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2017 Miami Marlins Midseason Top 10 Prospects



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Marlins Midseason Top 10
1. Trevor Rogers, LHP
2. Braxton Garrett, LHP
3. Brian Anderson, 3B
4. Brayan Hernandez, OF
5. James Nelson, 3B
6. Tyler Kolek, RHP
7. Dillon Peters, LHP
8. Brian Miller, OF
9. Joe Dunand, SS
10. Edward Cabrera, RHP
As usual for the Marlins, it’s the off-field issues that dominate headlines rather than play on the field, despite terrific first halves from Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Bour and a reborn Marcell Ozuna (.949 OPS).

The team is mired in another mediocre or worse season, but reports of a sale have been circulating since the spring, when a group led by Derek Jeter and former GOP presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush seemingly won an auction with a $1.3 billion bid. In the intervening months it appears those reports were at least premature, if not completely erroneous, as Bush has apparently dropped out of the Jeter group while the future Hall of Famer seeks other financial backing.

All of that has overshadowed a disappointing season for the Marlins, who have one of MLB’s most productive outfields and a solid bullpen, but little else. A left elbow injury sidelined Wei-Yin Chen, while Adam Conley and Tom Koehler struggled so much they were demoted. The Marlins’ rotation has a 5.07 ERA, third-worst in the majors.

As a result, Miami is again a seller as the deadline nears. They traded shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays in June for two prospects and on July 20 shipped reliever David Phelps to the Mariners for four prospects.

The Marlins do have other players that entice contenders, such relievers like Kyle Barraclough and A.J. Ramos, veteran starters Dan Straily and Edinson Volquez, third baseman Martin Prado and first baseman Bour.

There has been some buzz about the availability of Stanton, but his contract has $295 million remaining, making even a player of his stature almost untradeable.


1. Trevor Rogers, LHP Not Yet Assigned Age: 19

As they did in 2016, the Marlins selected a high school lefthander with their first-round pick. And like 2016 first-rounder Braxton Garrett, the Marlins liked Rogers because of his polish and poise, and because he sees no need to overthrow. They also like his makeup and have familiarity with him because he is a cousin of former Marlins outfielder Cody Ross. Rogers is a strike-thrower with an efficient delivery and a loose, live arm. He sits comfortably at 90-93 mph but can dial it up to 97 if he needs it. Rogers uses a low three-quarters arm slot that gives him deception. He also shows a slider with a 10-to-4 shape and is working on a changeup. At 19, he is old for his class and did dominate against inferior high school competition in New Mexico. Rogers has yet to pitch, but the Marlins say there is no injury, only that they are building him up to pitch after he took time off following his prep season.


2. Braxton Garrett, LHP Low Class A Greensboro Age: 19

Garrett signed late last summer and didn’t get on a mound until a brief stint in instructional league, sparking rumors he was hurt. The Marlins said they were simply being careful after his spring workload. When he finally got on a mound in May, his fastball sat 90-92 mph and he showcased the curveball scouts called the second-best breaking pitch in the 2016 draft class. Unfortunately, after four starts Garrett sustained a partial ulnar collateral ligament tear in his left elbow and had Tommy John surgery in June. The team hopes he can return late in 2018.


3. Brian Anderson, 3B Double-A Jacksonville Age: 24

Anderson built on an excellent Arizona Fall League stint with his most consistent offense performance to date. He’s already surpassed his career high in homers and is showing improved control of the strike zone. His swing is simple and compact and he’s learned to leverage it for power. At third base, he’s showing improved footwork and his arm gets plus grades.


4. Brayan Hernandez, OF Not Yet Assigned Age: 19

Hernandez was one of the Mariners top prospects when the Marlins acquired him in the David Phelps trade. A plus runner with a plus arm who fits in center field, Hernandez abandoned switch-hitting and bats only from his natural right side now. The move allowed Hernandez to add strength and confidence to impact the ball, and make him a promising all-around prospect.


