Are we all just a prop in Derek Jeter’s twisted nightmare? Is he down in Miami F-L-A, rubbing Banana Boat on his dome, and meddling in the baseball ops? Is he the victim of a ruthless smear campaign? Who can say? All that matters is Stanton, Ozuna, and Yelich are gone, and a new era of rebuilding has begun. The trade return started slow, but picked up with each passing sale, culminating in a very good return for the aforementioned Yelich. Let me be the first to say, I appreciate this. For the first time in a long time, the Marlins have something interesting to write about in one of these. This post has long been the dog of the bunch for years. So thanks Marlins! Your fans might hate you, your team might suck, but always know, you made my February 4th, just a little better. We have a ton of exciting talent to get into, so why chat? I mean how about these apples? Brinson, Harrison, Guzman, Alcantara, and Diaz!!! It’s power and speed, and big fastball velocity. That’s how they do it in The Magic City! It’s the Miami Marlins Top Prospects for 2018 Fantasy Baseball.

 

1) Lewis Brinson, OF | Level: AAA | Age: 23 | 2017 Stats: .331/.400/.562, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 11 SB

Despite phenomenal results in his two stints with AAA Colorado Springs, Brinson struggled mightily in each of his MLB callups. The elite contact, power, and speed skills are still there, so it’s too early to write him off, but a poor 2018 could drastically tank his prospect status. The day the Yelich deal went down there was a lot of talk on twitter and other places of Brinson’s value dropping. I disagree. How can you gain value from a great home ballpark and hitting environment if you never get to play? Brinson wasn’t really in the Brewers plans after 2017 went the way it did. His greatest value was as a trade asset, and that’s ultimately what he was. That doesn’t mean he’s bad, or a bust. It might, but that remains to be seen. The only thing it definitely means is the Brewers felt Christian Yelich was a better fit for 2018 and likely the next two or three seasons. I don’t think anyone is debating that. Moving to Miami is actually a great thing for Brinson, playing time galore, an opportunity to get experience at the major league level, and a team invested in his future success. Will it ding his homer total? Sure, but he should be able to use the park to his advantage with his quick righty swing, plus wheels, and excellent barrel control. Though the power might come more in the way of doubles more often than homers. There is some concern around his ability to hit lefthanders, his splits were pretty noticeable, particularly in the power department in 2017. I don’t see him as a platoon guy, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. During his brief major league debut last year, he made his mark on the Statcast data, averaging an exit velocity of 90.9. Good enough for 16th highest in the league! The power is there, the speed is there, and now Brinson has the opportunity. A .275/17/20 season in 2018 isn’t out of the question. Will he break camp, that’s the question… While you ponder that, read what Grey wrote about him back in November, don’t mind the cranberry sauce stains. ETA: 2018

2) Monte Harrison, OF |  Level: A+ | Age: 22 | 2017 Stats: .272/.350/.481, 21 HR, 67 RBI, 27 SB

After going in the 2nd round out of high school, Harrison toiled around in rookie ball for the first two years of his professional career before breaking out in 2017. There’s a lot of swing and miss, and some easy to see risk in the profile. I don’t love the swing, his hands are noisy rising up pre-load, he has a leg kick and pretty wide stance to begin with. He does get to his power, so it’s hard to knock the swing too much, though he’s very susceptible to whiffs. A former Nebraska Football recruit, he’s a strong runner that plays the game athletically.  Harrison is not great against righthanded pitching, but he mashes lefties. A physical freak, he has the tools to be an exciting 5th or a 6th hitter in the mold of a Carlos Gomez. The finished product should look like .260/25/20. Another talented and athletic outfielder the Marlins acquired this off-season. Harrison has risk, but he’s one of the more intriguing dynasty risk/reward picks in 2018. ETA: 2019

3) Jorge Guzman, RHP  | Level: A | Age: 22 | 2017 Stats: 5-3, 66.2 IP, 2.30 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 88 K, 18 Bb

