Miami Marlins 2020 Top-25 Prospects
It wasn’t too long ago that this Marlins system was considered one of the bottom 5-10 in baseball. That farm system and unwillingness to go out and acquire top-notch talent has led to a decade of losing seasons with their last winning season coming in 2009. But when you lose like this for such a long time, you accumulate high draft picks which, if you hit on those picks, can rebuild a farm system in a hurry. It’s still too early to say for sure, but some of the Marlins recent draft picks look like they can be solid contributors at the Major League level sooner rather than later, including 2019 first-rounder JJ Bleday. In addition, the Marlins have acquired several high-upside talents via trade over the last few years which has really bolstered my top-25 Marlins prospects list below.
Overall System Grade: B-
Minor League Affiliates
Triple-A: Wichita – Pacific Coast League
Double-A: Jacksonville – Southern League
Advanced Single-A: Jupiter – Florida State League
Low Single-A: Clinton – Midwest League
Short Single-A: Batavia – NY-Penn League
Rookie: Dominican Summer League (1), Gulf Coast league (1)
All other team top-25 prospect rankings can be found here.
If you aren’t playing your dynasty leagues on Fantrax, you’re missing out on the deepest player pool and most customization around. Just starting out in a dynasty league? Then check out Eric Cross’ Top-250 Overall Fantasy Prospects and Top-500 Dynasty League Rankings.
Top-25 Miami Marlins Prospects – 2020
1. Jazz Chisholm, SS, AAA, 22
If any position prospect from this system is going to turn into a superstar, it will likely be Jazz Chisholm. But at the same time, his bust factor can’t be pushed out of our minds. We can try to do so and focus on the intriguing offensive upside, but doing so without factoring in the risk would be foolish. In each of the last two seasons, Chisholm has played exactly 112 games, flashing his power/speed upside posting a 25/17 line in 2018, and then 21/16 in 2019. However, his aggressive approach and below-average contact skills caused a 52 point drop in average from .272 to .220.
Those contact skills and his approach are going to determine just how big of an offensive asset Chisholm develops into. Yes, you can say that about every prospect, but it feels more prominent here with Chisholm. His plus power and above-average speed are immediately noticeable when watching him play, but he’s going to need to improve at the plate if he wants to tap into those tools consistently enough.
One encouraging thing we can take from last season was that Chisholm’s walk rate rose to 11.4%. But on the other hand, he still struck out 32.1% of the time, up from 29.7% in 2018. Chisholm’s swing, while long at times due to a deeper hand load, generates plenty of natural loft due to his lower hand slot and uppercut swing path through the zone. This has resulted in consistently high flyball and line-drive rates. Ultimately, there’s 30/20 upside down the road, but I’m not entirely confident in Chisholm reaching that level with his swing and miss tendencies and below-average contact skills.
2. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, AAA, 21
When it comes to pure stuff, Sixto Sanchez is one of the filthiest pitching prospects in baseball. His arsenal consists of a double-plus fastball in the mid to upper-90’s with strong armside run, an easy plus changeup, and a slider that flashes plus or better as well. He’ll even turn that 4-seamer over into a 2-seamer with heavy sink that induces plenty of weak contact into the ground. And as electric as his fastball is, his changeup might be even better, thrown with plenty of velocity separation off his fastball and strong, late fade and drop at the plate.
— Chris Blessing (@C_Blessing) June 16, 2019
When all three of those pitches are working, Sixto can carve up any lineup put before him. As impressive as all three pitches are, they’re made even more effective due to Sanchez’s above-average to plus command and control. He’s done a great job limiting walks throughout his professional career and has steadily improved as a pitcher, proving that he’s more than just a thrower.
The biggest concern to date with Sixto has been health and durability. This isn’t anything new either as these concerns were there dating back to his days in the Phillies system before coming to Miami as the key piece in the JT Realmuto trade. Elbow inflammation in his throwing arm limited him to just eight starts in 2018 and added an element of risk to his profile. Luckily, pitching 20 starts without any complications or setbacks seem to have alleviated that risk for now. Sixto possesses borderline ace upside due to his command and dynamic arsenal and isn’t far off from making his Major League debut either. And if he can start missing more bats, the sky is the limit.
