Tag Archives: Don Kelly

2015 Miami Marlins minor league depth: Outfield Pt. I

ere is no doubt that with an outfield staffed by Christian Yelich,Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins are set for the future, especially after signing Yelich and Stanton to long term extensions this off-season. These three players have become the cornerstones to turning around the Miami Marlins franchise, as well as becoming the best young outfield trio in the Major Leagues.

Stanton provides the power, Yelich the average, and Ozuna provides range in the outfield as well as a little bit of both power and the ability to hit for average at the plate. If that isn’t enough to get you excited about the Marlins outfield depth, then the news of the Marlins adding free agents Ichiro Suzuki and Don Kelly this off-season had to help get you to that climatic state. Just to know that when one of the three amigos in the outfield needs a day off, the Marlins can look to the wildly experienced veterans Ichiro and Kelly off the bench this season.

Even though the Marlins’ future outfield already looks to be set in place, there are many other capable candidates in the Marlins minor league system buying time until their name is heard over the loud speaker at Marlins Park. At Triple-A New Orleans, outfielders Brady Shoemaker, Austin Wates andCole Gillespie are all waiting in the wings ready to perform should injury occur at the Major League level. Most are classified as Four-A players for the most part (not quite major league caliber, but have proven they are capable of hanging with Triple-A level caliber players).

When you start looking deeper into the Marlins farm system, though, there is a surplus of outfield talent. Not the kind of talent you will find at the Triple-A level, that kind of four-A talent, but true prospect talent that has the Marlins’ front office and General Manager Dan Jennings drooling over how bright the future seems to be. So without further-or-do, here are the Best of the Rest in the Marlins minor league system.

Best of the Rest

Austin Dean

After getting off to a slow start in his first season of professional ball, the Miami Marlins’ 4th round draft pick in 2012, Austin Dean, finds himself at the top of the list for Best of the Rest – based on his consistency and high baseball IQ. He showcased this talent in his first full season of professional ball in 2013. Playing with the Batavia Muckdogs in the New-York Penn League, he registered a .335 BABIP in 231 plate appearances with an aggressive approach at the plate that yielded him 17 walks to 47 strikeouts. It’s that BABIP consistency though that keeps him at the top of this list, as evidenced in his statistics at Low-A Greensboro below:

Austin Dean

It’s clear to everyone in the organization that Dean, standing at 6″1’ 190 lbs. can flat out hit the baseball and track down fly balls in the outfield. Even if his arm doesn’t blow anyone away, and his speed is average at best for the outfield position, Dean has the kind of raw line drive power to be successful at the big league level. He has a swing that almost mirrors the same successful plate statistics seen in Miami Marlins top Prospect J.T Realmuto. Nothing flashy and jaw dropping, but enough raw power to consistently find the gaps that earn extra bases at the big league level.

The key element to watch in Austin Dean’s game this year is to see if he can bring down his strikeout percentage at the plate – something I hinted at above. In 2013 Dean had a 20.3% strikeout rate at the plate, but brought it down to a respectable 16.0% at the end of his 2014 season with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. If he hopes to make the Miami Marlins big league roster in the future, he will need to continue to work on his craft at the plate – becoming more of a complete hitter by drawing more works while waiting on more hit-able pitches. None the less, Austin Dean is a player on the rise in the Marlins minor league, and is the closest prospect, at the age of 23, to being major league ready. He starts this season with the Marlins High-A affiliate Jupiter Hammerheads.

