Florida Marlins: Top 10 Prospects

Florida Marlins





Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2009.

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TOP TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Mike Stanton, of
2. Logan Morrison, 1b
3. Chad James, lhp
4. Matt Dominguez, 3b
5. Gaby Sanchez, 1b/3b
6. Ryan Tucker, rhp
7. Kyle Skipworth, c
8. Isaac Galloway, of
9. Scott Cousins, of
10. Jhan Marinez, rhp
BEST
TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Logan Morrison
Best Power Hitter Mike Stanton
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Logan Morrison
Fastest Baserunner Marquise Cooper
Best Athlete Mike Stanton
Best Fastball Jhan Marinez
Best Curveball Brad Hand
Best Slider Daniel Jennings
Best Changeup Chad James
Best Control Elih Villanueva
Best Defensive Catcher Brett Hayes
Best Defensive Infielder Matt Dominguez
Best Infield Arm Matt Dominguez
Best Defensive Outfielder Scott Cousins
Best Outfield Arm Marcell Ozuna
PROJECTED 2012
LINEUP
Catcher Kyle Skipworth
First Base Logan Morrison
Second Base Chris Coghlan
Third Base Dan Uggla
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez
Left Field Isaac Galloway
Center Field Cameron Maybin
Right Field Mike Stanton
No. 1 Starter Josh Johnson
No. 2 Starter Chad James
No. 3 Starter Ricky Nolasco
No. 4 Starter Chris Volstad
No. 5 Starter Sean West
Closer Ryan Tucker
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Position 2009
2000 A.J. Burnett, rhp Yankees
2001 Josh Beckett, rhp Red Sox
2002 Josh Beckett, rhp Red Sox
2003 Miguel Cabrera, 3b Tigers
2004 Jeremy Hermida, of Marlins
2005 Jeremy Hermida, of Marlins
2006 Jeremy Hermida, of Marlins
2007 Chris Volstad, rhp Marlins
2008 Cameron Maybin, of Marlins
2009 Cameron Maybin, of Marlins
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Position 2009
2000 Adrian Gonzalez, 1b Padres
2001 Garrett Berger, rhp
(2nd round)
Out of baseball
2002 Jeremy Hermida, of Marlins
2003 Jeff Allison, rhp Marlins
2004 Taylor Tankersley, rhp Marlins
2005 Chris Volstad, rhp Marlins
2006 Brett Sinkbeil, rhp Marlins
2007 Matt Dominguez, 3b Marlins
2008 Kyle Skipworth, c Marlins
2009 Chad James, rhp Marlins
LARGEST BONUSES
IN CLUB HISTORY
Josh Beckett, 1999 $3,625,000
Adrian Gonzalez, 2000 $3,000,000
Livan Hernandez, 1996 $2,500,000
Kyle Skipworth, 2008 $2,300,000
Jason Stokes, 2000 $2,027,000
MARLINS
LINKS
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2009 Draft: Marlins (Basic Database)
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Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects
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Florida Marlins

At long last, after 16 years and countless failed attempts under three different ownership groups, the Marlins finally won approval for a publicly-funded, baseball-only stadium in South Florida. They broke ground in July.

Scheduled to open in 2012 in Miami's Little Havana section, the $541 million park will feature a retractable roof and seat 37,000. More importantly, the stadium will get the Marlins out from perhaps the most one-sided lease in pro sports. It should also allow owner Jeffrey Loria to sink a little more money into his team's payroll, which annually ranks at or near the bottom of the major leagues.

That was the case again in 2009, as the Marlins spent just $37 million on player salaries, last in the majors. Yet they again managed to chase the National League wild card until the season's final week.

Shortstop Hanley Ramirez, just getting started on a contract that runs through 2014, enjoyed his best all-around season en route to the first batting title in franchise history. Josh Johnson, one of several homegrown Marlins to come through the system, went 15-5 and moved closer to a big-time payday once he reaches free agency after the 2011 season.

Finishing with 87 wins, the third-most in franchise history, Florida registered its second straight winning season under manager Fredi Gonzalez. Despite this achievement, Gonzalez still had to hear rumors that had the Marlins considering a switch to Bobby Valentine before the organization finally came back to its senses and stayed the course.

Florida's success came after another round of offseason trades shed the salaries of Mike Jacobs (to the Royals), and Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham (to the Nationals). Among other players, those deals netted Emilio Bonifacio, who played five positions and became the regular third baseman, and Leo Nunez, who moved into the closer role after Matt Lindstrom faltered at midseason.

The farm system once again paid dividends, even with top prospect Cameron Maybin flopping in an attempt to secure the center-field job. His strong work at Triple-A New Orleans and during his September callup gave the Marlins hope he'll stay for good in 2010. Sean West came up in May, made 20 solid starts and laid his claim to a permanent spot in the rotation.

But the best work, by far, came from Chris Coghlan, who not only jumped into the leadoff spot for the first time since high school but also made the move from second base to left field in seamless fashion. Coghlan batted .321, including .373 after the all-star break, to state his candidacy for NL Rookie of the Year.

In the minors, Marlins affiliates posted a combined 350-341 (.507) record. Just two of the six clubs posted winning records, but those two were Double-A Jacksonville, which won the Southern League championship, and the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Marlins, who rolled to a .691 winning percentage. Top prospects such as right fielder Mike Stanton, first baseman Logan Morrison and third baseman Matt Dominguez continued their progress toward an eventual place in Miami.

After focusing on position players in the past several drafts, the Marlins went for pitching with three of their top four picks in 2009. Their top choice (18th overall) was Oklahoma high school lefthander Chad James, who signed for $1.7 million and immediately became their best pitching prospect.

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