3. J.J. Bleday, OF, A+, 22
While he might be the most boring of this top-4, JJ Bleday sure is the safest bet for Major League production, at least for position prospects in this system. The #4 overall pick in the 2019 draft was arguably one of the most advanced and polished bats in the class and might be the first of the bunch to make it to the Major Leagues. After a dominant final season at Vanderbilt that saw his raw power finally translate to in-game power, Bleday didn’t necessarily set the Class-A Advanced Florida State League on fire in his 38 games at the level, but this is a middle of the order bat in the making with a higher floor than most.
That JJ Bleday swing looks twice as good in half the speed. pic.twitter.com/2sHHXbPJ6I
— Jupiter Hammerheads (@GoHammerheads) January 17, 2020
While he’s a below-average runner with minimal stolen base upside, Bleday is an advanced bat at the plate with the potential to hit for both average and power. His swing is quick from the left side with a higher hand slot through load creating a nice whip through the strike zone. Mechanically he’s fairly sound without a lot of extra moving parts and Bleday transfers his weight well and will incorporate his lower half into his swing without the use of a bigger leg kick. There’s some nice natural loft in his swing, especially to his pull side, but Bleday has also shown that he can use the entire field to his advantage. With above-average contact skills, a sound plate approach, and plus power, Bleday should find himself in the middle of the Marlins order sooner rather than later.
4. Jesus Sanchez, OF, AAA, 22
Despite finding some moderate success as a professional, doesn’t it seem like Jesus Sanchez has underperformed expectations? Maybe that’s our fault for putting those expectations on him, but with his skill set, I don’t believe the expectations were necessarily unjustified. When you watch Sanchez play, it doesn’t take long to recognize his size, strength, and athleticism. He’s not the fastest guy around in general, but possesses at least average speed on the bases and in the outfield which should translate into some double-digit steal seasons in the Majors.
At the plate, his raw tools are impressive but have been limited. Sanchez has shown above-average contact skills and plus power, but his aggressive approach has limited that in-game power quite a bit throughout his professional career. His contact skills have allowed him to keep his strikeouts in check (18.3% career), but his inability to work the count and wait for a pitch to drive has really but a cap on his power. In addition, a higher groundball rate hasn’t helped the matter either.
Still, the raw tools are here for Sanchez to develop into an above-average offensive outfielder at the Major League level. His plus bat speed and ability to barrel up pitches are very apparent and paired with his raw power could translate into 25-plus homers if his approach improves at the plate. Sanchez’s walk rate did jump from 5.3% in 2018 to 8.4% in 2019, and he’s still only 22 years old with time to figure it out. Maybe a change of scenery in the Marlins system will give him a kick in the pants.
5. Edward Cabrera, RHP, AA, 22
Remember when I said how nasty Sixto Sanchez is? Well, Edward Cabrera isn’t far off. The big 6’4 right-hander made great strides in 2019, trimming his walk rate, missing more bats, and really evolving from a thrower to a more complete pitcher. He thrived in his first tastes of the High-A Florida State League and Double-A Southern League, combining for a 2.23 ERA and 10.8 K/9 across 96.2 innings.
Like Sanchez, Cabrera boasts three pitches that flash plus or better on any given night, highlighted by his electric fastball that sits in the mid-90’s and can tough 99-100 at times with heavy life. Cabrera will also mix in a slider and changeup, both of which project as above-average to plus offerings, especially now that Cabrera has improved his command of each offering. If he can continue and build on these gains, Cabrera has the potential to develop into a formidable #2 behind Sanchez before too long. If you’re looking for someone with nearly as much upside as Sixto without as lofty of a price tag, Cabrera is your guy.
6. Monte Harrison, OF, AAA, 24
Everyone seems to love a good comparison, so let’s start with one here. Monte Harrison looks like a poor man’s Luis Robert to me. He’s shown a tasty power/speed blend that isn’t quite on Robert’s level and also shares some of the same approach concerns as the White Sox phenom. Again, while both have a subpar approach, Harrison’s contact skills are a little lower than Robert’s and he’s also shown more swing and miss tendencies as well. But hey, not everyone is on Robert’s level. In fact, only a few prospects currently are.