Isael Soto

After signing with the Miami Marlins in 2013 as a free agent out of Bani, Dominican Republic, the left-handed, power hitting right fielder Isael Soto, who stands at 6″0’ 195 lbs., made a name for himself in a big way in his first full season of pro ball in 2014. Finishing second in the Gulf Coast League with seven home runs and registering .298 BABIP in 199 plate appearances as shown in his stats below:

Isael Soto

Even if his stature and statistical numbers don’t jump off the page at you, they will soon. His short compact swing at the plate helps to generate a steamboat of power from his lower and upper halves which will lead to bigger power numbers down the line. Like every young hitter, Soto still has to continue to polish his aggressive approach at the plate that tends to lead to more swing-and-misses at times than solid contact. Soto also doesn’t run like a deer in the outfield or on the base path. This makes him an average minor league outfielder and more of a project than a prospect at this point in his minor league career. Ranked as the Miami Marlins #9 organizational prospect at the age of 18 years-old, Soto will look to continue his development at the plate, working on plate discipline and pitch selection in hopes of smashing the ball in a hitters ball park this season at Low-A Greensboro.

If Soto can put up the kind of power numbers the Miami Marlins front office thinks he can, there is a good chance you could see him climb up the ranks as high as Double-A Jacksonville. Of course that will all depend on how Soto fairs against Low-A pitchers. With one full season under his belt though, the sky is the limit for Soto in the Marlins minor league and he should be on every Fish fans prospects to watch board this season.

Other notable outfielders to watch:

Yefri Perez/6-foot-0 170lbs./Signed with the Miami Marlins in 2009 at the age of 16 out of Bani, DR.
Zach Sullivan/6-foot-3 187 lbs./Drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft (14th round) out of Corning-Painted Post East HS in Corning, NY.

Note: This is in no way the finally prospect list for the Best of the Rest on the Marlins minor league depth chart. Pt. II will break down the rest of the Marlins outfield depth, while outlining some possible super utility prospects in the works down on the farm.

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.

Marlins Rising Recap: Brignac keeps hot spring rolling, Marlins beat Cards 6-3

What started as a possible rainy Friday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium, ended up turning into a sunny vicotry for the Marlins. Kicking things off early by scoring Dee Gordon in the first and continuing to roll in the second inning, tacking on three more runs thanks to a clutch hitting bases loaded triple off the left field wall by Reid Brignac. Lifting the Marlins to a 6-3 victory over the Cardinals this afternoon.


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cardinals 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 3 11 0
Marlins 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 6 10 1

Marlins Rising

Mat Latos

Came out strong and didn’t disappoint in his first spring start. Working 3 strong innings, scattering 2 hits with 2 strikeouts and 2 walks. The down hill plain was there, his pitches looked sharp and generated weak contact. Making the hometown proud today!

Latos’s PFP Blooper

Steve Cishek 

Comes in firing on all cylinders in the 7th, striking out the first hitter on a nasty outside slider in 3 pitches. The next batter can of corned it to center, followed by a chopper up the middle for a single and then got nasty with his last batter faced painting the black with a 2-seam hitter for the third out. A much needed bounce back performance after be slammed by Dan Uggla for an RBI double earlier in the weak. Stay strong Cishek!

Dee Gordon

Captian catalyst did again what we brought him here to do. Leading off the 1st with a base hit single, and was brought in for the first run of the game by a Morse hit & run single through the six hole. Going 2 for 3 on the day with another single that was lined the opposite way to left. Stay steady Flash!

Reid Brignac 

Went 1 for 2 on the day. Drawing a walk and driving in three runs with an RBI triple down the left field line. After what he as down up to this point in spring training games, its hard to see him landing down with the Zephrys. Stay hot, and your dream might come true Brignac!

Brignac’s 3-run Triple, Get Some!

Don Kelly

1 for 1 at the dish. Got his pitch it at bat and capitalized by dusting off his wheels and beating out a weak chopper up the middle for an infield base hit. Kelly, you did what your suppose to do, enough said!

Kelly Legging it Out

Michael Morse

His our RBI guy and he did just that in the first. Driving in Dee Gordon on a full count single through the six hole. Finishing the day 1 for 3 at the dish. As i stated though he did what he’s here to do, so he makes my list. Flexing ain’t easy Morse!

Morse driving in Dee Gordon

Reed Johnson

Just like Don Kelly, Reed is here to come off the bench and produce. Doing just that on Friday by smoking a wind aided line drive off the Left field wall, driving in Donovan Solano.

