Miami Marlins 2021 Top 50 Prospects

Graphic design by John Stewart, @jonance on Twitter

The 2020 MLB season was filled with surprises but the Miami Marlins making the postseason and even advancing had to be the biggest surprise. Expanded playoff format and the shortened season were the biggest factors into making the playoffs. Kudos to the front office for seizing the opportunity and making moves needed to make a run. The Marlins solidified the CF position and the batting order by acquiring Starling Marte from Arizona for Caleb Smith, Humberto Mejia and Julio Frias. That same day they flipped Jonathan Villar to Toronto for a player to be named later, which was a home-coming of sort as it brought Mr. Marlin’s son to Miami, outfield prospect Griffin Conine. After the season the Marlins pulled the trigger on the $12.5M dollar option on Marte to keep him around for the 2021 season which is a big win as the young outfield prospects will be able to learn from one of the best.


The offseason has been quiet, but they have made some under the radar type moves. Acquired RHP Adam Cimber from the Indians for cash considerations and on the same day they designated RHP Jose Urena for assignment. The Marlins made some noise in the Rule 5 Draft selecting RHP Paul Campbell from the Rays. In the minor league portion of the Rule 5 they selected LHP Jake Fishman from the Blue Jays, RHP Dylan Bice from the Rangers and 2B Marcus Chiu from the Dodgers. The Marlins also traded for another Rule 5 selection acquiring RHP Zach Pop from the Diamondbacks. The front office has emphasized acquiring arms this offseason, specifically arms that could be used out of the pen. The biggest move of the offseason came when the Marlins had to find a replacement for the General Manager position. Miami hired Kim Ng as MLB’s first East Asian American and first female to the General Manager position. Ng brings decades of experience and tenacity to the position which should translate to long term success for the franchise.

For the rest of the offseason, I would not at all be surprised if the front office is rumored to be looking for help at the catching position, a veteran starter or more pen arms. The rest of the team has a lot of youth looking to make an impact at the next level sooner rather than later. In fact, the 2020 Marlins set a franchise record with 17 debuts. The loss of the minor league season was shocking, and no doubt had a lot to do with the number of debuts. We will have to wait to see what kind of implications that caused on player development. Below you will find my Marlins Top 50 prospects list. I want to preface the list by saying that I did not include international players that the Marlins signed on January 15th due to available time to accurately research before publishing deadline. Players signed include: LHP Luis Baldiris, OF Kevin Guerrero, C Ronald Hernandez, INF Reiner Chourio, OF Oscar Colina, C Edward Duran, RHP Gerardo Hernandez, INF Jesus Hernandez, LHP Jesus Leon, and RHP Jhoniel Serrano. I was able to include INF Yiddi Cappe as I have thoroughly researched him as a projected signing by the Marlins.

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have a high likelihood of making the majors, but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster

Tier 1

1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP (2020 Rank: 1)
Age: 22
Highest Level: MLB
One of many Marlins on this list to make his MLB debut in 2020. The prize return for one of the best catchers in baseball remains at the top of the Marlins prospect list. In his debut he went 5 innings striking out 4 but his next game he went 7 innings striking out out 10, he never looked over matched on the mound having the poise of a seasoned veteran. Sanchez throws his 5 pitch mix with power: slider 89.1 mph, sinker 96.6 mph, 4-seamer 98.5 mph, curve 85.8 mph, changeup 89 mph. The key to success for pitchers is getting that first pitch strike which is something Sixto did approximately 67% of the time in 2020. Look for Sanchez to battle for a rotation spot out of Spring Training while working to further develop his curve.

2. Jazz Chisholm, 2B/SS (2020 Rank 3)
Age: 22
Highest Level: MLB
Made his Major League debut in 2020 and performed admirably. He played stellar defense at 2B and in 56 at bats he hit .161 with a .242 OBP. Chisholm started slow looking overmatched but really started picking up at the end of the season and he provides an infectious energy most players don’t possess. Do not look into his slow start to much because he has typically struggled upon every promotion but does figure it out. Being as how he has not played above double A until last year, I could see him getting some work in at Jacksonville (AAA) to start the year. He has the tools to be future All-Star with a dynamic speed/power combination but he will need to continue to improve his hit tool.

Tier 2

3. JJ Bleday, OF (2020 Rank 2)
Age: 23
Highest Level: A+
Prize draft pick from the 2019 draft, Bleday is a player the scouts said was the best pure hitter in the draft. As a college pick expect him to move fast in the organization provided his bat keeps producing. With all the hands on training at the ATS in 2020 I could see Bleday opening up in AA and how fast he moves will be dependent on how he hits. He could easily cruise into Tier 1 but want to see how he handles the advanced pitching in live game play.