If you didn’t know, weeks before he led the list of names that disgusted Marlins fans, I wrote up a glowing post about how much I like Guzman. He reaches 100+ with ease, mixes in a plus slider that sweeps in on lefties and off the plate to righties, and he mixes a changeup for good measure. His future digs improved significantly, and knowing the Marlins it likely speeds up his ETA too. Strong chance he ends up a backend of the pen type with a shot to close, but I still see the front-end potential. ETA: 2019

4) Isan Diaz, 2B | Level: A+ | Age: 21 | 2017 Stats: .222/.334/.376, 13 HR, 54 RBI, 9 SB

I’ve long had a prospect crush on Isan Diaz. From his days a Springfield Central, to Arizona, to Milwaukee, to now Miami, I hope Diaz has finally found a clear path to everyday playing time. An extreme, but picturesque uppercut swing, Diaz has plus power, and a patient approach to go with it. The bat path is going to make him prone to strikeouts, and popups, but it’s a sacrifice Diaz should make to tap into his power. He’s a good athlete, runs well, and should be able to get his second base defense up to at least league average. There’s risk here, but a three outcome hitter with some speed at second base has value. We need a big power rebound from Diaz this year, not sure if he repeats high A or gets pushed to AA. I wouldn’t expect Diaz until the summer of 2019, but as long as the ills that plagued his 2017 don’t return going forward, he might blossom into a 20/20 threat, albeit one with a .260ish average. ETA: 2019

5) Sandy Alcantara, RHP | Level: AA | Age: 22 | 2017 Stats: 7-5, 125.1 IP, 4.31 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 106 Ks, 54 Bb

The fireballing righthander reached the majors in 2017, but the season was disappointing on a few different levels. He ditched his once promising curveball for a slider, and the results were he didn’t miss nearly as many bats. I’ve heard the Cardinals did this to mold him into more of a reliever. Though I’m not sure I really buy into that. What made Alcantara an exciting prospect was the potential to generate lots of swings and misses with the fastball, curveball, change combo. In the AFL he was throwing two breaking balls plus the change, popping 99-100 on the regular. If he can get back on track with his breaking stuff, and maintain his fastball effectiveness throughout his starts Alcantara can reach his front of the rotation potential. There’s a lot that needs to go right, he’ll be a major leaguer, but who knows in what role. ETA: 2018

6) Brian Anderson, 3B | Level: AAA | Age: 24 | 2017 Stats: .275/.361/.492, 22 HR, 81 RBI, 1 SB

After two and half years of moderate power and production, Anderson tapped into his raw power in 2017 riding it to a late season callup. I see the Marlins former “top hitting prospect” as a high floor player that could produce solid fantasy seasons in deeper leagues of 16 teams plus. Long term I’d expect a line of .270, 20 HR, 75 RBI at peak, with maybe a little more batting average upside than power. Should be a factor in Miami in 2018. ETA: 2018 (duh)

7) Trevor Rogers, LHP | Level: N/A | Age: 19| 2017 Stats: Has Not Played

Coming out of the New Mexico prep ranks, Rogers did not pitch in rookie ball after being selected by the Marlins 13th overall. I’m guessing with their recent history in regard to high school arms drafted high in the first round, they decided to take it easy. The team insists that Rogers is healthy, and that he certainly would have pitched in instructional ball, if not for Hurricane Irma forcing the Marlins to cancel their fall sessions. Rogers has very intriguing stuff, and a projectable 6’6 185 lbs frame. His fastball sits low-mid 90’s, but really plays up due to how well he controls it. His best secondary pitch is his slider, showing 10-4 shape at it’s best. He also features an average changeup, and average curveball. We’ll get our first look at Rogers next spring. ETA: 2021

8) James Nelson, 3B | Level: A | Age: 20 | 2017 Stats: .309/.354/.456, 7 HR, 59 RBI, 6 SB