Driving in Donny Boy


Marlins Falling

Mike Dunn

Continuing his struggles this spring working 2 innings on Friday while allowing one run on four hits, struggling to find his command on the mound registering only one strikeout. Just so you know Mike, we have other arms, just incase you forgot about our off-season moves.

Aaron Crow

Besides throwing 5 out of 6 first pitch strikes, he allowed a two out walk followed by two consecutive singles, causing him to give up one earned run. You cant have two out walks, you just cant!

Sam Dyson

Lead off walk coming out of the pen coming out of the pen should be all that’s needed to tell his story. After that though, he went on to pitch to five batters giving up a single and a sac fly, resulting in one earned run as he took home the save in the 9th. There are two many arms in the system for you to be playing around with the first batter Dyson!

Martin Prado

0 for 3 at the plate. Killed the first inning rally by grounding into a double play, then went on to fly out to CF and strike out swinging in his last about to end his afternoon. Hang with um Prado, and show your worth!

Jarrod Salty

Besides going 1 for 3 at the plate, with a weak broken bat blooper over second. Salty went on to do what we have been accustom to seeing, and that is striking out twice in his next two at bats. One looking and one swinging. I don’t know if you know this but Realmuto’s last name is much shorter and more cost effective on a jersey, just saying.


Marlins Rising Prospects Watch

Avery Romero

Getting a pinch hit at bat for Reid Brignac in the 8th, Avery stepped up against Rosenthal hitting a weak grounder to second base for the final out of the inning. You cant hit bombs everyday Avery.

J.T Realmuto

1 for 1 in a pinch hit at bat for Salty in the 8th, lining a Rosenthal outside fastball to left for a single. One hit at a time J.T!


Follow Jason Tate on twitter @MarlinsRising and at http://www.marlinsrising.com to receive news and analysis on the Miami Marlins. Also, make sure to check back in daily to get your full Marlins Rising Recap of whose stock is rising and whose is falling.

Marlins Rising Recap: Rice and Harvey implode as the Marlins explode winning 7-4

In a star studded starting pitcher’s duel between the Mets Matt Harvey and the Marlins Henderson Alvarez runs surprisingly came cheap early on. The Marlins offense rod the early hot streak at the plate for the rest of the game, finally breaking the game open in the 7th inning against the Mets reliever Scott Rice plating 5 runs off him and leading the Marlins to a 7-4 swing fest victory over the Mets on a sunny Wednesday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mets 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 4 10 3
Marlins 0 1 1 0 0 0 5 0 X 7 11 1

Red’s Recap


Marlins Rising

Bryan Morris

Working a scoreless 6th inning, while freezing Matt Den Dekker for a called third strike and breaking off the slider to strikeout the Mets 2014 #1 draft pick in Michael Conforto. Allowing one ball in play, that was a weak pop up to Jeff Baker at 1B by Brandon Allen. Just doing what he do!

Pat Urckfitz

Teams pay millions for a lefty-reliever to pitch to one lefty a game, and no Urckfitz doesn’t get paid to close that much. What he did do though, was his job. One batter, one strikeout and one dinner bought by Carter Capps for saving his implosion on the mound. Butt tamp engaged!

Christian Yelich

2 for 2 at the dish, smoking a hard grounder and line drive to LF to collect two singles on the day. Nothing else to say except, we expect him to hit and he did. Keep making us proud CY!

Reid Brignac

Taking it to the Mets again this spring, going 2 for 3 at the plate, with two seeing-eye singles, one of which came in the flood gate opening 7th off Scott Rice driving in Justin Bohn for his solo RBI on the day. Someone has no intentions of playing for the Zephyrs.

Don Kelly

If he wants to make the team, it will be as a clutch pitch hitter from the pine. Doing just that yesterday, centering a ground ball up the middle for a single with bases loaded bringing home all three runners aboard. Way to rebound from the last meeting with the Mets, you won’t stay hot at the dish, you won’t!


