Strikeouts have been the Marlins’ calling card the last several years on both offense and defense. A recent pivot toward contact skills has already rewarded them with a couple strong stretches from Bryan De La Cruz, but the team’s bread is definitely buttered on the pitcher’s mound, where the organization remains rich from top to bottom. 

Format = Position Player | Age on 4/1/2023 | Highest Level Played | Expected Time of Arrival

1. RHP Eury Perez | 19 | AA | 2023

It’s tough to keep Eury Perez in perspective. He’s 6’8” 220 lbs and started his second Double-A game on his 19th birthday. His control came and went this season, netting him a 4.08 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 75 innings as a 19-year-old facing hitters half-a-decade (5.4 years) older than him. He missed about a month late with injury but returned before season’s end, walking four batters in two innings on September 16 to round out his 2022. If you track prospects, you have to like this guy for his easy velocity and repeatable, athletic mechanics. He’s a unicorn. The only rub here is his perceived value. After all the off-season ink has dried, Perez could be the consensus top pitching prospect in baseball–a mantle frequently carried by players who wind up disappointing us in the long run. Last year’s top two were Shane Baz and Grayson Rodriguez, who will again be in the running for king of pitching prospect mountain after missing most of 2022 with a lat strain. For most of Perez’s trajectory, I’ve been hammering the gas, but I’ve backed off over the past few cycles as his name value has skyrocketed. I even traded him in the Highlander Dynasty Invitational last year. Brought back Camilo Doval who was crucial to me winning that league. I’d still want Perez wherever I could get him. I’m just wary of the price point and think he’s likely to struggle if he debuts in 2023.

 

2. 3B/OF Jacob Berry | 21 | A | 2024

Thanks to What We Do in the Shadows, I can’t see the name Berry without thinking of the line “my darling ladywife Nadja” as delivered by the great Matt Berry. Miami’s drafting of Jacob Berry represented a pivot from swinging for the fences with all their prospects, opting instead to target a few guys who make regular contact. As their reward, Berry ripened nicely during 33 games in Low-A, slashing .264/.358/.392 with three homers and a steal. Not the sweetest fruit you’ll ever find on the vine, but you can squeeze a little juice from the 118 wRC+ those numbers netted. If he doesn’t deliver a lot more thump in 2023, he’ll tumble down this list. The six-foot switch hitter won’t help us in the stolen base category, so batting average won’t be enough for us. He’s second now but in the same tier as Fulton at seven if I block it out that way. That’s probably Fulton’s fault though, to be honest. He might be the best seven in the league by the time I finish all thirty lists.

 

3. SS Kahlil Watson | 19 | A | 2025

Look, I’m not in the dugout, but I get ugly vibes from the reporting around Kahlil Watson. Not about Watson, by the way. He produced a 96 wRC+ in 83 games at Low-A, where he was 2.1 years younger than the average-aged player. You might think he’d gain some believers after producing an average season in a full-season league as a teenager, but the strikeout rate has scared away some would-be Watson fans. As has the media. With a couple good months at any point in 2023, Watson could be a power-speed 20-year-old in Double-A. He’ll turn 20 on April 18 and likely open the season in High-A. I’m buying where I can.

 

4. SS Yiddi Cappe | 20 | A | 2025

This list carries some high hopes for the franchise, and it feels like nobody can boost his profile more than Yiddi Cappe could with a big 2023. He wasn’t particularly good in 37 Low-A games (.278/.299/.380) after generating a lot of buzz in 30 games on the complex (.305/.364/.517 with six homers and six steals). Driving the hype beyond the statlines, Cappe is a 6’3” 175 lb double-plus athlete across the board with a good chance to stay at shortstop, encouraging some taste makers to rush him up their lists before the outcomes demand it.