5. James Nelson, 3b Low Class A Greensboro Age: 19

Drafted in the 15th round from Cisco (Texas) JC, the Marlins believe they got a steal in the amateur shortstop. Nelson has a smooth righthanded swing that stays in the zone a long time with a low bat path. The Marlins believe he has more power in the tank that will manifest as he matures, and he is showing sound good footwork and above-average arm strength as he acclimates to third base.


6. Tyler Kolek, RHP Rookie-level GCL Marlins Age: 21

Kolek struggled through his first two pro seasons, not holding the premium velocity that got him drafted No. 2 overall in 2014, and then had Tommy John surgery in April 2016. Kolek got back on the mound this summer and started a rehab assignment in the GCL on July 20.


7. Dillon Peters, LHP Double-A Jacksonville Age: 24

Just 5-foot-9, Peters doesn’t have the projectability MLB teams crave but makes up for it in presence and toughness. Peters has a fastball that sits 92-94, a curveball that flashes above-average and a developing changeup. He fractured his left thumb on a comebacker in April but returned in July and looked strong, albeit with a limited pitch count.


8. Brian Miller, OF Low Class A Greensboro Age: 21

Miller went from walk-on at North Carolina to supplemental first-rounder, so hard work is the first tool in his bag. His best asset is his foot speed, which rates as at least plus, with some scouts pegging him at 70 on the 20-80 scale. Miller projects as a table-setter and has a good track record with wood bats. His defense is another positive, with solid-average range and instincts to stay in center field.


9. Joe Dunand, SS Low Class A Greensboro Age: 21

The 51st overall pick, better known as Alex Rodriguez’s nephew, was drafted as a shortstop, but fits a third base profile with power and defense. The Marlins are familiar with his game from his famous uncle as well as his time at Gulliver Schools in Pinecrest. He has an undisclosed injury but is expected to suit up for Greensboro.


10. Edward Cabrera, RHP Short-season Batavia Age: 19

Cabrera is ranked here for his potential, having not pitched much this season and pitching poorly when he has. At his best, the projectable righthander sits 92-93 mph with his fastball, with cut and run into righthanded hitters. His slider also flashes plus with good angle.


RISING

• OF Braxton Lee, acquired in the Hechavarria trade, leads the Double-A Southern League in batting and is showing the potential to be a center fielder with excellent defense and enough bat.

• RHP Trevor Richards, who was signed out of independent ball was 8-4, 2.33 at high Class A before he was promoted to Double-A. Richards has an above-average changeup and commands both sides of the plate with his 90-92 mph fastball.

• RHP Chad Smith, a 2016 11th-round pick from Ole Miss, has touched 100 mph and flashed a "devastating” slider, in the words of one evaluator.

• RHP Brandon Miller, acquired in the Phelps deal, has added a tick to his fastball and is throwing three pitches for strikes en route to an 8-3, 3.51 mark at low Class A Clinton (Mariners).

• 2016 12th-round RHP Mike King from Boston College gets high marks for intelligence, command and a power sinker that has touched 96.

• RHP Ben Meyer, a 29th-round pick from Minnesota, has seen his velocity tick up to 90-93 mph this season with a slider that can be a swing-and-miss pitch.

• RHP Marcus Crescentini, signed last June after he was cut by the Dodgers, has a high spin-rate slider that batters swing under. He’s striking out nearly 13 batters per nine innings.


FALLING

• OF Stone Garrett, the No. 9 prospect entering the season, struggled mightily in a move to high Class A with a .185 average and .515 OPS.

• C Roy Morales impressed with his defense and bat-to-ball skills, but was hit with an 80-game suspension after a positive test for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol.

• OF Thomas Jones is a super athlete but has been unable to turn tools into production at short-season Batavia.


HURTING

• Garrett is not only out this season but possibly all of 2018 too with a 12-15 month recovery timeline from Tommy John.

• Slick-fielding SS Garvis Lara showed some power in full-season ball, but was suspended for an undisclosed violation and then broke his right hand.


GRADUATING

• LHP Jarlin Garcia has found a home in the big league bullpen.

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• SS JT Riddle has taken over as the Marlins starting shortstop in place of Hechavarria.

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