10 Names You Need To Know – Miami Marlins

We all the know the top names when it comes to the Miami Marlins prospect pool, names such as Sixto Sanchez, JJ Bleday, Jazz Chisholm, Jesus Sanchez, Edward Cabrera and Monte Harrison. Miami, just a few years ago, was not a hotbed of minor league talent. The last couple of years the organization has focused on improving the minor league system which has led to them, arguably, having a top 10 minor league system. The entire management team from CEO Derek Jeter down to the analysts should be given a round of applause for the job they have done. While most fans and fantasy players know the top 5 to 6 players, let me highlight 10 other names you should keep an eye on. If you are looking for a deeper dive into the Marlins system check out my Marlins Preseason Top 50.

Here are my 10 Names You Need To Know when it comes to Marlins prospects:

Trevor Rogers, LHP – Rogers made the Marlins 60-man summer roster. After going in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft the Marlins decided to progress him slowly through the system to build up his arm strength and work on his secondary pitches. The 6’5” left tosser progressed to AA Jacksonville last season and in 136.1 innings he had a 2.90 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 150 strikeouts. He has yet to develop a traditional breaking ball but his fastball/cutter combo has proven to be effective due to his long arms and easy delivery making the pitches sneak up on the batters. Scouts agree that his floor is that of a 4th starter but many disagree on the ceiling. If he continues to locate well and increase his feel for a change he could tote the rubber as a frontline starter. MLB ETA: 2021

Braxton Garrett, LHP – Garrett made the Marlins 60-man summer roster. The former 1st round selection in the 2016 draft required TJ surgery early in his career, missing most of 2017 and all of 2018, causing many people to overlook the prospect who had the best curveball in the 2016 draft class. The 6’2” lefty got back on the mound last year and demonstrated his ability to locate all of his pitches. His curveball found its form and it sits in the lower 80’s, but with the good depth it works against lefties and righties at the plate. His fastball hits up to 96, but that could increase the further away from TJ. His third pitch is a change that could use some more development. In first action since 2017, Garrett tossed 106.2 innings with a 3.54 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 119 strikeouts, quite impressive. At only 22-years-old there is still plenty of time for Garrett to make an impact but the time to buy is now.  MLB ETA: Mid 2021

Kameron Misner, OF – The number 35 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, Misner looked to be a much higher pick but fizzled out the second half of the year at Missouri. The Marlins took a chance anyway due to the massive raw power and plus plus speed. Scouts agree that what is needed for him to excel is a tweak to his swing and that the potential is there for a true 30/30 centerfielder at the highest level. The 6’4” lefty is on this list because many are focused on the potential from Bleday, the top overall pick from the Marlins 2019 draft class. One of Misner’s best tools is his outstanding feel for the strike zone, but he needs to be a tad more aggressive to avoid getting behind in the counts and so he can hit the ball with authority. MLB ETA: 2022

Lewin Diaz, 1B – Diaz, the player brought to Miami via the trade with the Twins for Sergio Romo, made the Marlins 60-man summer roster. Projected players ahead of Diaz are Jesus Aguilar and Garrett Cooper for playing time this season, but with the universal DH he may get a shot this year. The 6’ 4” 217 pound left handed first baseman is agile enough in the field and moves well for his size. His size yields impressive leverage, and when you combine that leverage with his strength and bat speed, that gives Diaz an A+ power tool. Last year he smashed 27 HR while hitting .268 with a .322 OBP and a .457 SLG. He has also shown the ability to adjust to breaking balls and can hit anything low but there is some work to do at the top of the zone.  MLB ETA: Late 2020

Jose Devers, 2B/SS – The business of baseball is never easy but the new ownership needed to save money and rebuild the minor league system. That is how we get to Jose Devers. Giancarlo Stanton was the face of the Marlins but the trade that sent him to the Yankees saved $265 million and brought in Starlin Castro, Jorge Guzman, and Devers. Castro has moved on and Guzman looks like a solid 4th or 5th starter with upside. Devers, traded at 17, has been challenged by the front office and he has not backed down. In 2018 he was the 2nd youngest player in the Class A South Atlantic League and by the end of the season made it to A+. In 2019 he dealt with a forearm strain that took him out for close to 3 months. In the field he has an intuitive quick first step and enough arm for the shortstop position. He is capable of playing all over the infield in a utility role should his offense not develop. Devers’ offensive profile is not of power but of a contact hitter with an excellent batting eye evident of his 2019 .391 OBP. He’s working on adding strength to help with his gap power and to hopefully increase his durability. I think his ceiling is a starting shortstop hitting at the top of the lineup, setting the table for the power bats Miami has acquired. Miami received much ridicule for trading away their superstar outfielder, but in the end it was what they had to do and they have 2 young prospects hoping to make the Yankees regret that deal. MLB ETA: 2022

