Miami Marlins Top-25 Prospects
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been digging through each MLB team’s farm system to provide the top dynasty fantasy baseball prospects that should be on your radar. Today, we’ll break down the top-25 Miami Marlins prospects.
Alright, I’ve delayed this system long enough waiting for the J.T. Realmuto trade to happen. Can’t push this off any longer. Watch, within 48 hours of this article going live, the Realmuto trade will go down. Just you watch. That trade, if/when it goes down will certainly give a bump to a system that lacks in top-end talent.
Note: See! I told you. Six days after this published, Realmuto gets traded to Philly.
There’s some depth here, but the upside at the top doesn’t compare to a lot of the other systems around baseball. Only two players are in top-100 consideration in my overall rankings and in the vicinity of 4-6 will likely be in my top-250.
Overall System Grade: C
Minor League Affiliates
Triple-A: New Orleans – Pacific Coast League
Double-A: Jacksonville – Southern League
Single-A (Advanced): Jupiter – Florida State League
Single-A (Full): Clinton – Midwest League
Short-season Single-A: Batavia – New York-Penn League
Rookie: One team each in the Gulf Coast League and Dominican Summer League
All other team top-25 prospect rankings can be found here.
Also, make sure to check out the Fantrax Dynasty Podcast on the Fantrax Podcast Network with Nathan Dokken, Van Lee, and Ron Rigney.
New Top-25 Miami Marlins Prospects
1. Victor Victor Mesa, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 7/20/96, ETA 2020
2018 Stats: Did Not Play
“Welcome to Miami.” — Will Smith
I wonder if they played that song for the Mesa boys after the Marlins inked both Victor Victor and Victor Jr back in September. Probably not, but if you want to feel old, that song came out 22 years ago. Mesa was still in diapers back then for crying out loud. From diapers to a Major League ballpark near you in the very near future, Mesa carries considerable upside in dynasty leagues.
When you look at the tools, there’s the potential for four 55s or 60s with his power being the lone exception. Mesa is incredibly athletic with plus speed on the bases and range in the outfield. In 312 CNS games, he swiped 74 bags in an even 100 attempts. Easy math right there. While that 74% success rate might not make your jaw drop, it’s not terrible and could stand to go up once he gets some tutelage in the minors. I can easily see him settling into the 25-30 steal range in the Majors with the upside for a little more.
— Wells Dusenbury (@DuseReport) January 14, 2019
As for the hit tool, I’m a believer. Here’s a snippet of what I wrote in my Mesa scouting report after he signed.
“Mesa starts with a balanced setup, slightly open towards third base, without a ton of pre-pitch movement. Back leg load and forward weight transfer are fluid, and coupled with a clean swing path and plus bat speed, generates a ton of hard contact.”
Basically, I think he can be a .275-.285 bat with a lot of doubles into the gap. There’s not a ton of power here, but there’s enough raw strength, bat speed, and loft to produce double-digit pop. Mesa will likely start at Double-A with a 2020 Major League debut likely
For a more in-depth look at Mesa, check out my full scouting report on him from after he signed.
2. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, DOB: 7/29/98, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A+): 46.2 IP, 2.51 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, 8.7 K/9, .224 AVG
Everything was going fine until elbow inflammation in his throwing arm put a screeching halt to Sixto Sanchez’s season in early-June. The Phillies played it cautious with their prized pitching prospect and shut him down for the remainder of the season, as they should have. It doesn’t stop there though. Sanchez was expected to get some work in during the Arizona Fall League before a collarbone issue forced the Phillies to hold him out of that too. Luckily, the elbow doesn’t require that dreaded surgery and Sanchez should be able to get back on track developmentally in 2019.
— Jason (@Jasenelpartido) May 6, 2018
Alright, enough about all that, let’s get to his arsenal. Sanchez has the chance to have three plus or better pitches if he continues to develop the offspeed stuff. Both his curve and changeup flash plus, but Sixto has a tendency to abandon them and rely heavily on his heater. He does have a great fastball in the upper 90’s with run, but when he’s relying on it too much, he’s gotten knocked around. Trust your stuff Sixto. If he does, the Phillies have a damn good arm to pair with Aaron Nola at the top of the rotation.