4. Max Meyer, RHP (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 21
Highest Level: College
The 3rd overall pick in the 2020 draft and the 1st pitcher selected. Does not have the prototypical size that teams look for but he has done nothing but perform during his career at Minnesota. Scouts say he owns the best slider in the draft which he hurls at 87-91 mph and he can also add and subtract depth. His four-seam is not to shabby ranging from 93-97 and even running up to 100 effortlessly. Throws a fading change that could use a little more refinement but serviceable. Fluid repeatable delivery that he uses to attack the zone. Look more him to move quickly through the Marlins system.

5. Edward Cabrera, RHP (2020 Rank 5)
Age: 22
Highest Level: AA
2019 was a great year as Cabrera took another step to showing that he could be a front of the rotation type starter in the future. In 96.2 innings he had 116 strikeouts with a 2.23 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP between A+ and AA. Look for him to challenge in ST but I could see him starting back at AA or going to AAA until they feel he is ready. I think that he has the upside of a frontline starter and would have him ranked higher but want to see him repeat his 2019 success in 2021.

6. Lewin Diaz, 1B (2020 Rank 10)
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB
Made is MLB debut in 2020 and played stellar defense on a playoff team. The batters box left some room for improvement but Diaz spent the offseason in the DWL tearing the cover off the ball and helping his team into the playoffs while working lowering his hands and utilizing a quicker stroke. Buy low.

7. Jesus Sanchez, OF (2020 Rank 4)
Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB
His 2020 MLB debut could not have gone any worse. He hit .040 with a .172 OBP in 25 at bats. Sanchez hit the ball hard (95.4 exit velo) but just to where the other team was standing, he has done all he can in the minor leagues and he will be given every shot to be a producer in Miami this season. The good thing about a down debut is he will be affordable come draft day.

8. Trevor Rogers, LHP (2020 Rank 6)
Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB
2017 first round pick made his major league debut in 2020. His debut was mixed but showed that he has the ability to strike out big league guys as his minor league numbers would suggest. He got into a little bit of walk trouble but overall it looks as if he can be a 3rd starter on a team and occasionally give you Ace performances.

9. Kameron Misner, OF (2020 Rank 9)
Age: 23
Highest Level: A
A supplemental 1st round pick, Misner possesses 5 tool talent with a great batting eye, striking out only 42 times with 30 walks giving him an OBP of .388 in 163 AB for 2019. He also hit .270 with a .362 SLG. The future is bright for the former Missouri Tiger look for him to start back at A and move quickly when the bat plays.

10. Peyton Burdick, OF (2020 Rank 12)
Age: 23
Highest Level: A
The 2019 third round pick got off to a hot start to begin his career, hitting .308 with a .407 OBP and a .542 SLG in 260 AB. He had 35 extra base hits with 7 steals. Did the Marlins get a steal in the third? It certainly looks that way as he was Class-A Clinton MVP. He was the talk of the end of season instructional camp being named by Baseball America as the Marlins top instructional league performer. He has spent the time away because of COVID getting stronger and working on the fundamentals of his game, buy now while you can.

11. Braxton Garrett, LHP (2020 Rank 8)
Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB
Made his MLB debut in 2020, after only 1 game in AA or above in his career. In 7.2 innings he struck out 8 but gave up 8 hits and 5 runs (3 home runs). Garrett has the talent to be a mid-rotation starter, giving the team a chance to win every 5th day. Braxton will compete in spring but I project he will start back in the minors working on mixing in more of his secondary offerings since he hurled the 4-Seamer 50% of the time.

12. Monte Harrison, OF (2020 Rank 7)
Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB
Made his debut in 2020 and had 47 AB’s, he hit .170 with a .235 OBP and a .255 SLUG. He also struck out 26 times, not the desired results. He still has elite skills and if he can get it to click, he has the potential to be a real 5 tool contributor. Harrison, already 25, will need to put that skill on display fast or risk being traded or demoted.

13. Connor Scott, OF (2020 Rank 24)
Age: 21
Highest Level: A+
The 21 year old 2018 first round pick is a forgotten name in the Marlins prospect discussion but not so fast. He has a 5 tool skillset and if he can cut down on his strikeouts watch out. He received great reviews from the instructional camp and people forget that he was also draft out of high school which generally takes a little more time to adjust to the wood bats. Look for Scott to start strong and move to AA by end of the season.

14. Dax Fulton, LHP (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 19
Highest Level: High School
40th selection in the 2020 Draft, Tommy John surgery pushed Fulton down on draft boards but the 6’6 lefty upon return should sit in the mid 90’s with his fastball and his curve is a plus pitch with power and depth. His change should be average or better once he spends time developing.

