We’re in a bit of a lull today with the offseason leagues winding down and the winter meetings set to start tomorrow, but there have been a few interesting transactions involving prospects. Next week’s rundown should be a tad meatier once the teams depart Vegas and have (hopefully) made some trades/moves. One of the teams that is kind of fascinating to watch right now is the Miami Marlins. I would expect them to move J.T. Realmuto this offseason (maybe this week), and I’d also expect the return to be centered around prospects. The team is obviously in rebuild mode, and since they’re not likely to be ready to compete in 2020, it makes no sense for them to hold the backstop. So let’s start with Miami, who signed a bunch of players to minor league contracts last Monday.
Harold Ramirez, OF – Ramirez signed with Miami along with a boatload of other players this week (Pedro Alvarez, Dixon Machado, etc. etc. mainly etc.). Back when he was a prospect with the Pirates (2016), he was one of my favorites. I liked his approach and the potential for a power/speed combo. Well that ended up being my last year here and Harold’s last year with the Pirates. He was traded to Toronto in the Francisco Liriano deal and I went to work as a concierge in Chad. Now it’s about to be 2019 and we’re both back *muffled applause, *coughing. In 2018, Ramirez hit .309 with 11 homers and 16 steals. I like this signing a lot and I hope he gets some real chances in Miami. He’s still only 24 even though it feels like he’s been around forever. I’d take a flier in dynasty leagues.
Gabriel Guerrero, OF – Another player signed by Miami, Guerrero is currently playing in the Dominican and playing well. He’s hitting .272 with three homers and a pair of steals through 26 games. Guerrero got a cup of coffee with the Reds, but being Vlad’s nephew wasn’t enough to stop Cincy from outrighting him. He’s the same age as Harold, with a bit more pop but a higher tendency to swing and miss. I’d take the same approach with this one – he could benefit from the change of scenery and a second chance with a rebuilding club. He probably won’t cost anything to acquire in a dynasty.
Andy Young, 2B/3B – Young was part of the return for Paul Goldschmidt in this week’s trade. I don’t think he’ll get many opportunities this year outside of an injury. I actually like Ketel Marte a lot and Eduardo Escobar isn’t going anywhere. But, Young gives the D-Backs some nice depth for their infield. He hit .289 with 21 bombs in 2018, with the caveat that he was a bit old for Double-A at 24 plus. He’ll get his reps at AAA in 2019 and I’d treat him as a serviceable depth piece in dynasties or deeper NL-only leagues.
Jarred Kelenic, OF – Of all the prospects that moved this week, Kelenic is the best. The Mets shipped him to Seattle in the Cano/Diaz deal. Kelenic’s best tool is his ability to hit, but he’s also got some average pop and speed. He was just drafted in 2018 and hit .286 with six homers and 15 steals in rookie ball. I’d expect him to move pretty quickly thanks to his approach. If I were rewriting Seattle’s minor league preview today, he’d be ranked number two in the Grade A tier – just behind Justus Sheffield.
Justin Dunn, RHP – Dunn is the other big piece to move to Seattle in the Diaz trade. He’d slot between Kyle Lewis and Julio Rodriguez at number five on a revamped top ten. The main concern here is that he won’t cut it as a starter, but he features an above-average fastball/slider combo with some decent strikeout potential. He pitched 135 innings in 2018 and punched out over ten per nine. Seattle’s system was pretty weak before these trades, so he pretty much becomes the best pitcher on their farm after Sheffield.