3. Monte Harrison, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 8/10/95, ETA 2019
2018 Stats (AA): .240/.316/.399/.715, 20 2B, 19 HR, 28 SB, 7.5 BB%, 36.9 K%, 521 AB
Pretty high strikeout rate, isn’t it? That’s likely the number that pops out at most when they read Monte Harrison’s 2018 stat line. Harrison came to the plate 583 times last season and struck out a whopping 215 times. Striking out over 200 times in a single minor league season is hard to do. But let’s get past the strikeouts for a second because there’s a lot to like here from a dynasty perspective.
Harrison has the best combination of power and speed in the system. After a 21/27 season in 2017, Harrison finished one dinger shy of back to back 20/20 seasons in 2018. So even though the strikeouts were high and the average sat at .240, the power/speed profile still make Harrison a very intriguing prospect.
While contact and strikeouts have been an issue for Harrison throughout his minor league career, there’s some hope here. Later on in the 2018 season, he minimized his leg kick and started taking a more direct path to the ball. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the change took place but Harrison enjoyed his best month in August, hitting .266 with six homers and a .814 OPS. All three of which were his highest single-month marks last season.
When you look at Harrison, his raw strength and athleticism and immediately noticeable. With the revamped swing, Harrison doesn’t incorporate his lower half as much as he once did, but with his quick hips, bat speed, and raw strength, 20-25 homers annually is in play. If he can just hit around .250 or so, his 20-25 homer/25-30 steal upside will make him a very desirable target.
4. Nick Neidert, RHP, DOB: 11/20/96, ETA 2019
2018 Stats (AA): 152.2 IP, 3.24 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 9.1 K/9, .250 AVG
While a couple guys below might have better arsenals, Neidert is the best combination of ceiling and floor in the entire system and should be up with the Marlins later on in the 2019 season. Neidert came to Miami in the Dee Gordon deal along with Christopher Torres and Robert Duggar and spent the entire 2018 season with Double-A Jacksonville in the Southern League, performing fairly well. Neidert works from a 3/4 arm slot and slows his momentum down in the middle of his delivery creating a little bit of deception. The usually sits in the 89-91 range with some arm side run and Neidert will mix in a plus changeup and a curve that he’s shown good feel for as a third pitch. Neidert will never wow you but his command and poise on the mound give him a fairly solid floor as a mid-rotation starter.
5. Sandy Alcantara, RHP, DOB: 9/7/95 ETA 2019 (Debuted in 2017)
2018 Stats (A+/AAA): 127.0 IP, 3.90 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 6.8 K/9, .245 AVG
2018 Stats (MLB): 34.0 IP, 3.44 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 6.1 BB/9, 7.9 K/9, .214 AVG
Alcantara fits into the “intriguing but frustrating” category as a prospect. If you want to strictly go off of stuff, Alcantara looks like a future No. 2 or 3 starter. He routinely sits in the mid-90’s with his fastball and can touch 98-99 with run and sink, and mixes in a slider and changeup, with the changeup flashing plus at times with strong arm side fade. The slider isn’t quite as advanced, but serves as a serviceable third offering for him.
I'm loving Sandy Alcantara's gorgeous sink at 97mph pic.twitter.com/HjelB8PT8g
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) September 6, 2018
However, the problem has always been a lack of consistent command which causes Alcantara to become way too hittable at times. He tends to overthrow his fastball, causing it to straighten out and get hit hard. It doesn’t matter if you throw 90 or 98, if it’s straight and over the heart of the plate, it’s going to get clobbered more often than not. How good Alcantara becomes and his long-term role is 110% up to the development of his command. As of right now, ruling out a move to the bullpen would be foolish. He’s as high risk/high reward as they come in this system.