Tier 3

15. Jerar Encarnacion, OF (2020 Rank 13)
Age: 23
Highest Level: A+
Encarnacion is another producer in the OF for Miami. In 2019 He received 508 at bats hitting .276, with a .331 OBP and a .425 SLG. Future looks bright for this 22-year-old. Let’s see how he handles advanced competition and breaking pitches. If he can find a defensive home or the DH develops full time he will climb up the list.

16. Griffin Conine, OF (2020 Rank 13 on Blue Jays Rankings)
Age: 23
Highest Level: A
Villar was bad for the Marlins but he did one very important thing and that is bring Mr. Marlins son to Miami. Conine was a Single-A All-Star in 2019 and he led the Midwest League in home runs (22) and SLG (.576). The Marlins add Conine to the stockpile of young OF talent they currently have but do not worry he will battle for the top power prospect position in the organization.

17. Jose Devers, SS (2020 Rank 11)
Age: 21
Highest Level: A+
Due to the extended off time with COVID, Devers should be fully recovered from the nagging injuries in 2019. Look for the 21-year-old to start back in A ball and move quickly should he find early season success. Marlins are high on Devers adding him to the 40 man roster to protect him from the rule 5 draft. He is a plus runner and scouts vary on his hit tool but it ranges from above average to plus but he has no power, will need to get on base a lot to get everyday at-bats.

18. Nick Neidert, RHP (2020 Rank 21)
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB
Made his MLB debut in 2020 coming in as a RP in 4 games. In his 8.1 innings of work he gave up 10 hits and 5 runs, he has that first step completed look for him to come out strong in ST and try to win a rotation spot but I would not be the least bit surprised to see him go back to AAA until he finds some success.

19. Nasim Nunez, SS (2020 Rank 15)
Age: 20
Highest Level: A-
In the 2019 Rookie league he was able to get on base at a .340 clip and he let his wheels do the talking with 28 stolen bases (caught twice), but he only hit .211. He will need to increase his AVG and OBP to be a real fantasy asset, but his glove is what will keep him around a major league roster.

20. Jorge Guzman, RHP (2020 Rank 16)
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB
Made his major league debut in 2020, he got in 1 game and pitched 1 inning and he would love to redo that inning as he gave up 2 home runs. Regardless of that debut he has the looks of a back of the rotation starter that can surprise you every now and then. Tough to have his ranking slip by 4 spots but that is credit to the Marlins adding to the already deep prospect pool more so than his abilities.

21. Yiddi Cappe, SS (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 18
Highest Level: Dominican
Cappe is one of the top international prospects and has drawn comparisons to Derek Jeter and Carlos Correa thanks to his projectable 6’3 frame. The Marlins awarded the SS with a $3.5M signing bonus and he is considered to be close to major league ready. Scouts agree that he does not have a “stand out” tool but he projects as above average tools across the board with a great feel for the strike zone. Cappe has a plus arm, good hands and superior footwork in the field, scouts are torn on where he ends up playing as he may outgrow the position but time will tell. Depending on how his stateside debut goes he could move swiftly.

22. Jose Salas, SS (2020 Rank 22)
Age: 17
Highest Level: Chandlerworld 2019
The international free agent signee is only 17 but compares his game to that of Francisco Lindor, and he’s already 6’2 with room to grow. He has fantastic bat speed with good strike zone recognition. It’s hard to slot him this high in the rankings at only 17, but he really could be something special.

23. Kyle Nicolas, RHP (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 21
Highest Level: College
The 61st pick in the 2020 draft Nicolas is highly regarded as having one of the best fastballs in college ball. His fastball sits in the mid-90’s that he pairs with a plus slider that lives in the mid-80’s and has a crisp break when its on. Both pitches have high spin rates and can be swing and miss offerings. He needs to focus on third pitch development and repeating his mechanics to reach his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter.

24. Victor Mesa Jr., OF (2020 Rank 19)
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie
Mesa had a solid showing at the plate in 2019 getting 176 at bats while hitting .284 with a .366 OBP and winning the Gulf Coast League Marlins MVP award. He should get some time A ball to prove that he may not have been just a consolation prize.

25. Zach McCambley, RHP (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 21
Highest Level: College
2020 3rd round pick, high spin rates on his fastball and curve, and regarded as having one of the best curveballs in the draft class. McCambley needs to work on developing a 3rd pitch and harness his command to be an effective starter.

