Florida Marlins 2009 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2009)
2009 (2) | 2008 (14) | 2007 (15) | 2006 (3) | 2005 (14) | 2004 (14)
Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [87 – 75] NL East
AAA: [63 – 80] Pacific Coast League
AA: [82 – 58] Southern League
A+: [67 – 70] Florida State League
A: [66 – 74] South Atlantic League
A(ss): [34 – 42] New York – Pennsylvania
R: [38 – 17] Gulf Coast League
The Run Down
Having one of the lowest budgets in the majors, the Marlins have caught flack for their frugality. The 2009 Marlins had the controversial National League Rookie of the Year in Chris Coghlan and a surprising performance by Sean West (LHP) that helped the Marlins overachieve based upon the expectations of the majority of sporting outlets. Sean West isn’t currently in the majors, but should be soon enough; I mean, with Nate Robertson holding the fifth spot in the rotation, it’s only time until West takes over. Good news in the Marlins future, they finally have their own ballpark. If they increase the payroll like the Twins have, the Marlins may start to keep their prospects around longer than their arbitration years.
2010 holds the potential for the Marlins to be a sleeper playoff team. With Josh Johnson healthy, and Ricky Nolasco looking to improve upon his peripheral stats, the Marlins could surprise even more than last year. There are obvious weaknesses in their team, like having two rookies (Tim Wood and Chris Leroux) holding key positions in their bullpen and banking on Maybin, Gaby Sanchez and Chris Coghlan playing up to their potential or not having a sophomore slump. However, if any of these players struggle during the year, everyone’s favorite slugger, Mike Stanton, may make his MLB debut. Doubtful that they’ll rush him, but stranger things have happened – like the Mets having a healthy squad. One last note, the Marlins lack solid top-of-the-line starting pitching prospects (sans Chad James), even their top relieving pitchers are surrounded by questions marks (I am looking at you, Ryan Tucker).
Arizona Fall League Players – Mesa Solar Sox
Pitchers – (RHP) Jay Buente; (LHP) Andrew Miller; (RHP) Garret Parcell; (LHP) Jay Voss
Hitters – (3B) Matt Dominguez; (CF) Greg Burns; (RF) Bryan Peterson; (RF) Mike Stanton
Players of Interest for 2010
* All prospect rankings are from Baseball America Handbook 2009 unless otherwise noted.
#2 Mike Stanton | RF | A+/AA | 19 | 2nd rd in 2007 | .255/.344/.501 | 479 AB | 57 XBH | 28 HR | .246 ISO | 144:59 K:BB | .308 BABIP | 37.5 GB% | 18.6 LD% | 43.4 FB%
If you can handle my out-of-breath excitement in his Scouting the Unknown article I wrote last summer, than I need to say nothing else. He hit .294/.390/.578 in 180 at-bats at High-A and slashed .231/.311/.455 in 299 at-bats at Double-A last year. Obviously, he needs to prove himself at Double-A this year (he is currently at AA) and cut down some of those strikeouts. Think Adam Dunn, Mark Reynolds, Chris Davis, and Krispie Young as comparative players.
#3 Logan Morrison | 1B | AA | 21 | 22nd rd in 2005 (draft and follow) | .277/.411/.442 | 278 AB | 28 XBH | 8 HR | .165 ISO | 46:63 K:BB | .305 BABIP | 50.8 GB% | 19.8 LD% | 28.6 FB%
Everyone is waiting for Gaby Sanchez to ruin his last chance. I mean, even Grey wrote about Morrison last December in a 2010 Fantasy Outlook. Morrison broke his thumb in 2009 and thus the reason for only 278 at-bats. He projects to be a number three hitter as he has great plate-discipline, a solid swing, and consistently puts the bat on the ball. His defense is average at best. The Marlins have played him in the outfield because they want Morrison and Gaby Sanchez in the same lineup. He is currently playing at Triple-A and will need an injury or a prolonged slump by Sanchez to play in the majors before September this year.
#14 Scott Cousins | CF | AA | 24 | 3rd rd in 2006 | .263/.323/.448 | 482 AB | 54 XHB | 12 HR | .185 ISO | 27/9 SB/CS | 107:42 K:BB | .319 BABIP | 39.4 GB% | 20.4 LD | 40.2 FB%
If his name were Mike Stanton, no one would question his strikeouts and slack of plate-discipline, so much so it’s mentioned by Baseball America that only Stanton has a higher ceiling than Cousins. With gap-power, a strong-arm, good defense, improving pitch-recognition and improving stealing instincts, Cousins may force himself into the starting lineup for the Marlins in 2010. Hitting around Morrison and Stanton at Double-A last year, he thrived. Now he’ll have to do that at Triple-A.
