5. C: Christian Bethancourt
  6. LF: Kelly Johnson
  7. 3B: Alberto Callaspo
  8. SS: Andrelton Simmons
  9. SP: Julio Teheran
Marlins

  1. 2B: Dee Gordon
  2. LF: Christian Yelich
  3. RF: Giancarlo Stanton
  4. 1B: Mike Morse
  5. 3B: Martin Prado
  6. CF: Marcell Ozuna
  7. C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
  8. SS: Adeiny Hechavarria
  9. SP: Henderson Alvarez