Game: 1:05 PM at Nationals Park
Yes, it’s true – Baseball Prospectus and the rest of Major League Baseball have dubbed the Miami Marlins the second to last minor league system in the big leagues. But are they wrong? The Marlins did trade away their 2013 first round draft pick (fifth overall) in Colin Moran midway through the season last year to the Houston Astros for players named Jarred Cosart and Kike Hernandez – who has since been traded away again this off-season. Hernandez wasn’t the only youngster on the move though, as the Marlins continued to back up the moving truck, sending top pitching prospects Andrew Heaney to the Los Angeles Dodgers and righty Anthony Delscalfani to the Cincinnati Reds. The Marlins received just one high-ceiling prospect in return, major league doormat-ready reliever Kendry Flores from the Giants. If you combine those roster moves with the loss of mid-level catching prospects Austin Barnes and Chad Wallach, and then look at the Marlins aggressive approach to making minor league promotions, it’s easy to see why Baseball Prospectus and the baseball world in general see the Miami Marlins weak on the farm.
Given that everything I stated above is true, and you find yourself sitting there wondering what I’m going to say next, don’t be concerned. It’s my mission to doubt the doubters and dive deep into the Marlins organizational depth charts, in hopes of proving the nay-sayers wrong by finding hidden gems.
This week I will be diving into the Marlins depth at the catcher position. We already know that Salty will start behind the dish for the Marlins and Mathis will back him up while touted Marlins top prospect J.T Realmuto will play the waiting game. So let’s look at the best of the rest, because three catchers do not constitute a franchise.
Call me crazy, but I really like what Arturo brings to the Marlins organization. After signing a minor league contract this off-season, this 6’0″ 235 lbs. Monterrey, Nueva Leon, Mexico native has the build and the bat to make an impact this season. At age 23, he is a long shot to raise through the Marlins prospect ranks, but he put up solid enough contact and power numbers in 2014 with the Toros de Tijuana and Sultanes de Monterrey teams of the Triple-A Mexican League to be ranked above Miami Marlins 2014 first-round CBA pick Blake Anderson.
In the 93 games played in the Mexican League, Arturo started 62 games behind the plate – throwing out forty percent of runners attempting to steal on his arm. He also had 15 starts at first base with a perfect fielding percentage. Not only does his bat show promise, so does his defensive abilities. This makes Arturo Rodriguez a strong candidate to watch in the Marlins minor league system this season.
As mentioned in the Arturo summary, Anderson was the 36th overall pick drafted in the first-round CBA by the Miami Marlins out of West Lauderdale HS in Collinsville, Mississippi. Fresh off his 19thbirthday Anderson will look to improve his numbers from his first taste of pro ball.
Looking at his first year statistics at the plate it’s easy to see what scouts already know: he was drafted for his 6’4″ tall frame, an absolute hose for an arm, and his strong glove hand framing pitches. We all know the fast track to the big leagues for prospect catchers is based on their defensive ability, and Anderson has plenty of ability. The thing to watch though this season will be the comfort and improvement Anderson shows as he handles the bat at the plate. As his body matures and produces more power in his bat we might just have a Baltimore Orioles Matt Wieters comparable player down the line.
Brad is a 6’3″ 215 lbs. right-handed swinging 18th round draft pick of the Miami Marlins and the only catchers besides Chris Hoo selected in the 2014 Amateur Draft to have collegiate experience. He played for San Diego State University and this should give him a leg up on the rest of his competition. After crushing the ball his first 30 games for the Batavia Muckdogs, he was quickly promoted up to Low-A Greensboro to end the season splitting time with another 2014 draft selection in catcher Chris Hoo. Take a look in at his stats from 2014:
It’s easy to see why Haynal could easily become a hidden gem for the Marlins. Even if he can’t hide behind his tall frame, Haynal offers advanced defensive abilities behind the plate that no one else in his draft class came in with, with the possible exception of Blake Anderson. It’s Haynals bat though that will carry him up the ranks. Already 23 years-old, he needs to accelerate his time frame to make adjustments at the minor league level if he hopes to crack the big league roster one day. He is defintely another solid candidate to watch out for this season.
Chris Hoo/5-foot-9, 190 pounds/Drafted 2014 in the 27th round out of Cal Poly.
*Please feel free to read this article in its original form at http://www.fishstripes.com/2015/3/19/8254347/2015-miami-marlins-minor-league-depth-catcher
Jason Tate writes for SB Nation-Fishstripes (A Miami Marlins News Website). Follow his blog at http://www.marlinsrising.com and on twitter @MarlinsRising.
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.
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
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!
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!
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!
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
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
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
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Entering his seventh season of professional baseball, after signing with the Marlins in 2008 as a non-drafted free agent at the age of 17, the Dominican Republic’s Felix Munoz finally has a chance to legitimize himself as a top prospect in the Miami Marlins farm system. Munoz should join the ranks of Justin Nicolino, Tyler Kolek, J.T. Realmuto and several others who are projected to be on the fast track to seeing their pictures in a glossy program at Marlins Park.