#19 Bryan Petersen | RF | AA | 23 | 4th rd in 2007 | .297/.368/.413 | 431 AB | 29 XBH | 9 HR | .116 ISO | 13/12 SB/CS | 66:50 K:BB | .340 BABIP | 40.2 FB% | 17.2 LD% | 42.7 FB%
Yet another outfielder in the Marlins’ system that looks to provide excellent services. He slashed .379/.412/.600 while playing in the Arizona Fall League, and looks the closest to the majors than anyone else mentioned so far. With improved plate-discipline, gap power (15 homers a season), and flexible defense (able to play all three outfield positions), Peterson just needs to play well at Triple-A this year to make the major league squad.
* I have a feeling that Peterson, Cousins, or Morrison will be traded at some point this year, or that Cody Ross is traded to open up a position for one of these players. However, they are starting to get top heavy and will have an influx of top outfield prospects toiling away at Triple-A. Yes, injuries happen, but they have more value as trading chips than overall depth.
#12 Brett Sinkbeil | RHP | AAA | 24 | 1st rd pick 19 in 2006 | 5.6 K/9 | 4.8 BB/9 | 83 IP | 6.07 ERA | 5.28 FIP | 1.81 WHIP | 1 Hr/9 | 11.5 H/9 | .351 BABIP | 55.1 GB% | 16.9 LD% | 21.3 FB%
Easily the largest questionable decision prospect pick of the off-season based solely on 2009 stats. Spite me now, I’m ready. Anyway, he throws a 90 to 93 mph fastball that can top out at 96 to 97 and a hard slider that sits at 86 to 87 mph from a three-quarters delivery. He has had injury problems in the past (the ever vague oblique, minor elbow problems, and a herniated disk in his back) which has forced him into the bullpen. This force was the size of a galaxy far, far away proportions and has been extremely beneficial for him. He still walks too many batters and doesn’t strikeout enough batters to look dominate. However, his “stuff” predicates a lock-down reliever. He is currently pitching at Triple-A.
Dan Jennings | LHP | A/A+/AA | 23 | 9th rd in 2008 | 9.9 K/9 | 3.7 BB/9 | 62 2/3 IP | 2.15 ERA | 2.75 FIP | 1.20 WHIP | .1 Hr/9 | 7 H/9 | .316 BABIP | 52.8 GB% | 17.4 LD%| 20.2 FB%
Another reliever, Jennings has the Marlins best slider that he combines with a 91 to 94 mph fastball. His projection is a LOOGY, or a Lefty-One-Out-Guy. Nothing special, but in holds leagues he’s a name to remember. Think of Marlins’ 2009 rookie Dan Meyer. He is currently pitching at Double-A this year as he threw 49 1/3 IP at Single-A last year.
#6 Matt Dominguez | 2B | A+/AA | 19 | 1st rd, pick 12 in 2007 | .247/.325/.400 | 478 AB | 46 XBH | 12 HR | .153 ISO | 92:52 K:BB | .278 BABIP | 39.4 GB% | 15.5 LD% | 44.8 FB%
Compared to Mike Lowell and Jeff Cirillo (ceiling and floor respectfully), Dominguez has a lot to live up to in the coming years. With excellent defense and suspect at the plate, Dominguez will need to learn to hit if he wants to play in the majors. He reminds me more of Adrian Beltre than Lowell. They had very similar numbers in the minors so far. Also, Beltre, minus his 48 homer contract season, is a .275/.325/.453 hitter. John Sickels believes Dominguez will only hit .275/.325/.400 in the majors. Even if that is his ceiling, there is great value if he can play Gold-Glove caliber defense. He is currently playing at Double-A and shouldn’t be in the majors until the middle of next year.
Peter Andrelczyk | RHP | A/A+ | 23 | 5th rd in 2008 | 11 K/9 | 2.1 BB/9 | 69 2/3 IP | 2.71 ERA| 2.32 FIP | 1.21 WHIP | .3 Hr/9 | 8.8 H/9 | .363 BABIP | 52.8 GB% | 17.3 LD% | 25.9 FB%
Hey look, another reliever possessing a 90 to 94 mph fastball and a hard slider. If he can keep the ball on the ground like he currently is (52.8 GB%) and keeps striking out 11 batters per nine innings, well, you know, could be a solid contributor for you. He is currently pitching at High-A.
Kyle Kaminska | RHP | A | 20 | 25th rd in 2007| 7.1 K/9 | 2.3 BB/9 | 142 2/3 IP | 4.16 ERA | 3.79 FIP | 1.39 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 10.2 H/9 | .339 BABIP | 40.9 GB% | 19 LD% | 34.2 FB%
Playing in a hitter-friendly home park inflated some of Kaminska’s numbers. However, he does a good job of keeping the ball in the zone (2.3 BB/9) and in the park (.6 Hr/9). His WHIP was directly related to his unlucky BABIP (.339). There isn’t much scouting information on Kaminska and his ceiling isn’t extremely high. However, it’s important to have quality arms throughout the system. Nevertheless, he is getting passed over because of his lower draft pick range and newer draftees. I would still keep an eye on Kaminska.
* The 2007 draft class represents four of the nine players I mentioned. Dominguez in the first, Stanton in the second, Petersen in the fourth, and Kaminska in the twenty-fifth. This was by coincidence and not purposeful.