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…
Tier 1: Specs On The Beach
Potential stars. Consensus T100 prospects with premium fantasy ceilings.
Braxton Garrett, LHP | Age: 19 | ETA: 2020 | 2016 Level: N/A
Well here he is, the one Marlins prospect you should consider owning. Besides being their most recent first round pick, he’s also the only player on this list we’ve yet to see in proball. The 6’3 lefty is the second high school arm the Marlins have taken in the first round in the last three years, the other being Tyler Kolek. Let’s hope it goes better than that…. Garrett brings to the table an incredibly high floor for a prep arm. He’s a polished strike thrower, that mixes three above average to plus pitches in his fastball, change, and curveball. The latter of which is by far his best offering, and one of the top breaking balls in last year’s class. His control and command are above average; mix that with his advanced pitchability, and he should be a relatively fast riser. For those of you praying for J-Fer’s replacement, Garrett is not, but a solid number two he should be. That’s the good number two FYI.
Tier 2: Floorboreds
Lacking the “star” upside. They might have some warts, but their ETAs are on the horizon.
Brian Anderson, 3B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2018 | 2016 Level: AA/A+
Anderson is such a floorbored we might as well just name this the Brian Anderson tier. Do I think Anderson is a future major leaguer? Sure, but in the same way I think McDonald’s is technically food. It’s food, technically, but I’m not enthused to eat it. In the same way I’m not enthused to own Anderson. Yes, he did just lead the Arizona Fall League in homers, and that’s not meaningless. Particularly when you consider the last three AFL home run kings were Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, and Kris Bryant. Do I see Anderson being on par with any of them? No. Maybe Bird, but even that seems like a weighty comp. Baseball America described him as a utility player with power, and then comped him to Ryan Raburn. That seems fair, as Anderson is a righty whose splits lean lefty heavy. The upside here is his hit tool is better than I’m giving him credit for, and he ends up a solid corner infielder with 20 homer pop, good average, and on base ability. I’d own Anderson in leagues where 200+ minors are owned.
Luis Castillo, RHP | Age: 24 | ETA: 2018 | 2016 Level: AA/A+
Castillo is one of those players where I’m not really sure I like him, as much as I like the idea of him. He’s 24, throws an upper 90’s fastball that touches triple digits, mixes it with an above average slider, and the numbers were good. Here’s the thing, he doesn’t strikeout that many batters for a guy with a big heater and a solid breaking pitch. He’s also old for the levels he’s played in. So is he the second coming of Nathan Eovaldi? Maybe, but he’s a back of the rotation arm. I suppose I shouldn’t write a blurb about Castillo without mentioning that he was traded to San Diego in the Andrew Cashner/Colin Rea deal. Only to be returned to the Marlins when it turned out Rea’s arm was made of straw and overcooked spaghetti. Gotta respect AJ Preller’s gangster.
Jarlin Garcia, LHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2017 | 2016 Level: AA/A+
Hey kids guess what we have here? You guessed it, yet another back end of the rotation starter! Garcia gets a lot of hyperbole about having the best stuff in the system, which is like being the shortest little person, or the most alive dead guy. All that to say, it doesn’t mean much. He does have a mid-90’s fastball, a solid curveball, and an average change. Yeah, that’s the guy with the best stuff in this system. If he was in the Houston system he wouldn’t even make the write up.
Others: Austin Dean, Austin Brice, Dillon Peters, Tayron Guerrero, George “Herman” Ruth
Tier 3: Long Shot Lolitas
Sexy ceilings, but these youngsters also come with risks and distant ETAs
Tyler Kolek, RHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2019 | 2016 Level: N/A
Want a good reason to ignore all my advice? I bought into Kolek heavy a few years back, and drafted him in first year player drafts all over the place. If only I knew then what I know now, Tyler Kolek sucks. Seriously he’s not good. He’s big, from Texas, and threw really hard coming out of the prep ranks and heading into the 2014 draft. But like many of the people I grew up with, he peaked in high school. Since entering the pro ranks his velocity is way down, he doesn’t miss many bats, and is more or less a groundball specialist with pedigree. He missed last year after going under the knife for Tommy John, who is a sick sadistic bastard. Then again, what should we expect from a former Yankee. Will Kolek return with better velocity, control, and swing and miss stuff? Sure, it’s possible, but highly unlikely.
Stone Garrett, OF | Age: 19 | ETA: 2019 | 2016 Level: A-
If I ranked players in the system based simply on names, Garrett would be numero uno in the Marlins system. Only problem is I don’t and Garrett is just a long shot prospect with a good power/speed profile, and a nasty hand injury sustained at the blade of the Highlander Josh Naylor. The hand injury ended in nerve damage in his thumb. Greeeeeaaaaatttt…. Garrett is a long way off, but he offers one of the few interesting upsides amongst the marlins system of boring hitters.
Thomas Jones, OF | Age: 18 | ETA: 2020 | 2016 Level: Rk
Neck and neck with Garrett for the most upside among Marlins hitting prospects. Jones has raw across the board skills, making him a player with serious 5 tool potential. He’s got size, speed, and raw hitting talent. He’s a long ways away, so if you target him at the back end of your first year player drafts I’d be prepared to wait it out. He’s a low risk gamble worth taking in super deep leagues where 400+ minors are owned.
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