Docketed by many analysts as a “Sleeper” prospect for the past two seasons, Munoz has given hope to the Miami Marlins organization – along with all the Felix Munoz fans of the world – who had been waiting for his power tools to develop at the plate. Playing in 126 games during the 2014 Season at Single-A Greensboro, more games than he had in the past two seasons combined, he put together an impressive campaign with a slash line of .300/.368/.476 in 560 plate appearances with 16 home-runs. Despite playing in a minor league ballpark that scouts believe to be a “cracker jack box,” Munoz sprayed home runs to all fields. All the while, he showed an advanced level of comfort at the plate drawing 57 walks and only 79 strikeouts and driving the ball for a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson eyebrow-raising .326 BABIP.
Unfortunately, what you do not see in his stat line are the negative intangibles. Standing at 6’2” 180 lbs. it’s hard for Felix to find a home at his listed positions of first base and left field. His lack of speed, proven by swiping just one stolen base over his last four minor league seasons, hurts his chances to be projected as an everyday left fielder. Meanwhile, a proven year-to-year track record of power production is needed to be a lock at first base. These two aspects of his game have kept him off the Miami Marlins Top 20 prospects board since signing in 2008.
Munoz will turn the all-important 23 years old in 2015, and with his notable surge of power at the plate over the past two seasons, he will be out to prove he can become an everyday regular. With High-A Jupiter Hammerheads, he will take the opportunity to become that left-handed power-hitting, homegrown product the Marlins have been searching for. Felix Munoz’s recent performance almost challenges everyone to not have him on their watch list’s for the upcoming 2015 season.
*Note: Please check out the original article posted at (http://www.fishstripes.com/2015/2/19/8042769/miami-marlins-prospects-felix-munoz-2015-season-overshadowed)
It’s clear baseballamerica.com and the Fish have dubbed their #1 prospect a giant right-handed high-school hurler. Who, on a consist basis cheeses up scouts radar guns to the tune of 100 MPH. Standing at 6’5’’/260 Ibs it’s easy to see why everyone is excited about the high-ceiling future of Tyler Kolek from Shepherd, TX. He possesses tools that are just un-teachable, and at the current age of 19 years-old he already has a progressive feel for two of his off-speed options, in his slider and curveball. Working to master his change-up, and gaining control of his arsenal in the strike zone so he doesn’t come out Rick Vaughn’ing the batter’s boxes like the plates got the plague. Only further seasoning will give us more insight into his future, but for the 2015 season is he the true number one?
Going against the theorist’s prospect ranking system, I have to put my stock in the player currently ranked as the organizations #3 prospect by baseballamerica.com:
Avery Romero, 2B, Miami Marlins
Age: 21 Ht: 5’8” Wt: 190 2014 Level: Class A-Advanced
Drafted by the Marlins in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft, this scrappy-aggressive style player has been eating up pitchers early-contact fastballs through the minor league system achieving promotions all the way up the ranks to Class A-Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads. Romero doesn’t wait for the game to come to him; he brings his energy and excitement to the game – Proven by his aggressive Vladi G. approach at the plate, effortless arm strength from second and strong hands, which could translate into increased power numbers as he fills out.
With a majority of Avery’s homeruns coming in 2014, during which he hit 5 of his 11 minor league career homeruns – a high percentage of them to his pull side of the field. We are going to have to wait and assess how the power comes along and contributes to his future slash statistics. But the steady build up in maturity and earnest to improve his footwork in the infield, paired with the tremendous raise in production on the offense side of the ball, all make him a strong consideration for the Marlins #1 prospect rating.
Since joining the organization in 2012 Avery Romero has registered slashes of:
2012 (GCL/SS-A): .246/.331/.352 in 164 PA
2013 (GBO/BAT): .276/.341/.391 in 265 PA
2014 (GBO/JUP): .320/.367/.423 in 507 PA
Now humor me for a minute and compare Romero’s 2014 slashes with the likes of the “Lazer Show” Dustin Pedroia at the age of 21 in the minors – (2005-.293/.385/.452) in 538 PA. Who stands at the same scarlet lettered 5’8” frame and contains the same scrappy-aggressive like tools on both sides of the ball, with strong-hands driving the ball to the pull side of the field. Showing flashes of long-ball capabilities as he filled out in the minor league systems. Combine the already stated similarities with the additional mirror image that they both contained the same hustle induced speed and a rise of in patience at the plate:
Avery Romero (2014-Afull/Aadv.): 10 SBA/ 32 BB
Dustin Pedroia (2005-AA/AAA): 8 SBA/ 58 BB
With all these strange similarities, it’s hard to argue that the future doesn’t look bright for Avery Romero. Though, I may have leaped into the world of wild imagination and large skepticism, that’s the glory of ranking prospects. Who’s to say he can or can’t turn into the next Dustin Pedroia or the next greatest Marlin. With the current upgrades of Dee Gordon and Martin Prado, the grand idea that Romero could shift over to third base and Martin Prado could be that plug player. Should get us excited to think we could be seeing Romero in the Show very soon.
So, with these facts at hand, and regards to other top Marlin prospects like Justin Nicolino, Tyler Kolek and J.T Realmuto. I have to give my #1 prospect vote to Avery Romero.