The 2020 MLB season was a wild ride. It was quite an interesting season for the Miami Marlins, who dealt with a COVID outbreak on the team and eventually made the playoffs. Even with the expanded playoffs, the Marlins were not supposed to make the playoffs, much less beat the Cubs in the first round. The Marlins added Starling Marte to be their center fielder while at the same time calling up many of their top prospects. The Miami Marlins top prospects list has turned into an excellent one over the years since Derek Jeter took over the team. With the talent at the MLB level, plus the stockpiles of talent in the farm, the Marlins are sure to be a fun team for years to come.
For all other team top-20s, click here.
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Miami Marlins Top 20 Prospects
1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP
Sixto Sanchez dazzled in his debut with the Miami Marlins in 2020. He pitched 39 innings across seven starts with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Much like most of his MILB career, Sanchez effectively kept the ball in the ballpark and on the ground. He has never been a huge strikeout pitcher, which carried over with his 20.9 percent strikeout rate last season. Sanchez also has excellent command and control, given that his 39 innings in the Majors produced the highest walk rate of his career at seven percent.
The prized jewel of the J.T. Realmuto trade looks to build on his success he started in 2020. Sanchez relies on five pitches that he mixes extremely well. His changeup is his most used pitch, and for good reasons. It produced a 28 percent whiff rate and just a .148 batting average against in 2020. He began to use it more down the stretch and saw great results.
Sixto Sánchez, Filthy 91mph Changeup (release/slow). 😷 pic.twitter.com/skL0PYxsb8
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 23, 2020
He also features a sinker, four-seam, slider, and curveball. Sixto blows his four-seam by hitters as it averaged 98.5 miles-per-hour. His sinker also did what it is designed to do by inducing a negative two-degree launch angle. His slider and curve are both distinct pitches that he mixes in well.
Sixto Sanchez has the upside to be an ace caliber pitcher. I do have concerns about his strikeout stuff and whether he will just be a pitcher with insane movement. In his Minor League career, Sixto’s highest strikeout rate for any year was 23.9 percent, and that was over 46.2 innings in 2018. I do think the ability is there for Sanchez to be a strikeout-per-inning type pitcher. But if he never makes the strikeout jump, there is no way he will ever be classified as an ace. At just 22 years old, I will take the chance that Sixto makes the appropriate gains.
2. JJ Bleday, OF
JJ Bleday was the prized possession of the Marlins 2019 draft, going with the fourth overall pick. Bleday has always been a high-floor hitter, but his value really soared during his junior season at Vanderbilt when he hit 27 home runs over 71 games and slashed .347/.465/.701. No, not a .701 OPS; that is a .701 slugging percentage. Bleday dominated; there is no other way to put it.
Bleday has a pure feel to hit and has no problems hitting to all fields. He has a beautiful swing from the left side of the plate and gets tremendous bat speed. His plate approach is also extremely polished as Bleday walked more than he struck out in each season at Vanderbilt. He may not help you out with his speed, but his plus power and above-average hit tool will play well for Fantasy Baseball.
Expect to see Bleday debut in 2021. In the midst of a crowded Marlins outfield, Bleday stands above the rest. He has put in significant work this past season, and despite no one seeing it in MILB games, I think everyone will be very pleased with the progress that Bleday has made.
⚾️ JJ Bleday ⚾️
Age: 23 (DOB: 11/10/97)
6’3” 205 lb
Drafted: 2019, 1.4
ETA: Mid-Late 2021#ProspectPreviews ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/cmbhBcmp1w
— Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg) December 4, 2020
3. Max Meyer, RHP
Some were surprised to see the Marlins select Max Meyer third overall in the 2020 MLB Draft. For those who followed Meyer in college, you probably were not. He is not your prototypical starter frame at 6’0 196 lbs, but Meyer does nothing but dominate hitters. Meyer steadily improved in each of his three seasons with the University of Minnesota, which is impressive considering how well he performed his freshman year. In the shortened 2020 season, Meyer solidified his top draft spot by striking out 46 hitters over 27.2 innings. The 1.95 ERA and 0.831 WHIP was the icing on the cake.
Meyer arguably had the best two-pitch combo in the class between his fastball and slider. Both considered 70-grade pitches by plenty of scouts, Meyer gets his fastball up to 100 mph effortlessly. It usually sits between 94 and 98 mph, which is extremely impressive given his size. Meyer’s slider is arguably his best pitch as it gets up to 91 mph. The wipeout slider is Meyer’s go-to strikeout pitch. His changeup is still developing, but it should develop into at least an average pitch.
When you look at Meyer’s arsenal and tack on a highly repeatable delivery, you have the makings of a special pitcher. He exhibits great command and walks hitters at a low rate. Max Meyer will be a pitcher I am watching very closely in 2021. This is a special talent and a pitcher we could discuss as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball before long.
