The Marlins have a young and talented big league roster that includes Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Jose Fernandez, and Marcell Ozuna. But at this point, the farm system is a dog. With most of the high-end specs graduated or traded away, there are just not many left to get excited about here, and none that fall in the elite tier. There are some good prospects, but they mostly check in as long-shots thanks to distant ETAs. Compounding the issue for fantasy is the fact that Crayola Canyon will be the final destination for the hitters if they stay within this organization. But hey, I’m not here to crap on the Marlins. I’m here to talk prospects. So while Miami will be at the bottom of most prospect power rankings this preseason, I still managed to scrape together fifteen names I think we should know.
Justin Bour | Justin Nicolino | J.T. Realmuto | Adam Conley | A.J. Ramos
Tier 2: Floorboreds
Lacking the “star” upside. They might have some warts, but their ETAs are on the horizon.
Brian Anderson, 3B | Age: 22 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A+
2015 Stats: 530 PA, .235/.304/.340, 8 HR, 2 SB, 8% BB, 21% K
If the Cal League inflates High-A statistics, then the flip side of that coin is the pitching-friendly Florida State League. Anderson spent the entire season there along with Austin Dean, and while Dean projects more as a line-drive hitter, Anderson has actually shown he can get to some pop in games. He’s a good enough defender to stick at third according to most scouting reports, and if he reaches his 20-homer ceiling there he’d be pretty useful in fantasy. Anderson has also had experience at second base and in the outfield.
Austin Dean, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A+
2015 Stats: 578 PA, .268/.318/.366, 5 HR, 18 SB, 7% BB, 13% K
Dean started out as a middle infielder before the Marlins converted him to corner outfield. To this point he’s shown more doubles/gap power than home runs, which limits his fantasy value if that’s how things continue to progress. He’s a good hitter with a sound approach, but more likely than not he tops out at 12-15 dingers, especially in Miami. It’s tough to see where he’d get regular playing time in the Marlins outfield, which means he might be an OF4 if he stays with the fish.
Avery Romero, 2B | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: A+
2015 Stats: 505 PA, .259/.315/.314, 3 HR, 3 SB, 8% BB, 14% K
Romero will hold more value if he stays at second base. There’s just not much to this profile outside of average pop and good plate discipline, which makes sense in deeper formats but lacks the upside you want in shallower ones. The 22-year-old should spend a good portion of 2016 in the upper levels and could get a call towards the end of the year if there’s a need. There’s more power upside than his three homers in the FSL suggest, but it’s also not enough to warrant getting too excited about.
J.T. Riddle, SS | Age: 24 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: A+/AA/AAA
2015 Stats: 392 PA, .283/.323/.368, 5 HR, 7 SB, 5% BB, 14% K
Riddle has the pop and speed to kiss double digits in both homers and stolen bases, but more than likely he ends up in a utility role in the major leagues. That would limit his playing time and in turn limit his production, so Riddle is a better fit as a depth piece in dynasty leagues with a large amount of prospects owned. At 24, he’s close to contributing to the big league club and should start 2016 in AAA.
Jarlin Garcia, LHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: A+/AA
2015 Stats: 133.2 IP, 3.57 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, 7.0 K/9
Garcia’s upside doesn’t get much higher than the back of a rotation, but he should stick as a starter and Miami’s pitching-friendly park will help keep his ratios in check. Garcia’s fastball is his best pitch, topping out at 95 and working comfortably in the low 90s. While he’s not the most exciting arm in the system, he’s probably the closest to contributing at the major league level.
Kendry Flores, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: A+/AA/AAA/MLB
2015 Stats: 118 IP, 2.52 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 6.5 K/9
What Flores lacks in stuff, he makes up for with plus command and control of his arsenal. That should help him adjust to the majors relatively quickly, and with a few major league innings under his belt already, Flores should see time in Miami this summer. He’s not going to lead a staff, but the high floor makes him an interesting name to round out deep league rotations. Shoulder tendinitis sidelined him in August – something to keep an eye on this offseason.
Others: Tomas Telis, Justin Bohn, Austin Brice, Brian Ellington, Ivan Pineyro
Tier 3: Long Shot Lolitas
Sexy ceilings, but these youngsters also come with risks and distant ETAs.
Josh Naylor, 1B | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019 | 2015 Level: Rk
2015 Stats: 105 PA, .327/.352/.418, 1 HR, 1 SB, 4% BB, 10% K
Naylor was the Marlins’ top pick in the 2015 draft, and he has the sexy combination of an average or better hit tool coupled with double-plus raw power. That’s a combo you can sink your teeth into. If you’re like me in thinking that bats are the way to go in fantasy, then Naylor trumps Kolek even though most traditional lists would have them flipped. Unfortch, he’s also 18, so it’s going to be a long wait for his bat to arrive.
