Miami Marlins 2022 Top 10 MLB Prospects Chat
Josh Norris: Hello, Fish Fans. Let us chat about the next to emerge from the realms of the deep waters of the Atlantic and onto the shores of Miami.
- Thanks for the chat. How close was Joe Mack to making the top 10? I know he struggled in his first time around in FCL, but did scouts see anything that was alarming about him?
Josh Norris: He should be in the next five guys (I have not written the complete 30). His not being in the Top 10 has less to do with his future/performance as it does the strength of the 10 as a whole. The group I ranked has great potential (especially on the mound), and I frankly did not expect to have Sixto Sanchez available for ranking come Handbook time.
- What is this heresy!? No Meyer in the 2025 rotation?
Josh Norris: Reader, I would react the same way if I were you. However, that is the result of the absurd level of young, controllable starting pitching the organization. Would it surprise me if Max Meyer were in the 2025 rotation, but there were way too many pitchers in the majors and minors for just five spots, so he got pushed out.
KB (New York):
- What is it about Peyton Burdick that ranks him ahead of Conine the conquerer, Jesus 'Strawberry' Sanchez, JJ Bleday and Kameron Misner in the power category?!
Josh Norris: Sanchez graduated from prospect land, so he did not count. As far as the other two, I'd say he's shown more consistent ability to get to his considerable raw juice. Also, his approach is geared to hit the daylights out of the ball (did you know baseballs have daylights now?) as often as possible.
Ken (Lakewood CA):
- Edward Cabrera listed as the closer. Did you just run out of room to list him as a SP or do you actually see him more as a RP?
Josh Norris: The former. I ran out of room in the rotation. As I addressed in the Meyer question, when the Marlins went shopping for young starting pitching, they did had too much in their cart to use the express checkout line. It's absolutely absurd.
Eric (Miami, FL):
- Hi Josh, you know what happened to Brady Allen? No games or at bats...injury? surgery? Thanks
Josh Norris: He hurt his elbow shortly after signing.
- What prospect most opened your eyes or surprised you as you were diving into this system?
Josh Norris: The easy answer is Eury Perez. His combination of height, stuff, results, age, athleticism and body control is just stupid. My favorite stat about him is that he pitched all of the 2021 season at 18 ... and will begin next season at 18 as well (for the first week). The upside on him is sky-high, and not just because he's 6-foot-8.
- Any details about Nasim Nuñez's injury? It kept him out for the final 2 months of the MiLB season and he wasn't part of Marlins fall development camp either.
Josh Norris: It sounds like it was some kind of back injury, if my notes are correct.
Jon KK (Elkhart, IN):
- Would Jake Eder have ranked higher had he not torn his elbow ligament? Would he have any "Best" tools among the Marlins pitching prospects if healthy? Too bad for the kid!
Josh Norris: Yes. He and Meyer probably would have been flipped. The reports all season were that Eder was a steal and he might be the best guy they got in that (admittedly short) draft.
Kyle Weatherly (Timmonsville, South Carolina):
- Which pitching prospect do you believe has the higher ceiling? Max Meyer or Eury Perez?
Josh Norris: Eury Perez. He has frontline starter potential. A lot of variables to control along the way, but dude has the potential to be a star. It cannot hurt his development to have the 6-foot-7 Sandy Alcantara in the system with him as well.
- What does a realistic development path for Dax Fulton look like? How close is he to cracking the top 10?
Josh Norris: He will be in the 11-15 range as well. He's going to use the offseason to focus on strengthening his lower half, and he'll also look to use next year to iron out command/control kinks. Some evaluators are concerned with his lack of athleticism too. Still, he's got a chance to be a rotation piece as well.
Jon KK (Elkhart, IN):
- If the Marlins list had been finalized after the AFL, would JJ Bleday have ranked a slot or two higher?
Josh Norris: Sweet mercy I don't even want to think about pushing this stuff that late! That said, probably not. The AFL is certainly the first extended flash of the real JJ Bleday that we've seen since he was drafted (there have been, of course, some unusual circumstances), but the atmosphere out here is usually geared toward hitters and the pitching this year is uniformly considered the worst its been in a while. As an example, the league as a whole is just 41 runs shy of reaching its total for all of the 2019 season, and we still have two weeks and change to go.
- Hey Josh - I know you don't single handedly cover all 30 franchises, but in terms of ceiling and floor, how would you compare Watson to some of the other HS SS's drafted (Lawlar, House, etc)? Thanks!
Josh Norris: I do not cover all 30 franchises, but Mr. Carlos Collazo does for the draft, so I pinged him on this one. Here's what he said. "If we’re looking at the top four elite shortstops of the class I think you could make a solid case that he’s at or near the top of the group in terms of overall ceiling and perhaps at the bottom in terms of floor. Just based on tools across the board + athleticism he would be either No. 1 or No. 2 depending on how you view Jordan Lawlar’s athleticism. Both Kahlil and Jordan are different tiers of runners than Brady House and Marcelo Mayer, which is probably the biggest separator for them. And then you could just give Kahlil an edge for being a lefthanded hitter if you wanted. Really, all four of these guys have loud toolsets though. I talked with scouts who viewed Watson as the best upside player in the class—period. At the same time, he has less track record on the showcase circuit and in travel ball than do Mayer/Lawlar/House and I think he also needs the most work refining his defensive play as well. It’s probably fair to say his high school competition wasn’t quite as strong as Mayer/Lawlar/House either. So those would be considerations that maybe make him a bit riskier—relative to the other three SSs at least. So, 1 or 2 in terms of pure upside and probably 4th in terms of floor when comparing these four is how I would do it."
Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware):
- What is the effect of the minor league contraction on the development of prospects generally, and are their any examples of the effect on specific Marlin players?
Josh Norris: The effect from the contraction was felt most at the lower levels, IMO (it's also really hard to parse how much of the early-season sloppiness was from the contraction leading to a mish-mash of players of varied ages and skills being bunched together and how much was because of the rust generated from the lack of a 2020 season). I think the effects were more acutely felt by teams whose talent was clustered toward the lower levels and/or those who had huge gluts of prospects at one position. In other words, if you system had three or four shortstop prospects, there would have to be a more creative structure of playing time/promotions in order to get them all the experience they needed while moving them up at a decent pace.
- Another tough year for Monte Harrison. Has the ship sailed on him making any MLB contribution?
Josh Norris: Given the way PD departments can work wonders these days, I wouldn't necessarily write off, well, anyone. That said, Harrison is unlikely to rank in the 30.
- Why are the Marlins so good at developing pitching? Or are they just that bad at developing hitting?
Josh Norris: They have a group of excellent scouts on the amateur, international and professional sides, and a player development group loaded to the gills with experience. They also take really talented players in the first place.
Kevin (Jupiter, Florida):
- Give us 2-3 sleeper prospects? Guys who won't be in top 30 list but can shoot up list in 2022
Josh Norris: The guys who might fit that role are Bennett Hostetler, their 21st rounder this past draft out of North Dakota State who really hit at the lower levels in his pro debut, and Christian Rodriguez, a smooth, lanky infielder who needs to add strength and increase to mobility in his hips to unlock his full offensive potential.
Josh Norris: Thanks, Marlins Maniacs. It's time for some early AFL action.