The “other” James Nelson is a former 15th rounder out of JuCO Cisco that made a splash in 2017. Blessed with top of the scale bat speed, raw power, and natural athleticism, Nelson is a name to remember as we head into 2018. He doesn’t walk much, and the approach needs to improve, but he’s going to be 20 for all of 2018, he has time to figure it out. ETA: 2021

9) Braxton Garrett, LHP | Level: RK | Age: 20 | 2017 Stats: 1-0, 15 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 16 Ks, 6 Bb

The 7th overall pick in the 2016 draft, didn’t pitch an inning of pro ball until June of this year. As luck would have it, he made 4 starts, and then went down with an elbow injury that required Tommy John Surgery. He’ll miss the entire 2018 season, and will not return until 2019 when he’ll be 21. It’s tough to see the development time go by the wayside, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be healthy when he comes back. If he does Garrett is an exciting talent, with the ability to control a plus curveball, a low 90’s fastball, and a solid changeup. If you take a chance on Garrett this year know it’s going to be a long term hold situation. ETA: 2021

10) Magneuris Sierra, OF | Level: AA | Age: 21 | 2017 Stats: .270/.318/.363, 1 HR, 44 RBI, 20 SB

The defensive whiz was a surprise callup last May, to the Cardinals. His defense is so advanced, it’s not really a shock. He’s a contact and speed player on offense, lacking any sign of power what so ever. His hard rate in 64 plate appearances in the big leagues was 6.5%… Seriously. If Sierra is going to be of any value he’s going to have to hit .300 and steal 30+ bags, otherwise, he’s just another defensive outfielder. ETA: 2019

11) Brian Miller, OF Marlins | Level: A- | 2017 Stats: .322/.384/.416, 1 HR, 28 RBI, 21 SB

A quick lefty swing, keen eye, and 70 grade speed, make Miller a potential top of the order type. Miller’s never going to hit 20 dongs, even with juiced balls, but his ceiling might be a .300 hitter with a near .400 OBP, and 30+ steals. He has very real base-stealing ability, and might not be far from the majors. ETA: 2019

12) Nick Neidert, RHP | Level: AA | Age: 21 | 11-6, 127.2 IP, 3.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 122 Ks, 22 BB

A control first pitcher with some pedigree, that came over to Miami in the Dee Gordon trade. The evaluators I’ve spoken with have split opinions on Neidert. Some think he’s a polished righty without much projection left. Others see a smart pitcher with feel for the art. He’s certainly a strike thrower, and he has shown some ability to get whiffs. I think he’s likely a number 4 starter, but has some upside to be a 3 if everything maxes out. ETA: 2019

13) Zac Gallen, RHP | Level: AAA | Age: 22 | 10-8, 147.2 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 121 Ks, 35 BB

Is this the next in a long line of sleepy college arms that the Cardinals plucked out of obscurity? He jumped up several levels making starts for AAA Memphis of the PCL in his first full professional season. The way things stand there’s a better than 50% chance Gallen finds himself in the rotation for Miami at some point this season. More of a backend of the rotation type, but he’s a decent depth pick in a deep league. ETA: 2018

14) Dillon Peters, LHP | Level: MLB | Age: 25 | 2017 Stats: 7-3, 63 IP, 1,57 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 55 Ks, 17 BB

