Many, many years ago the old west was littered with once horse towns. This made travel problematic. With one horse you were destined to stand in endless lines waiting to get where you were going. Then again what’s the point of living in a one horse town? You might as well just walk to a town with multiple horses. Or maybe you could take the horse to a town with more horses and trade that horse for some magic beans….I think I just smoked my self stupid. This is just a really long and confusing way to say the Miami Marlins are a one prospect system. Seriously, I’d like to own Braxton Garrett in leagues that are 16 teams and shallower and that’s it. If you want to pick nits and tell me there’s another horse in this town have at it. I’ll be too busy walking to the next town over that has multiple horses. I suppose it should be noted that the Marlins have graduated a solid number of prospects over the past 5 years (Yelich, Ozuna, Realmuto, Jose Fernandez RIP) but have also given away a number as well. Players like Francis Martes, Josh Naylor, and Chris Paddack come to mind, and all they have to show for it is Jarrod Cosart. That’s bad business. While this will be my shortest system review of the year it’s for good reason, there’s not a lot to write about. It’s the Top Miami Marlins Prospects, hey at least it’s over. Oh wait, yeah you’re just starting it. Sorry…

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It’s the holiday special edition of the prospect podcast, and Halp and I are full of cheer. There’s talk of Jelly Donuts, Egg Nog, the need for a craft rum movement, and so much more. We also lay it on you heavy for your naughty behavior, with a big olde lump of coal. Genuine and from a mine! We talk three of the most wretched systems in baseball, the Miami Marlins, Kansas City Royals, and Los Angeles Angels. Each system has only a few players to offer so we packed it into one. If you’re on the fence about whether you should tune into something I’m openly deeming awful or not, three words. Stabby the Cat. She’s back, but not really. Believe me, no one can make the Angels, Royals, and Marlins more fun than Halph! I mean come on Kansas City Royals Prospects!! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Festivus, it’s the latest edition of the Razzball Baseball Prospect Podcast.

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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.

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The dynasty league first-year player draft is a unique winter ritual. It’s typically how dynasty owners get their hands on all of the unowned players who were previously ineligible to be claimed. Take all the 2014 draftees from June, mix with the top international signings from Cuba and elsewhere, sprinkle in the July 2nd international prospects, and you’ve got a whole new pool of players to draft from. With both comments and questions on the topic from previous articles, I think it’s worth looking closer at some of the top options in such a draft. And there is no better way to do that than with some good old-fashioned rankings.

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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

Graduated Prospects
None

The Gist
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.

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Welcome to the All-Star break gang – the unofficial beginning of the second half signals the time to reorganize, revamp, and re-think approaches for us, as well as the folks making the calls for your favorite MLB teams. And, coincidentally, it also marks the time for me to revisit my Prospect Rankings. These are the current top-50 guys on my board that haven’t accumulated the standard minimum 130 AB/50 IP at the MLB level that most fantasy leagues recognize. When compiling my rankings, I try to consider as many variables as possible, but my main focus tilts toward future “difference-makers”… those guys that have the potential to make significant impacts when they reach “The Show”. Some players you’ll find on this list may be further away from making that impact than others, some may be struggling a bit right now (they may have been recently promoted to the next level to challenge them and are adjusting to stiffer competition), some may be on the shelf because of injury, etc., but this list represents the top-50 players I’d pick if you give me the first 50 picks in the MiLB phase of a draft in a newly forming fantasy league. These are the prospects GMs “dream on”, regardless of their current minor league level – the players they plan to build their rosters around at some point in the near future.

So here we go…

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