When it comes to owning Harrison in dynasty leagues, you have to know what you’re getting your self into. Set reasonable expectations and you’ll likely be satisfied with your investment and might even find yourself pleasantly surprised. With his contact skills and approach, Harrison is going to experience high peaks and even lower valleys. We’ve already seen that from him in the minors where he’ll dominate for a few weeks and then look like he doesn’t belong at the level for a month when he’s swinging at everything. Just take a look at his 2018 splits.
It’s hard to be consistent when you have a 33.6% strikeout rate or higher every month with two months above 40%. That line you see in June is something you’ll likely see again in the future, more than once. Thankfully his three homers and 10 steals made that month not a total disaster. Harrison did get that strikeout rate below 30% (barely) in 2019, but wrist surgery cost him around half of the season, halting any progress he was making. With above-average power and plus speed, there’s a legit shot at some 25/30 seasons at peak for Harrison, but he’s going to need to improve his plate approach to fully reach his potential.
7. Kameron Misner, OF, A, 22
We’re not seven prospects into this Marlins top-25 and this will be the third enticing power/speed threat with questions surrounding his ability to make contact and hit for a respectable batting average. Misner, the Marlins 2nd selection in the 2019 draft (#35 overall), stands in a 6’4/220 with easy plus raw power from the left side. Although his upper half looks rather rigid, especially his arms, Misner generates plus bat speed and plenty of torque in his swing thanks to his strong hips and lower half. Over a full season, 30-plus homers are a distinct possibility, especially if he can consistently drive the ball in the air to his pull side. That’s where Misner is at his best.
In addition to that beautiful power potential, Misner was a successful basestealer in college as well, swiping 50 bags in 63 attempts. His raw speed grades as above-average now, but will likely settle in as average longterm as he matures. Even then, his ability to add double-digit steals to his power output adds another element to his offensive profile that makes him an attractive target in dynasty leagues. And unlike Chisholm and Harrison above, Misner doesn’t have egregious swing and miss concerns. In fact, he’s managed to keep his strikeouts in the 20-22% range while consistently posting strong walk rates around 15-16% both in college and the minors last season. So even if Misner’s contact skills remain below average, his ability to draw walks gives him an added boost in OBP formarts
8. Peyton Burdick, OF, A, 23
One of the most pleasant surprises in the 2019 draft class was Peyton Burdick. The 3rd round pick hit the ground running after the draft, slashing .308/.407/.542 with 20 doubles, 11 home runs, and seven steals (in 14 attempts) in 69 games, most of which came in the Single-A Midwest League. I’d be willing to bet if you compiled FYPD ADP data from drafts held in June/July and then compared it to ADP data from drafts that happened after the conclusion of the 2019 season, Burdick’s name would be around 50 spots higher in offseason drafts. That’s how much his stock has taken off following his impressive debut.
At 6’0/215, Burdick isn’t the biggest guy around, but packs a ton of power and strength in that frame. From the right side, Burdick has displayed plus raw power with a swing that generates natural loft. While his power is his calling card, he’s far from an all or nothing hitter. Burdick possesses at least average contact skills and has a good feel for the strike zone. For me, he projects as a 50-hit, 60-power, 45/50-speed outfielder with .260+/25/10 upside at peak.
9. Lewin Diaz, 1B, AA, 23
In three of the last four seasons, Lewin Diaz has been pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. The only season not included there was 2018 when he hit .224 with six homers in 79 games in the Class-A Advanced Florida State League. That showing caused him to fall off the map in most dynasty leagues, creating a massive buy-low window. If you capitalized on that, congratulations. But with that being said, I’m still a tad lower than most when it comes to Diaz moving forward. Here’s why.