26. Alex Vesia, LHP (2020 Rank 18)
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB
2020 Vesia got the call to the bullpen and it didn’t go exactly as he would have hoped. In 4.1 innings he gave up 7 hits and 9 earned runs. Look for him to settle down and see what he can do in ST and with a good showing he could find himself in line for high leverage situation by the end of the season.

27. Demetrius Sims, SS (2020 Rank 26)
Age: 25
Highest Level: A+
Showed solid improvement from 2018 to 2019, and we are looking to see if he an increase his stolen base success rate. If he does he could be looking at 5 tool potential but given his advanced age the clock is ticking.

28. Evan Edwards, 1B (2020 Rank 25)
Age: 23
Highest Level: A
Edwards had a great debut for his career. The 2019 4th rounder hit .281 with a .357 OBP in 274 at-bats with 9 HR and 15 doubles giving him a respectable .442 SLUG. Playing first means you have to produce and I look forward to seeing what he can do after a missed 2020.

Tier 4

29. Victor Victor Mesa, OF (2020 Rank 14)
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
Rough first year for the international signing prize. He did show good control of the strike zone only striking out 64 times in 464 at bats and he had 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts. With all the talent at OF in the organization, VVM needs to show his ability to hit in order to move on to the next levels because his defense is ready.

30. Remey Reed, RHP (2020 Rank 27)
Age: 25
Highest Level: A
Reed started 14 games in 2019 between A- & A amassing 75.1 innings. He had a 2.75 ERA, 1.10 WHIP with 76 strikeouts looking for him to take the next step in AA and with repeated success could be in line for a September call up.

31. Zach Pop, RHP (2020 Rank 28 on Orioles ranking)
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
Rule 5 pick of the Diamondbacks traded to Miami, Pop has elite stuff and a knack for inducing ground balls. The bullpen in Miami is a question mark look for Pop to make his way to high leverage situations by the end of the year assuming he is healthy.

32. Evan Fitterer, RHP (2020 Rank 31)
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie
The 2019 5th round pick started in 8 games (22.2 IP) with 19 strikeouts and a 2.38 ERA but a 1.41 WHIP in 2019. Limiting walks would reduce his WHIP and increase his effectiveness. Look for him to start off in Single-A.

33. Paul Campbell, RHP (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 25
Highest Level: AA
Miami’s 2020 Rule 5 selection, look for him to eat up innings and draw an occasional spot start. Campbell holds 4 major league pitches but he needs to focus on being consistent with his delivery to be effective.

34. Will Banfield, C (2020 Rank 23)
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
Gifted defender drawing the praise of many from the 2020 alternate training site. Hope 2021 is where his offense can catch up a little.

35. Tommy Eveld, RHP (2020 Rank 32)
Age: 27
Highest Level: AAA
Eveld was hit hard in AAA in 2019 after he was one of our Prospects1500 nominees for Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2018. Let’s see how he rebounds in 2021 as he should try to compete for a bullpen spot this spring.

36. Jake Fishman, LHP (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 25
Highest Level: AAA
2020 Rule 5 minor league selection, Fishman has shown good strikeout ability throughout his career but needs to limit opponents batting average to be effective in relief.

37. Jordan Holloway, RHP (2020 Rank 29)
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB
Holloway had a down 2019 but did pitch 2 complete games for A+. Overall in 2019 the 6’6 righty pitched 95 innings with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP totaling 93 strikeouts. Holloway made his MLB debut in 2020 entering 1 game getting 1 out and giving up 2 hits and walk. Holloway was over matched for his debut but had yet to play above A, the jury is still out on what he can be.

Tier 5

38. Thomas Jones, OF (2020 Rank 28)
Age: 23
Highest Level: A
In 2019, Jones made improvements with his average and OBP while increasing his SLG. He did have 135 strikeouts in 385 at bats, leaving room for improvement but showing signs of life.

39. J.D. Orr, OF (2020 Rank 30)
Age: 24
Highest Level: A-
Wow! You can’t downplay the stolen bases (29) and OBP (.469) the 2019 10th round pick put up at Batavia in 64 games during pro debut. Let’s see how he makes up for lost time.

40. Joe Dunand, 3B (2020 Rank 36)
Age: 25
Highest Level: AA
Finished 2nd in Dominican Winter League ROY voting, he hit .319 with a .939 OPS for Escogido possibly taking the next step to being a top prospect and at a position very much in need by the Marlins. If this surge is really he will shoot up the rankings but the time is now.

41. Diowill Burgos, OF (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie
Major strides made from 2018 to 2019 as he improved every significant category as an 18 year old, if he continues his improvement we could have a top 100 talent.