Peters just eecked onto this list only throwing 31.1 MLB innings last year. The diminutive lefty, had a post dedicated to him back in the Fall when I was doing pitching profiles. Here’s my scouting report from that profile. “Peters arsenal is a classic three pitch mix, comprised of a low 90’s-high 80’s fastball, a high to mid 70’s curveball, and a mid to low 80’s changeup. He’s often lauded for his sequencing and backwards approach to pitching, but from what I’ve seen, he still tends to lead with his heat. After watching Peters first start of  his two turn week vs the Phillies, I will say I was surprised at just how hard his fastball is, touching 93-94 consistently. The announcers in Sunday’s game discussed a two-seamer, but they might have been mistaken as I neither observed nor read anything about Peters featuring a second variation of his hardball. The four-seamer accounts for a slight majority of Peters usage, checking in at a 45% rate. He generates a high amount of groundball contact with the pitch, though the batting average against of .342, calls into question it’s effectiveness. Despite often leading with his four-seamer, Peters’ bread and butter is his curveball. He has a Rich Hill like usage rate on the hook of 38%, and by all accounts and measures looks like an above average to plus offering. It’s a heavy ground ball inducing pitch with an insane 81% GB%, and a batting average against of .243. It’s also his best barrel missing offering, with a hearty SwStr% of 19.2%. His third offering is a mid-80’s changeup with some slight movement, that misses bats at a good rate (14% SwStr%), and gets the least amount of contact with a batting average against of .200. I wouldn’t categorize Peters as a junkballer, but I wouldn’t label him as a stuff guy either. He’s a pitchability and control type, using advanced sequencing, and the ability to locate any pitch, any where in the zone, in any count. Whether or not his early success, and minor league stats continue is a major question.” ETA: 2018

15) Joe Dunand, 3B | Level: A+ | Age: 22 | 2017 Stats: .370/.471/.667, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB

The cousin of Alex Rodriguez! No word on whether or not he’s sniffing J-Lo’s panties on family vacations. But he did spend most of 2017 holed up with a “finger” injury so who knows? A very divisive talent, some think he’ll hit others think he’s overrated. Had a big power breakout his Junior season at NC State, and many feel his power will carry him as far as he goes. Lots of hit tool questions, as well as those about his approach, but there is the chance for a riser if he stays healthy and hits for power in 2018. ETA: 2019

16) Brayan Hernandez, OF | Level: A- | Age: 20 | 2017 Stats: .263/.309/.406, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 5 SB

A former million dollar bonus baby, Hernandez is yet to catch up to the hype that saw him sign with Seattle for $1.85M. He still has the tools, plus bat speed, good bat to ball skills, speed, and natural defensive instincts in center. Unfortunately the one part of the game that is yet to show is power. He’s still got time at 20, so don’t write off Hernandez yet.  ETA: 2021

Find all of the 30 Minor League Previews, and Offseason Rankings on the Minor League Index
On Twitter as @ProspectJesus

 

 

  1. Jose says:
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    I like power lefties , guys that can go 95+ . I have read that Trevor Rogers can reach 97? Is that correct? or do you think he can get there when he fills out that 6’6 – 185 lbs frame of his?

    I am not crazy about Marlins prospects, but this guys sounds like he is a horse or could be. What do you think is he worth stashing away?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jose: Yeah, I’ve heard he’s hit 97, it’s tough to say with very little tape.

      Don’t sleep on the new Marlins! Haha

  2. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Apples? Still smells like dead fish.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Malicious Phenoms: I disagree, this is a pretty legit system now.

    • Mordacious Levator says:
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      @Malicious Phenoms: their top 5 guys have all been added in like last 6 weeks or so, they probably have moved them up like 12 or more spots as a team.

  3. Alan says:
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    Can you name a few NL guys outside your top 100(or toward end ) that if things went right could shoot up the list. (Trammel, Acuna, Tatis type leaps)?
    Thx

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Alan: Francisco Morales, Sherten Apostel, Jose Albertos, Jession Rosario, Ryan Vilade, Garrett Hampson, Edwin Rios, Shed Long, Jose Siri, Daulton Varsho, Hudson Potts and my two favorites Tristen Lutz and Gabriel Arias.

      • Alan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: thx Ralph!! I saw you grabbed Rosario in the CBS Draft but I never heard of him so need to do my HW

    • Keith says:
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      @Alan: Josh Lowe has one of the highest upsides of any prospect. He’s one big year away from being a top 30 or 40 fantasy prospect.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Keith: That’s higher than a I see Lowe getting to, but you never know. He’s also an AL prospect.