Firstly, there’s no denying the raw power here. Diaz possesses easy plus raw power, bordering on double-plus, and has a swing that is geared to take advantage of that. Diaz consistently elevates the ball to his pull side and recorded one of the top estimated flyball distances below Triple-A last season at 311.5 feet. He’s also shown at least average contact skills and has never struck out much throughout his professional career. But what I’m not buying into is his aggressive approach.
After walking at a solid clip in rookie ball back in 2014 and 2015, Diaz’s walk rate has settled into the 6-7% range for the most part, even plummeting to 3.2% in 2018. That ticked up to 7.1% in 2019, but I’d love to see him remain more patient at the dish and wait for good pitches to drive before ranking him higher. With this approach, I’m not sure we ever see more than the 27 homers he hit last season.
10. Braxton Garrett, LHP, AA, 22
After being selected 7th overall in the 2016 draft, Braxton Garrett only snuck in four starts before needing to undergo Tommy John surgery which cost him the entire 2018 season. He returned in 2019 full force, however, posting a 3.54 ERA and 10.0 K/9 across 21 starts, with 20 of those coming at high-A. That missed season has suppressed Garrett’s value a bit across dynasty leagues, but I’m still buying wherever I can.
Garrett features a 3-pitch arsenal with a plus or better curveball leading the way. The pitch features a ton of depth and is used as his main out pitch. His 4-seamer will sit around 91-94 with a nice downhill frame thanks to his higher 3/4 arm slot and 6’3 frame, and Garrett will also turn that over into a 2-seamer with hard bore that he really only began throwing consistently in 2019. Rounding things out is an average changeup that will flash above-average with nice fading action. Garrett’s above-average command helps his entire arsenal play up and give Garrett a nice floor to build off of to go with his #3 starter upside.
11. Jose Salas, SS, RK, 17
The Marlins biggest signing of the 2019 international class was Venezuelan shortstop, Jose Salas. Even though Salas signed out of Venezuela, he’s spent most of his life living in Florida and is accustomed to playing in the states already which should be greatly beneficial to him in the early stages of his professional career. At a listed 6’1/150 currently, Salas has already flashed some sneaky-good raw power with plus bat speed from both sides of the plate. You gotta assume he adds some bulk and power to that frame too as he develops physically.
With his contact skills and feel for the barrel, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re looking at a 55-hit, 55-power shortstop down the road. Will that be at shortstop is the real question. Salas possesses borderline plus speed that should still grade as 50 or 55 with added bulk but I’m wondering if he just outgrows shortstop altogether. If he does, he has the bat and arm to profile just fine at the hot corner.
12. Jose Devers, SS, A+, 20
Signed by the Yankees for $250K back in 2016, Jose Devers might possess the best combination of hit and speed in this entire Marlins system. But while you have to love that combination, his complete lack of power has kept him from climbing too highly on prospect rankings.
The sweet sweet sound of Jose Devers hitting a baseball pic.twitter.com/NrUYxftXdx
— Jupiter Hammerheads (@GoHammerheads) January 15, 2020
This is 100% a hit over power profile. Devers has a very slight frame especially in his lower half and his swing, while quick, is linear through the zone. He’s shown close to plus contact skills with the ability to use the entire field well and keep his strikeout rate low, but at the same time, Devers hasn’t walked a ton as a professional. If he learned to work the count a bit more and increase that walk rate, Devers should find himself atop Miami’s lineup down the road where he can put his plus speed on full display as well.
Even with a very limited power ceiling, Devers is still a nice dynasty target due to his .290/25 potential and ability to remain at shortstop longterm.
13. Connor Scott, OF, A+, 20
When Connor Scott, a Florida prep outfielder was selected 13th overall by the Miami Marlins in the 2018 draft, the expectations for the lanky lefty were very high due to the Kyle Tucker comparisons that were put on him. Those comps weren’t outlandish either due to the similar builds and the fact that they came from the same high school in Tampa Bay. But ever since that draft two years ago, Scott has mostly struggled, pushing the Tucker comps out of people’s minds.