Tyler Kolek, RHP | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A
2015 Stats: 108.2 IP, 4.56 ERA, 5.1 BB/9, 6.7 K/9
While there is a frontline starter ceiling, it’s definitely still under construction. Kolek has an elite fastball that reaches triple digits, but the rest of his arsenal lags behind. Control is another issue, and while Kolek is still just a pup at nineteen, it’s disheartening to see his walk rate nearly matching his strikeout rate in the low minors. This type of prospect isn’t my cup of tea in dynasty leagues, but Kolek will still get some love thanks to his nasty heater and upside.
K.J. Woods, 1B | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A
2015 Stats: 439 PA, .277/.364/.496, 18 HR, 1 SB, 10% BB, 30% K
Woods doesn’t seem to be a name popping up on a lot of lists, but I feel like he’s worth mentioning in a thin farm like this one due to the power production. He was a fourth round pick back in 2013, and while this was just his first full season of pro ball, Woods smacked 18 dingers and didn’t tank his average in the process. The strikeout rate is obviously less than ideal, but if you play in a league where under-the-radar prospects are valuable finds, I think Woods fits the description.
Isael Soto, OF | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: Rk/A(ss)/A
2015 Stats: 121 PA, .171/.231/.243, 1 HR, 0 SB, 7% BB, 36% K
Soto lost a big chunk of the 2015 season to injury, so there wasn’t a lot of new information to go on from his 2014 debut. He’s still super young, having just turned 19 earlier this month. His raw power is above average, and he could hit enough to be a regular. More likely he ends up as a solid fourth outfielder with some pop. It’s probably too early to jump in unless you’re playing in a league with really deep farms.
Stone Garrett, OF | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A(ss)
2015 Stats: 247 PA, .297/.352/.581, 11 HR, 8 SB, 8% BB, 24% K
Garrett offers a solid combination of raw tools with both his power and speed rating as above average. That’s usually the formula for some 20/20 upside, but Garrett has yet to face advanced pitching or even a full season for that matter. In deeper leagues where he can be stashed, I like him as a toolsy athletic type to dream on – a la Monte Harrison in Milwaukee.
Isaiah White, OF | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019 | 2015 Level: Rk
2015 Stats: 132 PA, .294/.321/.381, 0 HR, 13 SB, 2% BB, 33% K
White is a burner with elite speed and (according to scouting reports) good instincts as well. That’s a formula for gaudy stolen base numbers as he progresses. He’s just getting started in the rookie leagues, but in a weaker system this is one of the prospects I’m really interested in watching develop.
Anfernee Seymour, SS | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A(ss)
2015 Stats: 266 PA, .273/.338/.349, 0 HR, 29 SB, 8% BB, 20% K
Seymour is an easy profile since he’s basically a one-tool speedster. Originally an outfielder, the Marlins are playing this cat at shortstop, where his speed will be more valuable in fantasy. He could be a hit-for-contact table setter with zippo power if he makes it to the bigs.
Justin Twine, SS | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A
2015 Stats: 473 PA, .206/.235/.310, 7 HR, 8 SB, 1% BB, 23% K
Twine is another toolsy, athletic player that the Marlins are hoping to polish up into a major league regular. Twine’s best tool is his double-plus speed, but there’s some pop here as well, as you can see in the eight taters he hit during the 2015 season. Problems lie in the approach, where Twine is going to have to learn to be more patient, and unfortunately the quality of pitchers he’ll face is only going to get better. He’s a flyer at this point, and his value would take a hit if he moved off the dirt.
Brett Lilek, LHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A(ss)
2015 Stats: 35 IP, 3.34 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, 11.1 K/9
The Marlins took Lilek in the second round (50th overall) of the 2015 draft, but at 22 years old the college arm could move faster than his positioning in this tier suggests. In his first taste of pro ball the numbers were outstanding, although they came in a just a 35-inning sample in the low minors. The southpaw likely carves out a role in the back end of a major league rotation when it’s all said and done, making him deep league material in fantasy.
