Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (27) | 2013 (5) | 2012 (28) | 2011 (29) | 2010 (8)
2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [77-85] NL East
AAA: [70-74] Pacific Coast League – New Orleans
AA: [81-59] Southern League – Jacksonville
A+: [50-87] Florida State League – Jupiter
A: [87-53] South Atlantic League – Greensboro
A(ss): [34-42] New York-Penn League – Batavia
2014 was another step forward for the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton put up MVP caliber numbers while fellow outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna both performed well in their sophomore seasons. All three are still under the age of 25. Right-hander Jarred Cosart was acquired from Houston in exchange for prospects Jake Marisnick and Colin Moran – both top ten prospects in the Marlins’ system a year ago. There is more to look forward to in 2015. Left-hander Andrew Heaney should get a crack at the rotation while pitching phenom Jose Fernandez is expected to return at some point this season as well. The farm system is pitching heavy and features multiple arms that could become options for the rotation soon. In this year’s draft the Marlins signed more high school players (11) than any other organization including first-round pick Tyler Kolek, who was selected second overall.
Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1. Andrew Heaney, LHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015
In a top ten loaded with arms, Heaney leads the pack. It looked like the southpaw was going to carve out a spot in the rotation midway through 2014, but he struggled in a handful of MLB starts and was sent back to Triple-A New Orleans for more seasoning. It’s hard to fault him considering he reached the show in just his second full season. Heaney has shown good control at every level – never posting a BB/9 above 3.0. He has a fastball in the low to mid 90s and a plus slider. Grey gave you his 2015 fantasy on the 23-year-old lefty already and it was easy for me to tag Heaney as the #1 fantasy prospect in this system. UPDATE: Traded to Los Angeles (AL) via Dodgers
2. Tyler Kolek, RHP | Age: 18 | ETA: 2018
Baseball America considered Kolek’s fastball – which hits triple digits – to be the best in the 2014 draft. Along with a plus slider and curve, it gives the 6-5/260 lb. Texas right-hander a pretty nasty arsenal. Kolek has the potential to be more than a mid-rotation starter if he continues to hone his stuff as he advances. It’s that ceiling that jumps him ahead of some of the other more polished arms listed here. Kolek only pitched 22 innings in 2014, but that won’t keep him out of the top 50 on most mainstream prospect lists heading into 2015.
3. Avery Romero, 2B | Age: 21 | ETA: 2016
Romero is the best hitter in a system loaded with pitchers, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. But if you can swing a stick and play up the middle, you’re going to get some love on a fantasy list. That’s what Romero is right now. A little speed, a little pop, and the ability to hit for average and get on base from a position at which the Marlins really don’t have any long-term options. 2014 was a breakout for Romero, who initially struggled when the Marlins drafted him in the third round back in 2012. He posted nearly identical triple-slash numbers in both the FSL and SAL this past season and will look to keep it going in 2015.
4. Justin Nicolino, LHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2015
Not only do the Marlins have a host of pitching prospects, but they also feature several good left-handed pitching prospects. After Heaney, Nicolino is the best of that group. His stuff isn’t as overpowering as Heaney’s but Nicolino has even better control and command of his pitches – the 1.1 BB/9 isn’t a typo. So while his ceiling might not be as high – think #3 or #4 starter – Nicolino might have a better chance of reaching that ceiling. He’s also just as close to contributing to the major league rotation in Miami and could see starts in Crayola Canyon at some point in 2015. The blemish? A measly 4.3 K/9 that won’t play in the fantasy game.
5. Anthony DeSclafani, RHP | Age: 24 | ETA: 2015
Like the other pitchers listed here in the middle portion of this list, DeSclafani may never be more than a mid-rotation starter. With several of these arms getting closer to the majors there simply won’t be enough room for everyone either. Trades or shifts to the bullpen could be in the cards. Working in DeSclafani’s favor is the fact that he has already logged 33 innings with the Marlins, striking out 26 batters but also allowing 23 earned runs. The 24-year-old is apparently working on a curveball in the AFL and will bring it with him next spring as he hopes to get another look in the rotation. UPDATE: Traded to Cincinnati
6. Jose Urena, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015
Urena made another step in the right direction this past season, throwing all 162 innings at Double-A Jacksonville. He improved upon an already stellar walk rate and nudged his K/9 a little higher as well. While he’s only 23 years old, Urena is already entering his fourth full season in 2015. It’s unclear whether his future role will be in the rotation or the pen, but if Urena continues to impress in Triple-A he’ll be yet another strong option for the Marlins going forward. The right-hander went seven innings in five of his last seven 2014 starts and walked just six total batters. He could be a dark horse for the fifth spot in the rotation in 2015.
7. Trevor Williams, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016
There’s a trend with these arms that the Marlins are developing – polished starters with good control and command and the ability to keep the ball on the ground. Williams fits that mold as well. Even though none of his pitches are graded above average, Williams has advanced quickly through the Marlins’ system and logged 144.0 innings between High-A and Double-A in 2014. He should see most of his starts with Jacksonville in 2015 and at just 22 years old may even get a few innings with the big club towards the end of the season.
8. Justin Twine, SS | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018
Rated the second-best athlete in the 2014 draft class by Baseball America, Twine is a speedy shortstop who is still far away but offers some offensive upside in fantasy. Twine turned 19 years old a month ago and is just getting his career started. He’s a raw athlete with some power that could develop to go along with his speed, but like most bats his age he’ll need to keep refining his approach as he advances. In a system that’s relatively short on bats that have the potential to make an impact in the fantasy game, Twine is one to keep an eye on.
9. Brian Anderson, 2B | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017
The Marlins took Anderson in the third round of this year’s draft. The 21-year-old plays multiple positions and his bat could bring him to the big leagues sooner rather than later. Anderson can hit for some power and that alone gets him a nod on a fantasy-geared list like this one. He hit eight homers and drove in 37 runs with Greensboro in the Sally League. Being a college bat, he may not need as much time to cook in the minors before contributing in Miami’s lineup.
10. Domingo German, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2017
German is the kind of young pitcher with upside that is a good fit to round out this list. When in doubt, go with the high ceiling prospects in fantasy. German’s best pitch is his fastball, which is a plus offering in the low to mid 90s. He showed good control for the second year in a row. Unlike some of the bigger names in this pitching-heavy top ten, he managed to do it while still striking out over eight batters per nine. Keep an eye on him as his stock is trending upwards and another good season could put him on everyone’s radar. UPDATE: Traded to New York (AL)