Peyton Burdick, OF – 2019 third round pick got off to a scorching start helping lead Clinton to the finals and taking home the Class A MVP. Standing at 6’ 0″ and weighing 210 pounds is not your typical body type for OF prospects, but Burdick’s bat speed paired with his towering strength and his smooth right-handed stroke entitled him to have the best power in the 2019 college class. His bat will allow him to hit a ball out of any ballpark. He is aggressive at the plate leading to some strikeouts but he also has the batting eye to talk a walk. With further development I could see much improvement on the contact part of his batting approach. His 2019 stat line speaks for itself. In 260 at-bats he hit 35 XBH with a .308 AVG, .407 OBP, .542 SLG and a .949 OPS! Being a bit of an older prospect I expect him to move quickly through the system assuming he keeps producing. MLB ETA: 2022

Jerar Encarnacion, OF – Encarnacion made the cut to be on the 60-man summer roster after a fantastic 2019. Signed back in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic, his first taste of pro-ball came in 2016. Things didn’t appear to click until last year for the 6’5” 239 pound right hander due to a myriad of nagging injuries to start his career. Jerar’s calling card is his excellent bat speed paired with his size and strength that give him plus raw power to all fields. He has improved his plate discipline and shortened his swing to make more consistent contact. Highlights from last year include homering in the Class A Midwest All-Star Game and hitting a significant grand slam in the AFL Championship game (off now teammate Sterling Sharp) that proved to provide the runs needed for the victory. I expect that he will continue to develop his batting eye and I look for him to begin 2021 in Jacksonville. MLB ETA: 2022

Alex Vesia, LHP – Vesia was drafted back in 2018 in the 17th round but has made the most of his opportunity thus far. In 2019 he challenged Sixto Sanchez for Marlins Minor League Player of the Year. In 52 games (100 innings) he had 138 K with a 1.62 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP while converting 5 of 6 save opportunities. The 24-year-old, 6’1”, 209 pound left handed relief pitcher has a fastball that tops out at 97 MPH. Pair that with a tricky delivery and high spin rates, the pitch seems to be out of this world. He has a solid change that he operates in the lower 80’s and he has to work on his curve to elevate his arsenal to be in consideration for high leverage situations. He is very good versus right handed hitters but with the development team in Miami I think that we could see him making an impact sooner rather than later. MLB ETA: Late 2020

Evan Edwards, 1B – Edwards was a 4th round selection (111 overall) out of North Carolina State in the 2019 MLB Draft. Coming out of college he played in every game and did not commit an error. He also held a 35-game stretch where he reached base safely. Evan led his college team in RBI (60), walks (51), and OBP (.455), and he came in 2nd in average (.330), runs (59), hits (76), doubles (17), HR (14), TB (139) and slugging percentage (.604). What’s impressive is that all the stats came from a total of 230 at bats. He was productive but how would that translate to pro ball? In 44 more at bats as a pro he held his own hitting .281 with a .357 OBP, 50 RBI, 30 walks, 83 strikeouts and 25 extra base hits. He is the second first baseman on this 10 to watch list, but he has the makings of a special player. On the field and he has a simple short swing with a great batting eye and he understands the game of baseball. Also, he is better on defense then any 1B I have seen in a while. MLB ETA: 2022

Breidy Encarnacion, RHP – Standing at 6’3” this right hander excelled in his first year of pro-ball. Encarnacion showed excellent control on the mound limiting the walks and keeping hitters off guard as evidenced by his 0.83 WHIP and 57 strikeouts in 47 innings. His 3 pitch mix of fastball, curve, and change play well with his above average command. His fastball tops out at 94 but it feathers a high spin rate, riding up in the zone, which will become a devastating pitch once he increases the velocity. He will need to bulk up a little but he repeats his delivery well and is advanced for a 19-year-old international signee who was overshadowed by the Mesa brothers signings. MLB ETA: 2023

Special thanks to @fishstripes, @JWeisser88, @KingOfBuffalo, @cory5ott, and @FlaSmitty for the tweets.

Stoffer is an avid baseball fan who grew up in the heart of Braves country, but felt he never really fit in until the Marlins came along and then it was game over. He has been playing in deep dynasty keeper leagues for 20+ years and only plays in leagues where there is a prospect component. He currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida, which is the perfect place for him because it's home to the Jumbo Shrimp, the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate.

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