 

5. LHP Jake Eder | 24 | AA | 2023

Exhibit 16,999 charting the perils of chasing pitching prospects, Eder was fairly cheap to acquire for both our purposes and Miami’s. The Marlins selected the 6’4” 215 lb lefty in the fourth round of the 2020 draft and found themselves with a quick profit, pushing Eder straight to Double-A, where he dominated for 71.1 innings. He was cruising toward a 2022 debut when his elbow gave out in September of 2021. He’s been back on the mound for a while now and should be part of the rotation picture early in 2022, which gives him the edge over Meyer for our purposes.

 

6. RHP Max Meyer | 24 | MLB | 2022

Exhibit 17,000 charting the perils of chasing named young arms in dynasty leagues, Max Meyer blew out just two starts into his major league career. He had Tommy John surgery in August and won’t be back in the roto picture until 2024. A slight silver lining is that he held up long enough to make the show, meaning he’ll be IL-eligible for your fantasy teams, and he’ll earn service time for himself. Meyer’s a dynamic athlete with incredible balance and power throughout his delivery, so I think he’s more likely to land among the players who return successfully than those who never quite make it back.

 

7. LHP Dax Fulton | 21 | AA | 2025

After struggling to find the plate in High-A but earning a promotion despite a 1.43 WHIP across 97.1 innings, Dax Fulton didn’t miss in Double-A, posting a 0.76 WHIP in 21 innings as a 20-year-old. If he can retain that form, hitters are in trouble. September was not a lucky month, is what I’m saying, as the 6’7” 225 lb Fulton requires none to create impressive outcomes. His plus fastball pairs well with a picturesque double-plus curve he can drop in for free strikes or bury for swinging strikes. Big win for Miami as the 40th overall pick in 2020, where he fell to them mostly because of Tommy John surgery during his senior high school season.

 

8. OF Jose Gerardo | 17 | DSL | 2026

Pitchers and long shots with topside: that’s been the Marlins’ way for a long time, so it’s no surprise to see that reflected in the list. Gerardo struck out a lot (30.3%) but more than made up for that with plate patience and the impact of his contact. His .284/.417/.551 slash line isn’t all that amazing given the level, but Gerardo hit 11 home runs and stole 18 bases in 19 attempts and looked good doing it. At 6’1” 179 lbs, he’s a prototype outfield athlete.

 

9. SS Jose Salas | 19 | A+ | 2024

A switch-hitter at 6’2” 191 lbs, Salas is a fluid athlete with a penchant for thievery, swiping 33 bases in 34 attempts across two levels this season. He also hit nine homers, 20 doubles and 4 triples in those 109 games, so the power is in there. Just may take a while for Salas to manifest it from both sides in games.

 

10. C Paul McIntosh | 24 | AA | 2023

A plus athlete behind the plate, McIntosh has earned a look in the near term. He’s seen time in left field and could come up as a back-up catcher and fifth outfielder. I’m way more intrigued by him than I should be by a mid-twenties catcher with questionable contact skills. At 6’1” 220 lbs, McIntosh is quicker than the average backstop and stole ten bases in 90 Double-A games, chipping in 13 homers while maintaining a 14.4-to-19.6 walk-to-strikeout rate.

Thanks for reading! 

I’m @theprospectitch on Razzball. 

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leon
leon
21 days ago

khalil watson for my seranthony dominguez? dynasty. 16 man

Ross
Ross
1 month ago

I’m kind of confused at the lack of hype around salas. Made it to high-a as a 19 year old, no real concerns with the amount of contact, takes a fair amount of walks, speed is there and all reports I’ve read seem to think the power is coming. I know the stat line hasnt been overwhelming, but this seems like a guy who could blow up while also having a really solid floor.

FunnyGeorgeLopez
FunnyGeorgeLopez
1 month ago

Thanks for doing all these lists itch!! Curious about a few subjects related to your lists:
– What information do you gather to inform your lists (writers, websites, databases, tweets, beat writers, team sources, live looks, etc.)?
– What traits do you generally like in a player and what traits do you think are typically overrated?
– What assumptions about league size, scoring format, and how players are added do you make when creating lists? As a corollary, any advice for readers to tailor these lists for their own leagues?
Appreciate you!