The more I watch #Marlins Max Meyer, the more I love him. The fastball/slider combo was arguably the best 2 pitch combo in the class. The changeup is developing. Topped off by solid command.
Here's Meyer striking out Adley Rutschman on 4 pitches ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/GajBaSeapD
— Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg) January 23, 2021
4. Edward Cabrera, RHP
Edward Cabrera took a massive step forward in 2019 in two stops between high-A and double-A. In 96.2 innings pitched, Cabrera posted a 2.61 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP, and a 30 percent strikeout rate. The performance was a huge uptick after posting ERA’s of 4.22, 5.30, and 4.21 in the previous three years. Cabrera stands tall on the mound at 6’5 and weighs in a 217. His delivery is consistent and repeatable.
Cabrera blows his fastball by hitters as it consistently sits between 93 and 97 mph but can reach 100 on occasion. With the downhill plane on the pitch, he generates many groundballs when he does not get whiffs. Cabrera’s slider generates a ton of swing and misses as it usually sits between 82 and 85 mph. The changeup improved significantly in 2019, and the ability to develop that pitch will take Cabrera a long way as a starter.
Cabrera posts good strikeout numbers and limits walks. There are the makings of a solid frontline pitcher here. On the upside alone, for Fantasy purposes, I might rank Edward Cabrera over Sixto Sanchez. That is how good Cabrera is capable of being. He may get some reps in triple-A to begin 2021. But do not be surprised to see him in the Miami rotation very soon.
Stayed up late last night watching #Marlins Edward Cabrera.
-Fastball sits between 93-97, tops 99.
-Slider took a big step forward in 2019.
-Change developing into a legit 3rd offering.
2019(A+/AA): 96.2 IP/2.23 ERA/0.99 WHIP/116 K/31 BB
Miami's future rotation 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/msxYlphNLK
— Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg) January 23, 2021
5. Jazz Chisholm, 2B/SS
Jazz Chisholm is a toolsy second base/shortstop prospect with a big name to live up to after a rare prospect only trade that sent Zac Gallen to Arizona and Chisholm to Miami. Gallen has looked stellar since debuting in 2019, and Chisholm’s performance at the plate in 2020 left much to be desired. Chisholm played excellent defense at second base, but he slashed just .161/.242/.321 at the plate with two home runs and stolen bases, respectively. He struck out 30.6 percent of the time, which has been his issue throughout the Minor Leagues.
Chisholm’s power/speed combo gives him a high ceiling, but unfortunately, the swing and miss potential means the floor is low. There are serious questions here whether he can hit enough to be an everyday player. If the hit tool does improve, you are looking are at a potential all-star caliber player. But for now, there are plenty of concerns about his floor.
6. Peyton Burdick, OF
Peyton Burdick was the Marlins third-round pick in 2019, and after slashing .308/.407/.542 in single-A, he was named the MVP of his league. Burdick may be flying under the radar right now, but he will be a household name in 2021. During his 69 games played in 2019, he hit 11 home runs and stole seven bases. He is aggressive on the basepaths but is not always the most efficient, getting caught seven times on 14 attempts. In his junior season at Wright State, Burdick did manage to steal 24 bases in 27 attempts.
Burdick is built very similarly to Mike Trout and has some serious power he can tap into. He is very aggressive with his swing but has a manageable strikeout rate. Burdick also has good plate discipline and can take walks.
Burdick sees a jump in his value due to an amazing performance at the alternate training site and the instructional league. He was named the Marlins’ top performer at instructional camp by Baseball America. This feels like a case where Burdick would have been a big riser in prospect rankings if there were a MILB season in 2020. Don’t be surprised to see him come out looking like a stud in 2021.
6’0” 205 lbs
College: Wright State
Drafted: 2019, 3.82
ETA: Late 2021#ProspectPreviews
Let's look into his profile ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/tt9qCsRA3n
— Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg) December 9, 2020
7. Lewin Diaz, 1B
Lewin Diaz is a big, 6’4 220lb left-handed first basemen. Power is his calling card, but Diaz failed to tap into that when he debuted in 2020. He played great defense at first base for the Marlins but slashed just .154/.195/.205 in 41 plate appearances. Diaz did impress between high-A and double-A in 2019, as he hit 27 home runs to pair with his .270/.321/.530 slash line.
Diaz has spent the offseason grinding and improving his approach at the plate. His hands are now lower, and he is quicker through the zone. The results showed as Diaz made strides in the Dominican Winter League. The stats were not great, but there were improvements and he hit the ball hard. I want to see more results carry over into 2021, but Diaz feels like a great buy-low in dynasty leagues after a less than stellar MLB debut.
