Miami Marlins 2020 Midseason Top 30 Prospects Update
STATE OF THE SYSTEM
The Marlins have bulked up their organization through high draft picks—Braxton Garrett, JJ Bleday, Max Meyer, etc.—and trades for prospects—Sixto Sanchez, Jesus Sanchez, Jazz Chisholm, Monte Harrison, Lewin Diaz among others—while creating a balanced depth chart with skilled pitchers and quality bats at almost every position. Most of the team’s top prospects are just a year away from making meaningful contributions in the big leagues and could form the core of a playoff contender in the next few years.
1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP
In 2019, Sanchez ranked as the top pitching prospect in the Southern League on the strength of his three-pitch arsenal—a double-plus, upper-90s fastball, power slider and a changeup with sink—but is likely a year away from becoming a mainstay in the Marlins’ rotation even though he was included in the team’s player pool.
2. JJ Bleday, OF
The 2019 No. 4 overall pick has impressed as an inclusion in the Marlins’ player pool with an advanced approach, an easy lefthanded swing and plus power while profiling as an above-average defender in a corner-outfield spot, but has yet to play above high Class A and will likely not make his major league debut until next season.
3. Max Meyer, RHP
The first pitcher taken in the 2020 draft, Meyer combines athleticism with explosiveness, which manifest themselves through two 70-grade offerings in his fastball and slider. Even so, he has just half a season of full-time starting experience and will have to work on developing his changeup as a third pitch. Meyer will continue his development at the team’s alternate training site.
4. Jesus Sanchez, OF
With elite bat speed and hand-eye coordination to go with plus raw power, Sanchez packs a potent bat and above-average defense in right field. He could reach the majors this year despite some struggles at Triple-A in 2019.
5. Edward Cabrera, RHP
Another hard-throwing righty, the development of Cabrera’s curveball and changeup in 2019 elevated his ceiling and put him on a path as a mid-rotation starter who could join the big league rotation next season after making the team’s player pool.
6. Jazz Chisholm, SS
Acquired from the D-backs in the Zac Gallen trade, Chisholm has loud tools on both sides of the ball, led by plus power, above-average speed and above-average defense at shortstop, but he must clean up his approach and work on cutting down on his swing-and-miss issues at the Marlins’ alternate training site this summer.
7. Monte Harrison, OF
Harrison sharply cut down on his strikeout rate in 2019, but still displayed his impressive bat speed and plus raw power to go with plus speed and above-average defense in all three outfield spots. He could be among the first wave of Marlins’ prospects to reach the majors this season.
8. Lewin Diaz, 1B
A lefthanded hitter with plus raw power who finally tapped into that part of his game in 2019 with 27 home runs, Diaz also brings sound bat-to-ball skills and plus defense at first base. After making the Marlins’ player pool, Diaz could join Harrison in the majors late this season.
9. Braxton Garrett, LHP
Returning to the field in 2019 for the first time after Tommy John surgery, Garrett flummoxed high Class A hitters, showing a big-breaking plus curveball, a 92-95 mph fastball and an average changeup with above-average potential, Garrett will continue to build up his strength at the Marlins’ alternate training site this summer.
10. Daxton Fulton, LHP
One of the top prep pitchers in the 2020 class, Fulton was derailed by Tommy John surgery but has a ton of upside, cleaned up his delivery last summer and has the potential for three above-average pitches. He should return to the field in 2021.
11. Trevor Rogers, LHP
12. Connor Scott, OF
13. Kameron Misner, OF
14. Kyle Nicolas, RHP
15. Jose Devers, SS
16. Nick Neidert, RHP
17. Jorge Guzman, RHP
18. Zach McCambley, RHP
19. Victor Victor Mesa, OF
20. Jerar Encarnacion, OF
21. Peyton Burdick, OF
22. Nasim Nunez, SS
23. Will Banfield, C
24. Sterling Sharp, RHP
25. Jordan Holloway, RHP
26. Victor Mesa Jr., OF
27. Jose Salas, SS
28. Evan Fitterer, RHP
29. Osiris Johnson, SS
30. Jake Eder, LHP
With hard-throwing hurlers and outfielders with some pop, the Marlins have those positions locked down. Sixto Sanchez, Meyer and Cabrera should lead the team’s rotation in two years, while Bleday, Jesus Sanchez and Harrison could form the team’s 2022 starting outfield with Connor Scott and Kameron Misner providing skill off the bench.
After trading perhaps the most well-rounded catcher in baseball in JT Realmuto, the system currently lacks premium catching prospects, with No. 22 prospect Will Banfield serving as the only Top 30 prospect who plays the position. The Marlins also lack corner infielders with pop outside of Diaz.
PLAYER POOL TIDBITS
The Marlins were one of the more aggressive organizations in putting their top prospects in their player pool. The team included 10 of its top 11 prospects, the only omission being LHP Daxton Fulton, who had Tommy John surgery in the last year. No. 15 prospect Jose Devers was also included and flashed the toolsy upside he brings when on the field.
LHP Daxton Fulton had Tommy John surgery that ended his high school career, but should be ready to return to the mound in 2021.