Philip
Philip
1 month ago

Glad to have you back! I hope you enjoyed your time away from us. Missed you like hell.

Who turns out to have the best career, jazz Chisholm, Oneil Cruz, or Ellly de la Cruz?

Thanks Homie!

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago

Great stuff Itch!! Thoughts on Will Brennon next year? He hasn’t been playing much in the post season…Do you think Colas breaks camp with Chi-Sox? You are the best in the biz! Thank you!

Jimmy
Jimmy
Reply to  Jimmy
1 month ago

Trying to acquire Eder…offered Taillion….he wants Braxton Garrett instead…thoughts…13 team dynasty 5×5…

Jimmy
Jimmy
Reply to  The Itch
1 month ago

Sweet Thank you!

Curt C
Curt C
1 month ago

I was offered Eury Perez for Brennen Davis, whatcha think?……

galica1234
galica1234
1 month ago

The Itch!!!

Awesome!!

a. Thanks so much for all your efforts in MLB22. Looking forward to more in MLB23.

b. Finished 1st in that weekly roto dynasty that I felt wouldn’t be renewed for 2023. So far no renewal, we’ll see.

c. Finished 2nd in this dynasty, daily locks league (4×4 but will migrate to normal 5×5 roto in MLB23). Below is the final product.

We may do keepers and a draft. No news yet on how many we can keep.

Which players would you be dropping off to the curb? Like the worst 15 to keep from a dynasty perspective.

William Contreras
Meneses
Mateo
Drury
Tovar
Tellez
Soto
Arozarena, Betts, Brennan, Oswaldo Cabrera, Eaton
India, Bogaerts

Bench Brujan, Esteury, GArias, McCarthy, Stowers

IL SMarte

MiLB Walker, Cowser, Gutierrez, Harris, JLowe, Outman, Yasser Mercedes

SP DL Hall, Lorenzen, Manoah, Ryan, Davis Martin, Cease, Elder, Roansy, Lodolo, Musgrove, Wesneski

RP Hendriks, Fairbanks, Camilo, Alexis Diaz

IL Gonsolin, Kopech

MiLB EuryP, LoganT Allen, Bibee, Hence, Tiedemann

I’ll try to trade Mateo, I’m thinking Vavra will push him out well that and Mateo’s 0.267 OBP. Marte I’ll try to trade too. Tellez, he could go. Don’t really like Betts or Arozarena either. Bogaerts and India are looking not so good. We’ll see, won’t make any moves yet.

d. George Carlin quote of the day for October 19, 2022

I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me. […] I look at war a little bit differently. To me, war is a lot of prick-waving! OK? Simple thing. That’s all it is. War is a whole lot of men standing out on a field waving their pricks at one another. Men are insecure about the size of their dicks, and so they have to kill one another over the idea. That’s what all that asshole jock bullshit is all about. That’s what all that adolescent, macho, male posturing and strutting in bars and locker rooms is all about. It’s called “dick fear!” Men are terrified that their pricks are inadequate and so they have to compete with one another, to feel better about themselves, and since war is the ultimate competition, basically, men are killing each other in order to improve their self-esteem! You don’t have to be a history major or a political scientist to see the bigger-dick foreign policy theory. It sounds like this: “What, they have bigger dicks? Bomb them!” And of course, the bombs and the rockets and the bullets are all shaped like dicks. It’s a subconscious need to project the penis into other people’s affairs. It’s called “fucking with people!”

From, Jammin’ in New York (1992)
Cheers,
Ante

galica1234
galica1234
Reply to  The Itch
1 month ago

The Itch!!!

Thanks, man. Not making any moves yet just getting my feelers out there. Also, no idea on if there will be keepers or not. The Commish did say that if we change the stats then there will be a draft.

Keep on truckin’, man. You are a gift.

Cheers,
Ante