8. Jesus Sanchez, OF
Like Jazz Chisholm, Jesus Sanchez has all the tools in the world but a shaky hit tool. Sanchez has a smooth swing from the left side of the plate and makes loud contact. His poor plate discipline has hurt his production as Sanchez has progressed through the Minor Leagues. Sanchez also hits the ball on the ground far too often, which has hurt his home run power to this point of his career.
Sanchez’s 2020 debut was one I’m sure he would like to forget. In 29 plate appearances, he slashed just .040/.172/.080. Yes, it was a small sample, but striking out 11 times in 29 chances is not ideal.
Sanchez is hard to value in dynasty leagues, but one thing is certain, the price is likely at an all-time low. It may be worth trying to acquire Sanchez, as the talent in there. The questions remain whether Sanchez will hit enough or raise his launch angle enough to tap into those loud tools.
9. Kameron Misner, OF
Kameron Misner is a big outfield prospect selected in the supplemental first round of the 2019 draft. Another left-handed power bat, Misner, has a smooth swing and exhibits good plate discipline. After a strong freshman and sophomore year at Missouri, some thought Misner might sneak into the early part of the first round. Instead, he struggled in SEC play and fell to the Marlins at 35.
Considering his 6’4, 220 lb frame, Misner runs extremely well and steals bases at a high clip. In 2019 in his pro debut, he stole 11 bases and was not caught stealing. Surprisingly, he only hit two home runs, but the raw power is in Misner’s profile. His great eye at the plate leads to a high OBP, so Misner is more valuable in that format. There is a strong possibility that Misner is a fast mover and could debut in late 2021 or early 2022.
10. Braxton Garrett, LHP
Braxton Garrett is another first-round left-handed pitcher that the Marlins selected seventh overall in the 2016 draft. Unfortunately, his pro debut was put on hold when he blew out his elbow after just four starts. Garrett had the dreaded Tommy John surgery in June 2017 and missed the entire 2018 season as well. Upon return in 2019, Garrett looked great by posting a 3.54 ERA and over a 26 percent strikeout rate in 106 innings pitched.
Garrett debuted in 2020 but was roughed up and allowed three home runs in 7.2 innings. He struggled with command but still managed to strikeout 9.4 hitters per nine. Garrett has an average fastball that sits between 90 and 93 mph but tops out at 96. He compliments it well with a plus curveball that has good depth. If Garrett continues to develop his changeup and command, he could be a solid mid-rotation starter.
11. Trevor Rogers, LHP
The Marlins have a stockpile of first-round picks in their top 20 prospects, and Trevor Rogers fits that mold. The 6’5 lefty was selected 13th overall in the 2017 draft and made his debut in 2020. The 28 innings he pitched with the Marlins in 2020 were rough as Rogers posted a 6.11 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. The good news is, Rogers struck out thirty percent of the hitters he faced. The bad news, Rogers walked ten percent and allowed 19 earned runs.
Rogers’ fastball sits around 92 mph but plays up well. Rogers also features a changeup, curveball, and cutter, with the changeup being his best pitch. The command has been an issue, so that will be worth monitoring moving forward. With the lack of a truly dominant pitch, Rogers will need to rely on the sum of the parts to develop into a solid starting pitcher.
12. Monte Harrison, OF
It seems to be a trend in this system for hitters to have loud tools but a struggling hit tool. Monte Harrison is exactly that. He brings big raw power and plus speed to the table but struggles with contact. To reach his ceiling, Harrison will have to refine his hit tool. He did make adjustments before 2019 that seemed to pay off. He reduced his strikeout rate from 37 to 29 percent and posted a .270/.351/.441 slash line. Unfortunately, Harrison’s 2020 MLB debut told a different story. He struck out 51 percent of the time and posted a .170/.235/.255 slash. Harrison did show off his speed by stealing six bases.
2021 will be a huge year for Harrison’s progression at the plate. He will be 26 years old during the season and needs to show the ability to make consistent contact. If Harrison struggles, he could find himself demoted or traded due to many mouths to feed in the Miami outfield.
13. Dax Fulton, LHP
Dax Fulton would have likely been one of the first prep pitchers off the board in the 2020 MLB draft if he had not blown out his arm and had Tommy John. The Marlins believed in the talent enough to select him 40th overall. The good news, with no Minor League season in 2020, Fulton did not miss a ton of development time. Fulton has some similarities to Braxton Garrett in the fact they both have legit plus curveballs. Before Tommy John, Fulton pumped his fastball consistently between 90 and 93 with a steep downhill plane thanks to his 6’6 frame. Fulton will need to refine his changeup as he continues to progress.
There is plenty of projection left in his 6’6 230 lb frame, and there is a possibility Fulton’s fastball velocity could get to the mid-90s. There is plenty of development left to be had with Fulton, but the upside is greater than both Trevor Rogers and Garrett.
