Florida Marlins Top 10 Prospects

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, 2011.

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1. Matt Dominguez, 3b
2. Chad James, lhp
3. Christian Yelich, of
4. Jhan Marinez, rhp
5. Osvaldo Martinez, ss
6. Brad Hand, lhp
7. Scott Cousins, of
8. Kyle Skipworth, c
9. Marcell Ozuna, of
10. Rob Rasmussen, lhp
Best Hitter for Average Christian Yelich
Best Power Hitter Marcell Ozuna
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Osvaldo Martinez
Fastest Baserunner Kevin Mattison
Best Athlete Scott Cousins
Best Fastball Jhan Marinez
Best Curveball Brad Hand
Best Slider Dan Jennings
Best Changeup Jose Alvarez
Best Control Elih Villanueva
Best Defensive Catcher Chris Hatcher
Best Defensive Infielder Matt Dominguez
Best Infield Arm Osvaldo Martinez
Best Defensive Outfielder Scott Cousins
Best Outfield Arm Bryan Petersen
Catcher Kyle Skipworth
First Base Logan Morrison
Second Base Chris Coghlan
Third Base Matt Dominguez
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez
Left Field Christian Yelich
Center Field Scott Cousins
Right Field Mike Stanton
No. 1 Starter Josh Johnson
No. 2 Starter Chad James
No. 3 Starter Ricky Nolasco
No. 4 Starter Anibal Sanchez
No. 5 Starter Brad Hand
Closer Jhan Marinez
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Josh Beckett, rhp Red Sox
2002 Josh Beckett, rhp Red Sox
2003 Miguel Cabrera, 3b Tigers
2004 Jeremy Hermida, of Athletics
2005 Jeremy Hermida, of Athletics
2006 Jeremy Hermida, of Athletics
2007 Chris Volstad, rhp Marlins
2008 Cameron Maybin, of Marlins
2009 Cameron Maybin, of Marlins
2010 Mike Stanton, of Marlins
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Garrett Berger, rhp
(2nd round)
Out of baseball
2002 Jeremy Hermida, of Athletics
2003 Jeff Allison, rhp Marlins
2004 Taylor Tankersly, 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, lhp Marlins
2010 Christian Yelich, of Marlins
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
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Florida Marlins

Though his team headed into the 2010 season with the National League's third-lowest payroll, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria expressed high hopes during spring training. "I expect us to make the playoffs," Loria said. "We've got all the ammunition we need."

That optimism proved to be misplaced, as little went right in South Florida. In mid-May, Hanley Ramirez wound up in the doghouse for lollygagging after a booted popup—and initially refusing to apologize to his teammates. Twelve days later, Roy Halladay threw a perfect game against Florida.

On June 23, with the team sitting at 34-36, Loria dumped manager Fredi Gonzalez and replaced him with Triple-A New Orleans skipper Edwin Rodriguez on an interim basis. The Marlins dallied with Bobby Valentine before negotiations fell apart, and Rodriguez kept the job after the team went 46-46 with him at the helm.

Then came the injuries. Chris Coghlan, the 2009 NL rookie of the year, tore the meniscus in his left knee while jamming a shaving-cream pie in Wes Helms' face. Ricky Nolasco tore the meniscus in his right knee when he took off a shoe. All told, a club-record 57 players rotated through the clubhouse.

The bad news continued after the season ended, with the Marlins getting rid of Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller in separate deals for three relievers. Once the centerpieces of the blockbuster trade that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers in December 2007, Maybin and Miller failed to establish themselves in Florida. The franchise also continued its tradition of trading away cornerstone players as they get expensive, shipping Dan Uggla to the Braves in November for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn.

There were some positives, however. Mike Stanton opened the year with 21 home runs in 192 at-bats in Double-A Jacksonville and smacked another 22 longballs after his promotion to the big leagues. Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez also claimed regular spots in the lineup. By season's end, the Marlins often were running out a lineup composed of mostly rookies, leading the majors by using 21 in total.

Several more farmhands should add to the youth movement in 2011. The system's top prospect, Matt Dominguez should take over third base at some point. Scott Cousins, who hit .297 during a September callup, will get the first shot at center field in spring training. Lefties Dunn and Dan Jennings and righties Jhan Marinez, Jose Ceda and Steve Cishek all will factor into the bullpen mix.

Overall, though, the farm system is down in the wake of Florida graduating so many prospects to the big leagues in the last couple of years while taking a conservative approach in recent drafts. Relievers are the strength of the system, which is rarely a good sign. Marinez, Ceda, Arquimedes Caminero, Sandy Rosario, Ramon Benjamin and Josh Hodges all can touch the upper 90s, with Caminero was clocked at 101 mph in low Class A last year.

In the draft, the Marlins nabbed a couple of high-ceiling position players early in outfielder Christian Yelich (first round) and catcher J.T. Realmuto (third), then stocked up on college arms. They spent $4.4 million on signing bonuses in 2010, ranking 22nd among the 30 major league clubs, and their five-year total of $22.7 million is the fourth-lowest in the game.

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