First of all, Scott doesn’t nearly have the power Tucker has. I’m not even sure he ever did. Despite his 6’4 size, Scott doesn’t have much bulk on that frame and hasn’t really added any as a professional either. He’s highly athletic with borderline plus speed, but even there, Scott has only converted on 64% of his 50 attempts as a professional. There’s also an issue with making consistent contact. He doesn’t strike out at an alarming clip, but Scott has yet to display even average contact skills and tends to get out on his front foot early. His swing can get a bit long as well.
I’m still holding out hope that he can improve his contact skills and add bulk/power to his frame, but right now, Scott isn’t more than a deep dynasty target.
14. Trevor Rogers, LHP, AA, 22
Some would say it’s hard to argue with results. When a prospect like Taylor Rogers, drafted 13th overall in 2017, posts a 2.90 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 9.9 K/9 across 23 starts in 2019, that’s a pretty productive season at the surface. No doubt about that. But it’s the fact that Rogers hasn’t really developed his secondary offerings or added bulk to his Chris Sale type of frame that keeps me from ranking him higher. And speaking of Sale, Rogers has a similar delivery with a lower 3/4 arm slot from the left side. That’s where the similarities end, however.
Unlike Sale, Rogers fastball sits in the low-90’s, topping out around 93-94 and I wouldn’t consider any of his secondary offerings to be plus. Both his changeup and curveball are merely average offerings that he hasn’t developed since turning pro. One positive note is that Rogers added a cutter last season which shows promise, but unless he adds velocity and/or develops his secondary offerings more, he projects as a #4 type of starter for me.
15. Jerar Encarnacion, OF, A+, 22
Signed way back in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic, Jerar Encarnacion has seen his prospect stock rise after a breakout 2019 season. The now 22-year-old outfielder slashed .276/.331/.425 with 26 doubles, 16 homers, and six steals in 135 games split between the Single-A Midwest League and the Class-A Advanced Florida State League. However, when you look deeper, his underlying metrics remained similar to previous seasons. So did he really break out or was it just due to finally stringing together a full season of at-bats?
In all reality, it’s a little of both. Encarnacion has always possessed plus power potential, but it’s hard to put any tools on display in short bursts. But while Encarnacion’s raw power is plus or better, a groundball heavy approach has limited how much of that power has translated into games. This is also a power over hit profile with a below-average hit tool and plate approach. At peak, Encarnacion could be an annual 25-homer bat, but one that likely will hit lower in the order.
16. Sterling Sharp, RHP, AA, 25
Sterling Sharp is a prospect I want to rank higher, but just can’t bring myself to do so. While he’s steadily improved as a professional and possesses some decent upside, his inability to consistently miss bats has kept me from ranking him higher. He’s also going to be 25 in a few days (5/30) and has yet to make it to Triple-A. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but we’re not talking about some young, moldable prospect here. But with that said, Sharp came to the Marlins from the Nationals via the 3rd overall pick in the most recent Rule-5 draft so we’re going to see him in Miami this season, most likely in a long relief role in the bullpen.
Sharp in the bullpen has very minimal to no value as he doesn’t have the arsenal to thrive in a high-leverage role. His low-90’s sinking fastball and plus changeup are a nice combination, but Sharp has struggled to develop his slider into a weapon, or even an average Major League breaking ball. His plus command helps, but I can’t see Sharp developing into anything more than a swingman or back-end starter at this point.
17. Nasim Nunez, SS, A-, 19
A 2nd round pick last June, Nasim Nunez is somewhat similar to Jose Devers in the hit/speed over power mold. Nunez actually might be the fastest player in this top-25 with borderline 70-grade speed. He wasted absolutely no time putting that speed on full display after the draft either, swiping 28 bags in 48 Gulf Coast League games while only getting caught twice. Another area Nunez impressed in was his plate approach, posting a robust 15.5% walk rate against a respectable 21.2% strikeout rate. That walk rate kept salvaged his OBP despite sitting right at the Mendoza line and allowed him to get on base enough to utilize his blazing speed.