6. Tristan Pompey, OF, Bats: S, DOB: 3/23/97, ETA 2020/2021
2018 Stats (RK/A/A+): .299/.408/.397/.805, 9 2B, 3 HR, 10 SB, 14.6 BB%, 21.5 K%, 184 AB
After dipping into the prep ranks for their first three selections last June, the Marlins finally took their first collegiate bat with Pompey at pick 89. Pompey doesn’t possess any plus tools, but rather more of a solid all-around offensive skill set with the potential to contribute across the board.
As a switch hitter, Pompey has displayed a good feel for hitting from both sides of the plate with more power projection from the right side. Hands start back and move into a moderate hand coil before whipping through the zone with exceptional bat speed. There’s some natural loft to his swing as well. With his raw power, contact skills, and fairly clean mechanics, I can see him hitting around 15-20 homers annually while hitting for a respectable batting average. Throw in above-average speed on the bases and you have a sneaky good dynasty outfielder with a 20/20 ceiling.
7. Braxton Garrett, LHP, DOB: 8/5/97, ETA 2021
2018 Stats: Did Not Pitch
It’s been almost three years since Braxton Garrett was taken seventh overall in the 2016 draft and he’s given us a whopping four starts spanning 15.1 innings. You can thank Tommy John surgery for that. Garrett arguably has the highest upside of any pitcher in the system thanks to plus command and three above-average or better pitches. His curve is the headliner here with good depth that he can throw for strikes or bury in the dirt for strikeouts. The fastball sits in the low-90’s with some life and Garrett has shown a feel for a fading changeup that flashes plus. With a return to the mound in 2019, Garrett is the arm I’m monitoring the closest this summer from Miami’s system. The upside here is of a #2 or #3 starter.
8. Connor Scott, OF, Bats: L, DOB: 10/8/99, ETA 2022
2018 Stats (RK): .218/.309/.296/.605, 3 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 9 SB, 11.5 BB%, 26.9 K%, 179 AB
When discussing a player like Connor Scott, projection is the name of the game. First and foremost, Scott is a burner with high upside on the bases and solid range in the outfield. He’s still quite raw as a base stealer, but with some tutelage in the minors, he should develop into a 25-30 steal threat long-term, even if he loses a touch of speed as he fills out his lanky 6’4 frame. The biggest question surrounding Scott is if he can hit enough to become an impact bat. Scott doesn’t have a whole ton of power and uses minimal load, stride, and lower half incorporation, making his swing very top-half dependent. Some adjustments there could lead to 15-20 home runs, especially if he adds some strength, but I’m not holding my breath. While the upside is fairly high here, the floor presents considerable risk as well.
9. Isan Diaz, 2B, Bats: L, DOB: 5/27/96, ETA 2019
2018 Stats (AA/AAA): .232/.340/.399/.739, 23 2B, 13 HR, 14 SB, 13.3 BB%, 27.4 K%, 431 AB
This might seem a little low for Diaz in this system, but he seems like more of a floor guy than one with an overly high ceiling. The swing is compact from the left side with plus bat speed and some natural loft. Diaz keeps his hands in and whips the head of the bat through the zone with an uppercut swing path, which along with his raw power, hints at the potential for 20 homers down the road. I’m just not sure how good of a batting average will go along with it. Diaz has struggled to hit for any sort of solid batting average throughout his minor league career and has struggled with pitch selection. There’s some upside as an offensive-minded second baseman here, but Diaz will need to start making more consistent contact and cut the strikeouts down.
10. Trevor Rogers, LHP, DOB: 11/13/97, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (A): 72.2 IP, 5.82 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 10.5 K/9, .295 AVG
After being taken 13th overall in the 2017 draft, Rogers was assigned to the Single-A South Atlantic League to start his professional career in 2018. As you can see from the stat line, he got knocked around a little bit. But projection is the name of the game here with Rogers, and he has a ton of it. Rogers stands in with a lean 6’6 frame and features one of the easiest and loosest deliveries you’ll see.