        Needs to cut the strikeouts and hit for more power.

  4. DJ says:
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    Ralph,

    I was looking at your FYPD rankings (thank you). I was in a sportsline league where we can’t add or draft a player added to their database after our draft. As a result, Michel Baez is available to draft in this year’s draft. Where would you slot him in? I was thinking around where you had Kyle Wright?

    Thank you

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @DJ: I’d rank him around 3rd or 4th depending upon Ohtani or Robert being available. I had him Top 30ish the end of last season.

  5. Jose says:
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    Ralph: Can you give me a pros and cons comparision between:

    Pavin Smith (22) RK
    vs.
    Peter Alonso (23) AA

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jose: Easy does Smith’s power manifest itself in over the fence power or just doubles power?

      Does Alonso hit for enough average and aenough power to be a top 12-15 1B?

      Smith can really hit, get on base, if the power comes he could be a multi-time all-star

      Alonso has power and has hit for above average power everywhere. Could he be a 30 homer guy in the majors?

      • Jose says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Thanks Ralph,

        Smith is plan: A (Joey Votto light)

        If he is gone, then plan : B (Alonso)

  6. Darek says:
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    Ralph- I see you participated in a dynasty draft over on CBS. I am in a league with similar roster size (30) except we can have no more than 25 non-prospects (essentially meaning most teams have 5 or 6 prospects).

    Anyway I thought the draft was interesting because of how high many of the prospects went. In my league I have concluded (right or wrong) that with only 60-65 prospects owned they are a fairly fungible commodity. For example last year I traded Brinson and Keller for Arrieta at the trade deadline. Seems like a lot but I turned around and picked up emerging Sixto Sanchez and Alford.

    I do think the top 10 or so are truly valuable but with so few prospects owned (and because there are many quality ones available at any time), I’ve basically been using them as a renewable resource. I’m in win now mode, too, so that influences philosophy. OTOH I did trade away prospect Bellinger last year so the philosophy can bite you.I guess my question is- do you think in dynasty leagues where only 60 or so prospects are owned they are less valuable than in leagues where teams carry, say 10 or more each?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Darek: I would agree on that, just draft a win now team. I went young heavy, which is what I usually do. Take the guys I feel have the highest upside at that spot. I had a full MLB roster and a ton of awesome prospects. I usually go hitting heavy cause those are the best commodities and fetch you the most in trade. For me the value comes from guys that were prospects that get discounted as they find their way in their first 1000 plate appearances. So I target a guy like Mazara or even Schwarber. I figure they get the rough patches out of the way and you get the seasoned but young player. It’s all about what you want in the first three years. I want a team that gets better and gains value.

  7. Prince George says:
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    Hey Ralph, Happy Super Bowl Day! 15 team dynasty league and in rebuild mode after recently taking over a team. I have a number of good OF prospects. Give up my Verdugo and G. Bird for his R. McMahon. Yea or nay? Thanks.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Prince George: Hold! Happy SB! Go Pats!

  8. Another Dan says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    Good stuff.

    If Harrison and Guzman are available in a FYPD, where would you rank them in your FYPD rankings ? Got 2 picks of the next 5 and am trying to come up with a strategy.

    Football update. Won 2-1 away at the team in 7th. Top 4 (of which we are one) are starting to pull away from the rest.

    Best wishes,

    Another Dan

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Another Dan: Harrison is top 6, Guzman around 9.

      Glad to here they are doing well!

      • Another Dan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Thanks Ralph. Ohtani and Robert are available in this draft too. I took Ramos at 8 and Harrison at 12. Left Hiura on the board which I wasn’t sure about (especially since I have a ton of OF prospects).

        I have a couple of targets at my next pick (21 and then 24).