Round 2 | Pick 40
Former PBR Future Gamer, Dax Fulton, goes to the @Marlins. Big physical frame. Can spin it. From Mustang HS in @PBR_Oklahoma.#MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/ZlFjbcuQKO
— Prep Baseball Report (@prepbaseball) June 11, 2020
14. Connor Scott, OF
The Marlins 2018 first-round pick, Connor Scott, has failed to live up the hype to this point of his pro career. Scott is still young and has yet to play above high-A, meaning there is plenty of development time left. Scott is a solid player across the board and has five-tool potential. Speed is his calling card right now, and Scott can steal bases with ease. You can see room for power growth given his 6’4 187 lb frame. To further develop, Scott needs to make more consistent contact. The potential is there for him to really move up this list, though.
15. Jerar Encarnacion, OF
In a crowded group of outfielders, Jerar Encarnacion stands above the rest. Partially because he is 6’5 240 lbs. Encarnacion is a big boy and generates a ton of bat speed through the zone. There is a ton of swing and miss stuff here, but there is plus raw power to all fields when he makes contact. He made some adjustments before 2019, and it paid off as Encarnacion made more contact and lifted the ball more. Encarnacion will need to show the ability to hit breaking balls and against advanced hitters to take the next step. There is no true defensive home either. Encarnacion could be a nice designated hitter, where he can only focus on his bat.
16. Nick Neidert, RHP
Like many other prospects on this list, Nick Neidert made his debut with Miami in 2020. Unfortunately, in his four relief outings, Neidert allowed ten hits and five earned runs in 8.1 innings. Statistically, Neidert has regressed since his solid 2018 season when he pitched to 3.24 ERA. Neidert has never been a dominant strikeout pitcher, but he is capable of posting a strikeout-per-inning. His command with his fastball is solid and sits between 90-93 mph. His changeup is his best pitch, as it grades as plus with good tumble action. If Neidert cannot develop a consistent breaking pitch, he could end up in the bullpen longterm.
17. Griffin Conine, OF
A trade that sent Griffin Conine to the Marlins was only fitting given his father’s legacy with the team. Jeff Conine won two world series with the Marlins, so I can imagine it was exciting for his son Griffin to join the club.
Despite missing the first 50 games of 2019 due to testing positive for Ritalin, Conine still led the Midwest League in home runs with 22. Conine has a ton of raw power that is capable of playing to all fields. The issue is that Conine does not make enough contact to really tap into that power. If he wants to make it in the Majors, Conine will really need to cut down on his swings and misses.
18. Jose Devers, SS
As it stands, Jose Devers may be most known for being part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade. Consistent injuries have hurt his development, but the Marlins have still been aggressive with the young lefty. Devers has excellent bat-to-ball skills and makes consistent contact. His swing is very flat, and there is minimal power projection especially given Devers frame. His speed and hit tool are his calling cards, though. Devers will likely have high OBPs and steal a solid amount of bases.
19. Jose Salas, SS
Jose Salas was the Marlins prized possession of the Marlins 2019 international signings. He is a switch hitter who has a quick swing from both sides of the plate. Salas is a plus runner who also has flashed the ability to be a 20 home run bat. Considering he is only 17 years old, Salas shows great recognition of pitches and a good feel for the zone. There are reports that Salas hit some deep bombs during batting practice at Marlins Park and scouts believe he can be an average power hitter. Salas is exciting and will be a player to watch as he debuts stateside in 2021.
20. Yiddi Cappe, SS
The Marlins went on all on Yiddi Cappe in the 2020/2021 J2 class as they signed him for 3.5 million dollars. Cappe is a well-rounded player with an extremely athletic body. At 18 years old, he is already listed at 6’3 175 lbs, and his body gets compared to Carlos Correa. For his age, Cappe brings an advanced approach to the plate and advanced bat-to-ball skills. He shows the ability to hit to all fields well. It is easy to see him developing power as he continues to fill out his frame. Cappe is a player that I am extremely excited to watch in 2021.
Marlins top IFA target SS Yiddi Cappe will get a nice payday of around $3.5M. The Cuban has advanced bat to ball skills and a frame similar to a young “Correa or Jeter”. The Marlins believe Cappe will develop physically and tap into his 55 power and hit tool.🇨🇺 pic.twitter.com/hI6oN0R5tK
— Tyler J. Spicer (@tylerjspicer) January 13, 2021
Thanks for reading my Miami Marlins top prospects. Be sure to check out all our other great content on FantraxHQ to prepare for your fantasy drafts.
Media References: Pitching Ninja, Tyler Spicer, Prep Baseball Report
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On you glowing review, I just traded C Joey Bart for JJ Bleday. I love the plate discipline and he still hits for lots of power from the left side. It reminds me of Christian Yelich a former Marlin himself.
I still have Francisco Alvarez a couple year away, but looking very impressive.