Now, moving forward, I’m expecting Nunez to hit for a much better average. He doesn’t quite have the contact skills to match Devers, but Nunez has shown a good feel for hitting from both sides of the plate, especially from the right side with an all-fields approach. That approach is also groundball heavy, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing with Nunez’s speed. If you can stomach the utter lack of power, Nunez could turn into a .260 hitter that is capable of stealing 30-plus bases annually. He’s also a very good athlete with a strong arm that is more than capable of remaining at shortstop if the Marlins decide to make him their longterm shortstop.
18. Nick Neidert, RHP, AAA, 23
If safe, back-end starters are your type for some reason, then Nick Neidert is the prospect for you. Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 2nd round way back in 2015, Neidert has had a moderately successful professional career, but one that is far from inspiring from a fantasy standpoint. Through his first 94 starts, Neidert has posted a 8.1 K/9 and sat at just 7.7 last season. I’m not optimistic that he starts missing more bats either. Neidert’s plus command and control allows him to pound the strike zone with his four-pitch arsenal, but none of the four are big swing and miss pitches.
Neidert sits in the low-90’s with his fastball with some solid armside run and sink out of a 3/4 arm slot and gets plenty of extension in his delivery which is smooth and repeatable. He added a slider to his repertoire recently and that has already flashed more potential than his lackluster curveball. Last but not least is a low-80’s changeup with plenty of fading action that might just be Neidert’s best offering overall. This is a workhorse back-end starter profile and maybe a #3/#4 starter if he can develop the slider more.
19. Victor Mesa Jr, OF, RK, 18
Who would’ve thought that the younger Victor Mesa would wind up being the better dynasty option? I mean, it wasn’t like there wasn’t any intrigue surrounding Victor Mesa Jr when he signed with his big brother in September of 2018, but not much was known about him at the time. Big bro bests little bro in the defense and speed departments, however, Mesa Jr is no slouch there and is the superior hitter by a decent margin in my opinion.
From the left side, Mesa makes plenty of loud contact, but his swing process could still use some refinement Mesa uses a bigger load than most and that can cause his swing to get a tad long at times. Once he gets moving forward, his quick hands allow him to whip the bat head through the zone, but shortening his swing will be key moving forward. In general, Mesa has the potential to develop into a 55-hit outfielder and maybe even grow into 50-power if he adds some bulk. His swing already generates some nice natural loft which is a good start. Mesa has also shown an advanced approach for his age which is always nice to see.
20. Osiris Johnson, SS, A, 19
Osiris Johnson was a difficult one for me to rank here. While he has a nice blend of skills on both sides of the ball, his upside is behind all the middle infielders ahead of him on this list. You also have to factor in the lost time in 2019 recovering from a stress fracture in his leg which cost him the entire season. Now with there likely being no minor league season in 2020, that will be two years of missed developmental time.
Johnson was the Marlins 2nd round pick in the 2018 draft and was aggressively promoted to the Single-A South Atlantic League for the last month of the 2018 season. As you can expect from a 17-year-old in full-season ball, Johnson struggled mightily, posting a .188/.205/.294 line and 34/1 BB/K ratio in 23 games. Even when he was excelling in rookie ball, his approach still wasn’t the greatest. Johnson’s approach is overly aggressive and I’m not sure he has the contact skills or power to back that up.
From what we’ve seen from Johnson so far, I can see a 50-hit, 50-power outcome down the road with maybe a tad more power if he adds bulk. There’s plenty of bat speed from the right side too. He’s one to keep an eye on but is only a deeper dynasty league target at the moment.
21. Junior Sanchez, SS, RK, 17
Oh look, another shortstop. While Jose Salas was Miami’s biggest grab in the 2019 J2 class, Junior Sanchez is noteworthy as well. The now 17-year-old Dominican shortstop doesn’t stand out in any one area yet, but has the chance to develop into a solid all-around shortstop that holds his own on both sides of the ball. If anything, he might even wind up as an above-average offensive contributor with the potential for 55-hit, 55-power down the road.
Sanchez has a quick left-handed swing and has shown the ability to barrel up and drive pitches. He’s already showing some sneaky raw power as well and has plenty of physical projection left on his frame. Only an average runner right now, he’ll likely lose a step as he matures, but the offensive potential here is worth monitoring moving forward.
