Florida Marlins: Top 10 Prospects

Scouting reports for the Top 10 Prospects 
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Mike Berardino
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1. Chris Volstad, rhp
2. Brett Sinkbeil, rhp
3. Ryan Tucker, rhp
4. Sean West, lhp
5. Gaby Hernandez, rhp
6. Chris Coghlan, 2b
7. Matt Dominguez, 3b
8. Aaron Thompson
9. Mike Stanton, of
10. Gaby Sanchez, 1b
Best Hitter for Average Chris Coghlan
Best Power Hitter Mike Stanton
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Chris Coghlan
Fastest Baserunner John Raynor
Best Athlete Mike Stanton
Best Fastball Ryan Tucker
Best Curveball Gaby Hernandez
Best Slider Brett Sinkbeil
Best Changeup Aaron Thompson
Best Control Graham Taylor
Best Defensive Catcher Brett Hayes
Best Defensive Infielder Matt Dominguez
Best Infield Arm Robert Andino
Best Defensive Outfielder Scott Cousins
Best Outfield Arm Brett Carroll
Catcher Brett Hayes
First Base Miguel Cabrera
Second Base Chris Coghlan
Third Base Dan Uggla
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez
Left Field Josh Willingham
Center Field John Raynor
Right Field Jeremy Hermida
No. 1 Starter Dontrelle Willis
No. 2 Starter Anibal Sanchez
No. 3 Starter Chris Volstad
No. 4 Starter Brett Sinkbeil
No. 5 Starter Josh Johnson
Closer Ryan Tucker
Year Player, Position 2007
1998 Mark Kotsay, of Athletics
1999 A.J. Burnett, rhp Blue Jays
2000 A.J. Burnett, rhp Blue Jays
2001 Josh Beckett, rhp Red Sox
2002 Josh Beckett, rhp Red Sox
2003 Miguel Cabrera, 3b Marlins
2004 Jeremy Hermida, of Marlins
2005 Jeremy Hermida, of Marlins
2006 Jeremy Hermida, of Marlins
2007 Chris Volstad, rhp Marlins
Year Player, Position 2007
1998 Chip Ambres, of Mets
1999 Josh Beckett, rhp Red Sox
2000 Adrian Gonzalez, 1b Padres
2001 ^Garrett Berger, rhp Atlantic Lg.
2002 Jeremy Hermida, of Marlins
2003 Jeff Allison, rhp Marlins
2004 Taylor Tankersley, lhp Marlins
2005 Chris Volstad, rhp Marlins
2006 Brett Sinkbeil, rhp Marlins
2007 Matt Dominguez, 3b Marlins
^ Second round
Josh Beckett, 1999 $3,625,000
Adrian Gonzalez, 2000 $3,000,000
Livan Hernandez, 1996 $2,500,000
Jason Stokes, 2000 $2,027,000
Jeremy Hermida, 2002 $2,012,500
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Florida Marlins

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The Marlins continue their push for a new baseball-only stadium but haven’t let that fruitless pursuit interrupt their quest to stockpile young talent for the future.

While the major league club suffered through an injury-marred season under first-year manager Fredi Gonzalez, dropping to 71-92 and last place in the National League East for the first time in eight years, the top levels of the organization enjoyed rare stability. Owner Jeffrey Loria followed the disappointment of 2007 by locking up four key members of his baseball operations staff through 2015.

Loria promoted general manager Larry Beinfest to president of baseball operations, with assistant general manager Michael Hill moving up to the titular role of GM. Beinfest and Hill will retain the same basic duties, with the new titles merely an attempt to head off potential inquiries about future positions elsewhere. Player-personnel guru Dan Jennings and scouting-and-development czar Jim Fleming also received identical extensions as Florida doled out uncommon security to its leading baseball thinkers.

This was Loria’s way of letting his top advisers know he believes they’re on the right track, even if the results on the field in 2007 failed to show that. Despite fielding the majors’ second-lowest payroll at $32 million, the Marlins again boasted some of the top young talent in the game. Hanley Ramirez, in particular, built on the gains of his rookie-of-the-year season, putting himself in the same sentence as Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins for shortstop supremacy in the National League.

On draft day, the Marlins picked 12th and added a player who one day could play alongside Ramirez as Miguel Cabrera’s eventual successor: California prep third baseman Matt Dominguez. They signed Dominguez, who hails from Beinfest’s alma mater, Chatsworth (Calif.) High, for $1.8 million just before the Aug. 15 deadline.

It was the first time since taking Jeremy Hermida with the 11th overall selection in 2002 that Florida had gone away from its pitching-first approach to the draft. Scouting director Stan Meek called out names of position players with his first four selections, adding California prep outfielder Mike Stanton in the second round, Fresno CC catcher Jameson Smith in the third and UC Irvine outfielder Bryan Petersen in the fourth. Internationally, the Marlins proceeded cautiously amid stunning inflation but did sign Venezuelan shortstop Miguel Torres for $250,000.

The attempt to restock the organization with position talent seemed wise, especially considering the mound-heavy flavor of the Marlins’ Top 10 Prospects list. Their best five prospects and six of the top eight are pitchers. Four of those arms came from the first and supplemental first rounds of the 2005 draft: Chris Volstad (No. 1), Ryan Tucker (No. 3), Sean West (No. 4) and Aaron Thompson (No. 8).

In the minors, Florida again struggled to produce victories as many of its top prospects were pushed along or even promoted to the majors. The farm system produced a cumulative mark of 323-367 (.468), with no affiliate reaching the playoffs and only three managing winning records. That was a slight improvement over 2006, when the affiliates won at a .465 clip and just one topped the .500 mark.

Scouting reports for the Top 10 Prospects 
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