The fastball sits generally in the 90-93 mph range but can get up to 94-95 at times. He could add some velocity too if he adds some strength to that lean frame of his. Rogers will also turn it over into a 2-seamer with good bite that induces plenty of ground balls. Out of his three offspeed pitches, his slider is the cream of the crop and flashes plus, though, inconsistently. Both the curve and changeup are behind but stand to be at lease serviceable offerings for him. I’d like to see him develop the change or curve a little more, but there’s still solid mid-rotation upside here.
11. Jordan Yamamoto, RHP, DOB: 5/11/96, ETA 2019/2020
2018 Stats (RK/A+/AA): 68.2 IP, 1.83 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 11.1 K/9, .177 AVG
Yamamoto is a pitcher that is vastly underrated and flies under the radar. Why is this? Well, he doesn’t have the sexiest arsenal around and usually sits in the 87-91 range with his fastball. But what makes Yamamoto a prospect of note is the pitchability and plus command of his arsenal. All of his pitches play up due to that command and he’s able to mix his three pitches well, keeping hitters off balance. Yamamoto will mix in three off-speed pitches with his curve being the best of the bunch with good depth to it. Both the slider and changeup are less advanced, but serve as serviceable third and fourth offerings for him. The upside might only be that of a back-end rotation arm, but there’s a good chance he reaches that level.
— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) November 17, 2018
12. Osiris Johnson, SS, Bats: R, DOB: 10/18/00, ETA 2022
2018 Stats (RK/A): .250/.276/.378/.654, 11 2B, 3 HR, 7 SB, 2.5 BB%, 26.6 K%, 188 AB
A prep shortstop with an old man’s name, Osiris Johnson was the Marlins 2nd round pick in 2018 out of California. Johnson is a toolsy and highly athletic shortstop with the ability to become an above-average performer on both sides of the ball. His swing is loose and fluid with plenty of bat speed and some natural loft. His hands start a little lower, but the coil and forward weight transfer and quick and direct. Johnson has the tools to hit for average power and a batting average in the .250-.270 range, while also chipping in 15 to 20-plus steals He just needs to refine his approach and continue to refine his mechanics. He’s a ways away, but the upside is there.
13. Edward Cabrera, RHP, DOB: 4/13/98, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (A): 100.1 IP, 4.22 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 3.8 BB/9, 8.3 K/9, .270 AVG
It wouldn’t surprise me if Edward Cabrera ended up as the best pitcher to come out of this current farm system. I’m not betting money on it, but with his stuff, I wouldn’t rule it out. Cabrera sits in the mid 90’s with arm side run on his fastball and mixes in a slider and a changeup. The slider is the more advanced of the two with good two-plant tilt, but the changeup has flashed above-average as well. The problem with Cabrera is the inconsistent command and effort in his delivery, which might point to a future in the bullpen. The upside here is a mid-rotation arm or a back-end bullpen piece.
14. James Nelson, 3B, Bats: R, DOB: 10/18/97, ETA 2020/2021
2018 Stats (A+): .211/.262/.280/.542, 10 2B, 2 HR, 1 SB, 5.1 BB%, 26.1 K%, 232 AB
I’m willing to chalk up 2018 as a lost season for the Marlins 2017 minor league player of the year. After being selected in the 16th round back in 2016, Nelson was bumped up to Single-A Greensboro in the Sally for 2017 where he slashed .309/.354/.456/.810 with 31 doubles, seven home runs, and six steals in 102 games, earning him the POY honors. As you can see above, 2018 wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Nelson, but the skills still remain.
When you look at his swing mechanics, there are no major flaws. Nelson remains balanced pre-pitch, uses a moderate load and hand coil, and transfers his weight cleanly with above-average bat speed through the zone and some natural loft to his swing. The upside isn’t overly high here, but with his average tools across the board, Nelson has the upside of a low-end starting third baseman with the potential to hit .275 or so with double-digit pop and speed.
15. Jorge Guzman, RHP, DOB: 1/28/96, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A+): 96.0 IP, 4.03 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 6.0 BB/9, 9.5 K/9, .239 AVG
This ranking might seem a tad low, but I have many questions about Guzman longterm. The blazing fastball and slider are a great combination, but outside of that, there’s not a ton to like. Guzman has yet to develop anything close to a third consistent pitch and both his command and control are lacking in a big way. As of now, the bullpen seems most likely.