22. Jorge Guzman, RHP, AA, 24
Future reliever alert. The more I see Jorge Guzman pitch, the more I believe he’s going to end up in Miami’s bullpen down the road. The reasoning behind that is very simple too. First off, Guzman’s fastball is a borderline double-plus pitch in the upper-90’s with plenty of movement. With that said, Guzman has consistently shown hiss struggles commanding the pitch and pounding the strike zone. Both his command and control grade out as below-average and his changeup isn’t much better.
What Guzman has working for him is that blazing fastball and a mid-80’s slider with sharp two-plane break that flashes plus at times. In the bullpen, I could easily see Guzman ditching his changeup and focusing solely on those two pitches. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he ends up closing out games at some point in the future.
23. Victor Victor Mesa, OF, AA, 23
In less than two years’ time, Victor Victor Mesa has gone from a highly touted Cuban outfielder that signed for $5.25M to one that projects as 4th outfielder. From what I’ve seen in live looks out in the AFL and in video, Mesa is an above-average defender with a strong arm. His borderline plus speed and athleticism allow him to cover a ton of ground in the outfield and led to 18 steals in 20 attempts on the basepaths as well. But outside of his defense and speed, Mesa is a massive work in progress at the plate.
Mesa hit a measly .235 in his professional debut with a 4.4% walk rate and a big goose egg in the home run column. The lack of power isn’t a total surprise as Mesa has always had a hit over power profile, but the contact skills and absolutely zero power have quieted most of the Mesa supporters. While I still think there’s a chance for 50-hit, 55-speed here, that’s likely Mesa’s ceiling.
24. Humberto Mejia, RHP, A+, 23
You would think someone signed way back in 2013 would have progressed passed the Class-A Advanced Florida State League by now. Nope, not Humberto Mejia. Various shoulder injuries have cost him around two years of developmental time, including the entire 2017 season. When the 6’3 Panama native has been on the mound, however, he’s pitched to moderate success, including a 2.09 ERA last season.
While his arsenal doesn’t blow anyone away, Mejia projects to have three pitches grade as Major league average or better with his big breaking curveball and low-90’s riding fastball leading the way. He’ll also mix in a changeup that is behind the other two offerings, but still should be a serviceable third offering for him. Add in his above-average command and control and Mejia has a chance to stick in the rotation longterm.
25. Diowill Burgos, OF
Originally signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017, the Miami Marlins acquired Diowill Burgos in exchange for Austin Dean late in 2019 and 2020 would’ve been his debut in the Miami system but that will have to wait. Following a lackluster professional debut in 2018, Burgos thrived in 2019, slashing .316/.420/.579 with 16 doubles, 11 home runs, and eight steals in 58 games, although, most of that damage was done in the DSL before his mid-season promotion to the more advanced GCL.
Burgos possesses intriguing offensive upside with the potential to hit for both average and power especially if he takes advantage of the projection left on his frame and adds more bulk. Peak Burgos could look be in the area of a 50-hit, 55-power, 45-speed outfielder, but he’s far from a finished product. it’s great to see him walk so much at a young age, but Burgos will need to cut down on his swing and miss tendencies moving forward. He’s one to keep an eye on, but not target quite yet in dynasty leagues.
Others of Note
Evan Edwards, 1B: The Marlins 4th round pick in 2019 is a sneaky-good prospect in this system that could rise up rankings if he continues to show that he can hit for both average and power with a decent approach.
Evan Fitterer, RHP: Really wanted to include Fitterer above. The 19-year-old right-hander has #4 starter potential thanks to four potential Major League average or better offerings and solid command.
Jordan Holloway, RHP: Big fastball, big curveball, shotty command and control. Holloway is way to wild but has the FB/CB combination to pitch in high-leverage situations if he can somehow reign it all in.
Thomas Jones, OF: Nice little power/speed blend but is a work in progress at the plate with a well below-average approach.
Media Credit: Jupiter Hammerheads, Baseball-Reference, John Byrum/Icon Sportswire, Chris Blessing.
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