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.
Best of the Rest
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.
Other Notable Catcher to Watch
Roy Morales/6-foot-1, 210 pounds/Drafted 2014 in the 12th Round out of Colegio Angel David HS, PR.
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.
It’s time to play… Marlins Celebrity Lookalikes!
Last year, we had some fun pairing your favorite Fish players with their celebrity doppelgangers, which you can see here.
Marcell Ozuna and Kanye West… Mike Redmond and Dr. Cox from “Scrubs”… Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Hyde from “That 70’s Show”… the resemblance is uncanny.
With the 2015 season upon us, we’ve put together a whole new batch of Marlins lookalikes, starting with the obvious:
Christian Yelich = SNL cast member, Pete Davidson
Fair skin, big smile, closely resembling a teenager… they’re basically one in the same.
Tom Koehler = actor, Jeff Daniels
David Phelps = actor Jason Statham
Both Phelps and Statham have mastered the “Blue Steel” look. And check out those matching jawlines…
Andrew McKirahan = legendary Beatle, George Harrison
Are we sure George Harrison isn’t still alive in the form of…
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In 2014 the Miami Marlins flirted with a winning season as they finished with a 77-85 record. They finished well behind the division champion Washington Nationals at 19 games. However they finished just 2 games back of the 2nd place team Atlanta Braves and New York Mets. A busy off season in Miami has Marlins fans thinking 2015 could be a year filled with excitement and competitive baseball.
The first order of business that Miami conducted in the off season was locking up slugger Giancarlo Stanton to a long term deal. The two sides agreed to a massive 13 year deal for $325 million. The deal is back heavy so the Marlins have some flexibility to get better now and pay more of the contract later on. Stanton put together the best season of his career. He hit for a .288 batting average with 37 home runs…
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Join us as we use numbers to answer the questions all baseball fans ponder but don’t know how to solve. Our proprietary formulas let us make sense of the mounds of data out there on the inter-webs so we can tell you how to feel about some of your favourite players in the MLB
This off season Giancarlo Stanton signed the richest contract ever in North American sport. A possible $325 million over the next 13 years of his life. We don’t have to run the numbers on that one to know it’s an ass tonne of money. It has almost unanimously been proclaimed as a great signing for the Marlins club who are looking to compete(ish) this season (just check our predictions of the NL East). But does that mean that it was a good signing over all? We’ll have to ask the numbers about that.
As we’ve previously established
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