16. Brian Miller, OF, Bats: L, DOB: 8/20/95, ETA 2019/2020
2018 Stats (A+/AA): .295/.338/.355/.693, 21 2B, 0 HR, 40 SB, 5.7 BB%, 11.7 K%, 518 AB
Brian Miller does two things quite well and those two things are likely going to give him a decent shot in the majors. The 23-year-old outfielder possesses plus speed and puts the ball in play with a contact-oriented approach from the left side. His swing is balanced and direct through the zone with a good feel for the barrel. Not a ton of hard contact is generated, nor is there much loft in his swing, which leaves very little power projection. But that’s never been Miller’s game. He puts the ball in play, mostly on the ground or of the line drive variety, and uses his speed. That’s who he is. I’m not sure if he ever gets on base enough to hit at the top of the order due to his lower walk rate, but Miller should at least provide solidly in the batting average and stolen base categories.
17. Christopher Torres, SS, Bats: S, DOB: 2/6/98, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (RK/A-/A): .256/.389/.350/.739, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 SB, 17.9 BB%, 24.8 K%, 117 AB
Torres has a skill set that might not be overly sexy, but it’s one that is likely going to get him to the Majors, likely as a starting shortstop. Defensively, Torres has shown good footwork, plus range, and a strong throwing arm. There’s no doubt in my mind that he can be an above-average defender at the Major League level. Torres also has exhibited plenty of patience at the plate, giving him high OBP upside as long as his contact skills don’t go in the toilet. That high OBP will be key as Torres is an above-average to plus runner with the upside for 20-plus steals over a full season. How much he hits is still a question, but the rest of the package is solid.
18. Jose Devers, SS, Bats: L, DOB: 12/7/99, ETA 2022
2018 Stats (A/A+): .272/.313/.330/.643, 12 2B, 0 HR, 13 SB, 4.3 BB%, 13.2 K%, 345 AB
If you couldn’t tell from the last name, this is Rafael Devers’ younger cousin. A younger cousin who is a vastly different ballplayer. Devers has a similar skill set to Torres above, only with more speed and a lower walk rate. Like Torres, Devers is a plus defender at short with a strong throwing arm, but has questions surrounding his hit tool and minimal raw power. There’s a chance Devers can turn into a Major League regular that hits near the bottom of the order and provides 25-plus steals, but as of now, he looks like a utility/backup.
19. Zac Gallen, RHP, DOB: 8/3/95, ETA 2019
2018 Stats (AAA): 133.1 IP, 3.65 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 9.2 K/9, .281 AVG
A 3rd round pick by the Cardinals in 2016, Gallen came to Miami before the 2018 season as part of the return package in the Marcel Ozuna trade and held his own in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Gallen doesn’t have any plus offerings, but what he does have is good command over his arsenal and a bunch of average to above-average pitches. His ability to mix pitches and keep hitters off his pedestrian fastball has been key and gives Gallen the upside of a #4 type of starter.
20. Will Banfield, C, Bats: R, DOB: 11/18/99, ETA 2021/2022
2018 Stats (RK/A): .238/.308/.385/.693, 8 2B, 3 HR, 0 SB, 7.5 BB%, 29.5 K%, 130 AB
If you haven’t sensed a trend yet, you will after this Will Banfield section. Does “plus defense with a questionable hit tool” ring a bell? Ah, yes, it does, doesn’t it? Banfield was taken 69th overall in June and is already in the discussion for one of the top defensive catchers in the minors. That defense alone will get him to the Majors as long as he can show any sort of offensive adequacy. While the swing can get a little busy and long, Banfield has displayed above-average raw power with some loft to his swing. If his development goes according to plan, we’re likely looking at a gold-glove caliber backstop that hits around .240 with 15 or so homers.