42. Breidy Encarnacion, RHP (2020 Rank 38)
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie
Stellar start to his career, firing a 0.83 WHIP, 1.91 ERA in 47 innings with 57 strikeouts in 2019. Lets see how Encarnacion makes up for lost time.

43. Chris Mokma, RHP (2020 Rank 45)
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie
12th round pick in 2018 he had an impressive debut in the Rookie league. I love the 6’4″ height and his fastball/changeup combination excited to see how 2021 goes after a missed season.

44. Osiris Johnson, SS (2020 Rank 34)
Age: 20
Highest Level: A
Missed 2019 recovering from a Spring Training tibial stress fracture but the talent is evident in the 2nd round 2018 pick. I look for him to make up lost time in 2021 after having even more time to recover.

45. Luis Palacios, LHP (2020 Rank 39)
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie
GCL All-Star in 2019, the Marlins appear to be limiting his innings, but he is performing when given the opportunity. In 40.1 innings he had a 1.12 ERA, 0.67 WHIP with 42 strikeouts (10 games but only 4 starts).

46. Eury Perez, RHP (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 18
Highest Level: Instructs Camp
International free agent, when signed he was 6’5 155 pounds from the DR and by the end of the season he was now 6’9 190 pounds. Can’t wait to see him pitch in person.

47. Jake Eder, LHP (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 22
Highest Level: College
2020 4th round pick, solid 3 pitch offering but they need work. Eder must focus on staying in the zone consistently like he did in the Cape Cod League.

48. Kyle Hurt, RHP (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 22
Highest Level: College
2020 5th round pick, injuries have limited his value, great command but offers above average fastball (92-94) with a solid change, also has a slider and a curve that needs to be consistent to be effective.

49. Ian Lewis, SS (2020 Rank 49)
Age: 17
Highest Level: Bahamas
International free agent signee signed out of the Bahamas, Lewis was considered the best prospect in the Bahamas for 2019.

50(A). Junior Sanchez, SS (2020 Rank 50)
Age: 18
Highest Level: Dominican
International free agent signee is only 17-years-old but has an advanced hitting approach and can spray the ball all over the field. Scouts say great makeup and work ethic.

50(B). Arquimedes Cumana, C (2020 Rank N/A)
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie
Solid 2019 for the 20 year old Venezuelan prospect. Look for him to keep his AVG and OBP up and increase his SLG in 2021.




7 Comments

  1. this site seem to be right more than most.
    looking forward to seeing in mlb:
    Arquimedes Cumana, C
    Zach Pop, RHP
    Victor Victor Mesa, OF defense sb
    Zach McCambley, RHP
    Griffin Conine, OF
    Braxton Garrett, LHP
    Peyton Burdick, OF
    JJ Bleday, OF

    • Thank you. Thats a nice list – Cumana could be a real find and I love the Marlins going to get Conine, never hurts to add a potent bat! Marlins look to be setting up for sustained success and battle for years to come in a tough division.

  2. I feel you are criminally low to put Burgos in Tier 5 with all his upside. I really think the power will continue to come with his already great walk rate and improvements he made on his K rate. Limitless upside.

    • I agree that he has talent for days and the ranking system is tough when the prospects are young. I use tier 5 as guys who have potential but I dont want to put them in tier 4 because that tier is for guys who will make the majors but provide minimal impact. At this point I do not know what impact Burgos will provide. He may never make a 40 man roster or he will be an All-Star for years to come. I tend to think the later but some minor league at bats will showcase what he can do.

  3. Well, Jake Eder is pretty undoubtedly the top LHP prospect in all of baseball … and you have him ranked 47th among Marlins. What’s wrong with this picture?

    • I’m sure we’ll get Stoffer’s reaction to your question. To be fair, how many people knew a lot about Eder this past offseason? This Marlins Top 50 column was written back in December and published during our Top 50 month in January. The Editor of this site wasn’t even up on Eder as much as he probably should have been prior to 2021. He is now, and Stoffer is very high on Eder and he’ll likely shoot up the rankings in the upcoming midseason update.

    • Thank you for checking out my article and yes 47th is where I ranked him preseason. It was tough ranking him with no 2020 minor league debut to use as a barometer as well as all the scouting reports agreeing he had questions marks on command and fastball velocity inconsistency. Taking into account he was not drafted coming out of high school, drafted in the 4th round and signing for slot there was a chance this was a just an arm that had a really awesome curveball but needed to develop a 3rd offering to stick in the rotation. With the Miami coaching staff they have helped Eder harness his abilities and so far this season has been proving all the teams that passed on him for 3+ rounds wrong. Check out my mid-season update and I can assure you he will rise but just how high is a mystery.

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