Marlins Falling

Carter Capps

Yes Capps, we all know you throw cheese, but would it kill you to locate? Walking four batters, allowing one earned and striking out one over .2 innings pitched just isn’t going to get it done.

Brad Hand

Fighting to be the only starting lefty on the staff, he didn’t help himself yesterday. Pitching two innings, gave up two hits, a run scored while walking two batters. We’re pulling for you Hand, so try pulling for yourself!

Follow Jason Tate on twitter @MarlinsRising and at http://www.marlinsrising.com to receive news and analysis on the Miami Marlins. Also, make sure to check back in tomorrow at www.marlinsrising.com to get your full marlins recap of whose stock is rising and whose is falling.

Marlins Rising Recap: Phelps Shines in the Marlins 13-2 over the Mets

1:10 PM ET, March 9, 2015

Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie, Florida

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
MIA 0 6 3 0 1 0 3 0 0 13 12 0
NYM 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 1

W: D. Phelps ; L : Z. Wheeler

Game Recap:

David Phelps comes out pounding the strike zone, proving again why he is still a contender for the 5th spot in the Marlins rotation. While the  Marlins offense waited patiently enough allowing Zach Wheeler to make his own mistakes, sparking the Marlins to a comfortable 13-2 victory over the New York Mets on Monday afternoon at Tradition Field.

Marlins Rising:

David Phelps

  • 9/12 1st pitch strikes, 2 K, 3 H, 1 ER, NIL BB in 3 IP; pounded the strike zone all day resulting in one 3-Ball count all afternoon summing up his use of all 51 pitches. Shine on Baby!

Phelps dealing up David Wright

Aaron Crow

  • Allowed 1 Hit over 2 IP; Mowed down the Mets hitters with a hammer-time curveball.

Nick Masset

  • 3/3 1st pitch strikes, 0 H, 0 K, 0 ER, 0 BB; as plain Jayne as we like to see it coming out of the pen. This guy is raising brows in a hurry so far this spring.

Andrew McKirahan

  • Despite starting the 9th shell shocked giving up a lead-off walk, followed by a double off the wall. He let is his sack drag by regaining focus to K 2 out of the next three batters and freeze runners in scoring position.

Reid Brignac

  • 3/4 at the plate, coming up clutch early driving in 4 runs with two singles, and hitting a third single in his final at bat just to make it look easy. Pimpin ain’t easy!

One of Brignac’s many singles on the day

Jordany Valdespin

  • 2/4 at the plate, a weak hustle single and a laser rip down the RF line for a triple combining for 3 RBIs on the day. Showing serious bench junkie potential.

Valdy’s infield Single

Valdy’s triple down LF Line

Avery Romero

  • 1/2 at the plate, HUGE yoke style bomb hit over the LF wall in 1st Despite chasing dust on a curveball in the dirt during his 2nd AB, that HR stats why he is where he is. Stay Hot Kid!

Avery’s 3-Run Bomb

Marlins Falling:

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

  • 1/3 at the plate, besides smoking a single the opposite way through the 6 hole, he looked his same defeated self at the plate K’ing twice in his first two plate appearances on down & in sliders. Can someone teach Pedro Cerrano how to hit a curveball?

Salty & The Whiff

Don Kelly

  • 0/3 at the plate, looking the usual old being burnt up inside for 2 k’s early in the game while everyone else is drawing walks or driving people in, he was reserving a sit on the Triple-A bus for the upcoming season.

Michael Dunn

  • Escaped location problems tossing a shut out 7th inning getting knocked for just one hit. The curveball though, couldn’t catch the chalk on either side of the plate. You’re not irreplaceable, just saying!

Upcoming: Miami vs. Nationals today at 1:05 PM, also make sure to check back in daily at www.marlinsrising.com to find out which players stock is rising and whose is falling for the Miami Marlins.