Others: Casey Soltis, Jordan Holloway, Garvis Lara, Brian Schales, Zach Sullivan
2016 Minor League Preview Index
Think the new pitching coach from Pittsburgh can help Barraclough get his walk rate down? If so, what is his upside?
man, it’s an ugly walk rate. Looks like middle reliever to me
12 team dynasty 5×5 roto, 40 man roster, $400 Cap with annual escalators and arbitration and an annual auction – Looking for some trade thoughts – I get
Julio Teheran $11
Sonny Gray $17
Byron Buxton $12
Kris Bryant $27
Kyle Schwarber $12
Clayton Kershaw $52
Devin Mesoraco $8
Starling Marte $17
Todd Frazier $11
Which side wins in a vacuum?
by the way, I was thinking of countering by asking for Lucas Giolito. Does that even things out, or am I already winning and press the accept button as fast as possible?
@Gray’s Sports Almanac:
seems pretty fair…Buxton side is sexier, and I don’t think I’d want to sink that much money in any one pitcher like the 52 for Kershaw
I’m the guy who falls in love w/ Kolek, something about a big Texas flamethrower that gets me.
Quick question, are you doing a post about the 2015 draftees/international signings (summer) for upcoming dynasty drafts? I have my MiLB draft upcoming in one league and I need some guidance lol.
yup, I was going to do a Top 25ish in January/early February once I plow through the previews. Might not be in time for your draft but hit me up if you want :)
@Mike: It’s in TWO WEEKS!!!! AHHHHHH
whoops. just email me I’ll be around
Nice write-up but I’m probably staying away from all these guys.
Gotta a question for you though. I am starting to put my rankings together and was having a tough time ranking this group of prospects and was hoping you could help: Jordan Patterson, Mallex Smith, Socrates Brito, Kevin Padlo and Victor Robles.
5×5, separate minor league system and you get up to 7 years of team control on a good contract when called up. About 90 prospects are already owned and I’m picking at the end of my draft and thinking I should be able to grab a few of the guys in that group. Would appreciate any insight.
@Mike HC: I dunno, Dean and Naylor seem tasty enough to keep an eye on
@Ra’zbahl Al Ghul:
Yea, there are a few with some potential and should be drafted/on fantasy teams, but probably won’t end up on my squad.
@Mike HC: gotsta have principles!
thanks Mike…can’t blame you there
I’d put Robles in front…then group the others Padlo, Patterson, Brito, Smith with probably not a whole lot of difference between those four
Thanks, it does get tough to separate some of these guys.
Justin Bour AND Justin Bohn??
ALL THE JUSTINS
@Mike: Justin Timberlake Realmuto?
@Ra’zbahl Al Ghul: Exactly, Al Ghul!!!!! Imagine both of them in the lineup at the same time or back-to-back in the lineup!!! Bour and Bohn – the Justin Brahs!
Love your posts as always and thanks for all the encouraging words this year!
Picked up Margot in a trade last season. I would think his value took a slight ding moving to the Padres vs the possibility of playing in Fenway. Maybe the ding will be offset by the chance of a clearer path to the outfield at Petco.
nice! I think you nailed it, kind of a wash between park (down) and opportunity (up)
I saw the same thing, and was thinking I should be selling. when you think about it, he is the type of guy who can be good in petco.
Margot’s best tools are a plus hit tool, plus speed, and a good fielder (in the only league I own him, this is a plus since it means he can stick at CF). He has solid average power. The dream on him was .300 with 15-20hr and 30sb. That dream should be lowered to .300 with 10-15hr and 30sb. That is still worth having in most leagues, especially since it now means we could see him this year. (last year he hit .276 with 6hr and 39 sb…. and those are number that put him as a top 50 player in fantasy if he can translate them)
@james: @Mike: But did you see his Righty/lefty splits? Margot had a .619 OPS vs right handers. Doesn’t that look more like a possible 4th OF. Or at least another year in the minors to get his bat ready?
Morning Mike! You know, when you started doing the tiers instead of top ten I was mildly disappointed. But the more I read these and factoring in I joined a dynasty league, I have come to realize the substantial value in presenting the data this way. Kudos sir, I think your writing and analysis is top notch. In looking at your writing future, I think you have a high floor of say SNAFU LARRY (just kidding) potential with a Grey Albright type ceiling with an ETA of NOW! I do miss ur red light/green light analysis though, they we’re great reads and very valuable!
good to hear! yeah, it’s basically just seperating the elites and then tiering by ETA. Red light/green light was a lot of fun to write :) seems like forever ago!
Good read, as always!
What are the chances Lilek surprises and gets a call-up this year when rosters expand, being a college boy and all?
Otherwise, my daughter and I are going stateside to visit my sister in Mableton. It’s about 20 minutes from ATL -Hartsfield airport. We arrive on New Year’s Eve and go back to Canada on January 4.
thanks! possibly, but more likely 2017 is the soonest we’ll see him