        Best wishes,

        Dan

  9. Swfcdan says:
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    Love your podcasts with Lance. Halp was great and is missed but you guys do a great job, always like listening at the gym to take my mind off workout pain!

    Which of these guys to round out my final keeper slot (1 yr): Dahl $3, Cozart $6, Scooter $7, Haniger $6, Moustacos $7, Zimm $6

    Also worried about Conforto’s injury? Same keeper how many years for him: 1 yr $3, 2yrs $6, 3yrs $8 . Would’ve been a slam dunk 3 but that injury is a killer.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Swfcdan: Which Zimm? If it’s Bradley I go Haniger, if it’s Ryan Zimmerman, I take him. I really buy the bounceback. His improved approach has him making great contact.

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Jordan Zimmerman…only kidding! It’s Ryan, interesting you’re a buyer as I am skeptical, but I trust Prospect Jesus. Not worried about his injuries though? Hadn’t been healthy a full season for years until 2017.

        What about Confor(got)to?

  10. Joe says:
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    Hey Ralph

    I’m in a 12 team dynasty league 7×7 format. Draft is coming up on Wednesday and I have 3 picks in the 1st round and 2 in the 2nd round. I was hoping you could help me out by ranking the following players in your preferential order, so I can strategize when to take each.

    Tyler glasnow
    Julio urias
    Jack flaherty
    Josh Hader
    Sixto Sanchez
    Brendan McKay
    Hunter Greene
    Royce Lewis
    Vince Velasquez
    Manuel Margot
    Mike Soroka
    Daniel Megden
    Garrett Richards
    Mitch Keller

    I know I could have looked at your top 100 prospects list but I have a few now guys in there which is why I would really enjoy your help.

    If there is a guy you really like can you put a star next to them as well.

    Thanks!

  11. MB says:
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    I would have been okay if you had just gone two deep on this list and moved on

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @MB: Why? Guzman, Diaz, and Alcantara are on Top 100 lists.

  12. Mordacious Levator says:
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    i love that people use the “struggled mightily” for a guy with 47 at bats. this isn’t soler power’s MLB stats for instance here. or what’s his face on BOS that OF got the big ass contract as an international. THOSE guys can be mentioned as “struggling mightily”. rusney castillo that’s him.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mordacious Levator also Rusney, super underwhelming but not as bad numbers wise as you think. Brinson is a much better talent. Chill out!

      • Mordacious Levator says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: i wasn’t targeting you particularly, as i KNOW you know what it means to see a long timeline on these guys. others that comment in Grey’s posts mostly i’d be targeting with that line. i’m guessing brinson has about 3.5 buxtons at most at this stage right, and buxton himself might even be down to 2.7 or less? i just showed soler/rusney to show what a that might really look like.

        • Mordacious Levator says:
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          @Mordacious Levator: every year in shandler’s book it’s noted about the a-roid prospect 10 step path to stardom:
          1. guy puts up great minor numbers
          2. media goes nuts
          3. gets called up year 1. sucks
          4. demoted
          5. kills minors again
          6. called up 2nd time, still bad
          7. demoted
          8. media ignores
          9. kills minors 3rd year
          10. called up, ignored by most everybody now, kills majors, somebody got him for $5.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Mordacious Levator: Haha! on the Buxton line. I think he turned it around right about whn that joke was made. Call it the jinx.

          Yeah, I still really like Brinson a ton and I think the fact that his statcast readings were good gives me some hope. I hope Miami just lets him play from day 1.

          • Mordacious Levator says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: yeah that’d be all kinds of stupid for them not to do that. it isn’t like MIL last year where they thought him taking time to learn would hurt them in the short term, MIA doesn’t WANT to do well in the shortest term (well not REALLY well, as it doesn’t appear possible anyway). yr right, buxton did it almost like he was reading you
            “i can’t have that term made up from me, that’s awful”

            i’ll continue to use it though, till somebody else as highly ranked does the same for as long.

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