21. Bryson Brigman, 2B/SS, Bats: R, DOB: 6/9/95, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A+/AA): .310/.370/.395/.765, 19 2B, 3 HR, 21 SB, 7.7 BB%, 14.1 K%, 494 AB
After a couple lackluster seasons, Brigman broke out in 2018 in the Seattle system before heading Southwest to Miami in the Cameron Maybin trade. But even with the breakout, Brigman doesn’t project as much more than a utility infielder. Maybe, just maybe, Brigman develops into a low-end regular that can hit for a respectable average with some speed, but I want to see him build off his 2018 breakout before I make that claim.
22. Thomas Jones, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 12/9/97, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (A): .222/.277/.343/.620, 17 2B, 9 HR, 20 SB, 5.7 BB%, 31.8 K%, 396 AB
This top-25 is littered with questionable hit tools and Jones is one of the most prime examples. Another solid defender, Jones uses his plus-plus speed to his advantage, both on the bases and in the outfield, but has struggled with pitch selection and the contact skills are 40-grade at best. Jones starts with his hands lower and out from his body which has led to a naturally long swing. There’s some double-digit pop in his bat and plenty of speed upside, but he’ll likely struggle to hit for a respectable batting average.
23. Joe Dunand, SS, Bats: R, DOB: 9/20/95, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A+/AA): .239/.303/.380/.683, 21 2B, 14 HR, 2 SB, 7.0 BB%, 24.4 K%, 460 AB
A 2nd round pick in 2017, Dunand’s intrigue comes from his plus raw power that comes from his strong 6’2 frame and the loft his uppercut swing path generates. If given everyday at-bats, I believe Dunand could pop 25-plus homers, but with a pedestrian batting average/OBP. His lack of range will also likely force a move over to the hot corner where his strong arm will fit just fine.
24. Davis Bradshaw, OF, Bats: L, DOB: 4/25/98, ETA 2022
2018 Stats (RK/A-): .354/.418/.427/.844, 6 2B, 0 HR, 20 SB, 6.5 BB%, 14.7 K%, 164 AB
A relative unknown as an 11th round pick out of a Mississippi community college, Bradshaw hit his way onto the map in 2018, though, I’d still consider him a lottery ticket right now. The potential is there with solid contact skills, double-digit pop, and above-average wheels, but I want to see him continue to hit well in 2019 before moving him higher.
25. Jordan Holloway, RHP, DOB: 6/13/96, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (RK/A-): 7.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
It’s been a slow rise for Holloway after being taken in the 20th round back in 2014, including missing most of 2018 recovering from Tommy John surgery. While he’s still quite raw, the raw tools are here to become a solid back-end rotation arm and maybe even as high as a #3. Holloway will sit in the mid-90’s with his fastball and can get into the upper 90’s at times with some arm side run. His secondary offerings need refinement, but his curve has flashed above-average to plus with good depth to it. He’ll also mix in a changeup and an occasional cutter.
Others to Monitor
Tommy Eveld, RHP – Eveld is a big 6’5 right-hander with the stuff to succeed in the 8th or 9th innings. His fastball will sit in the low to mid-90’s and Eveld will offset that a hard slider with late bite.
Victor Mesa Jr, OF – Victor Victor’s little brother, Mesa Jr is worlds away from the Majors but has intriguing offensive potential.
Austin Dean, OF – Not a ton of upside here, but has solid contact skills with double-digit pop. In line to start in left field for the Marlins this season.
McKenzie Mills, LHP – A big 6’4 southpaw with three average to above-average pitches, but inconsistent command. Back-end starter upside.
Jeff Brigham, RHP – Big fastball, but has struggled to develop consistent secondary offerings.
Other Team Prospect Reports
All other team top-25 prospect rankings can be found here.
Photo/Video Credit: Jory Dyvig (Main Article Image), Wells Dusenbury, Pitcher List, Fish Stripes.
Eric Cross is the lead MLB/Fantasy Baseball writer and MiLB prospect analyst for FantraxHQ and has been with the site since March 2017. In the past, he wrote for FantasyPros and FanSided. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). For more from Eric, check out his author page and follow him on Twitter @EricCross04.
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