Miami Marlins 2020 Top 50 Prospects

JJ Bleday. Lakeland Flying Tigers vs. Jupiter Hammerheads. Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Lakeland, FL. Aug, 22, 2019. Photo credit Tom Hagerty/MiLB.com on Flickr (lakelandlocal)

The 2019 baseball season finished with the Marlins sitting at only 57 wins, 40 games back of the Braves. That was still better than the 1998 Marlins who finished 52 games out of first. Even with the dismal record there were some highlights such as the continued development of Brian Anderson and the fantastic play of Jorge Alfaro. The surprise contributions offensively from Jon Berti, Miguel Rojas, and Harold Ramirez made the season and give me hope offensively for 2020. On the pitching side, the emergence of Sandy “All-Star” Alcantara, Caleb Smith, Pablo Lopez and Jordan Yamamoto was fantastic to see because there is much more waiting to come up from the minor league ranks. 2020 should be an exciting year and one full of wonder because of the rebuilt farm system and when some of those prospects could come up and make a difference for the Marlins, just like 2019 Minor League Player of the Year Isan Diaz did.

Without further ado here is my 2019 Top 50 prospects for the Miami Marlins. I am looking forward to your comments. Hit me up on Twitter (@stoffer81). I welcome any feedback and suggestions and my take is more from a fantasy baseball perspective.


Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for several 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 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

None, but I do feel that we are closer than in the past.


Tier 2:

1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: AA
A superstar in the making, Sanchez won Jacksonville’s Most Valuable Player Award. He did take a little time to adjust to the organization. In the first half he had a 3.08 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP but really turned things up a notch in second half producing a 2.22 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP in Jacksonville. Looking for a fast start and we might see him in the big leagues this year! Sixto was on the verge of being a Tier 1 player but I would like to see an increase in K-rate before I think he makes that jump.


2. JJ Bleday, OF
Age: 22
2019 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 a fast start I could see him potentially getting to Double-A Jacksonville by the end of the season.


3. Jazz Chisholm, SS
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: AA
The future is bright for Jazz, landing with Marlins from a 7/31/2019 trade with Arizona. Post trade he batted .284 with a .383 OBP and had a SLG of .494 (81 AB). With a quick start in AA he should be promoted to AAA with an outside chance of a September call up.

4. Jesus Sanchez, OF
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: AAA
Another 7/31/2019 trade acquisition, the Marlins netted a potential game changing OF. After the trade Sanchez had a of SLG .446 in 65 AB in AAA but we need to see his average move back more to his career numbers. We should see him in Miami this season.

5. Edward Cabrera, RHP
Age: 21
2019 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. I can see him starting back in Jacksonville to start the season with a call to New Orleans midseason, but he could be on a pitch count this season.

6. Trevor Rogers, LHP
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: AA
Struggled a little once he was promoted to AA but overall a solid year for Rogers. In 136.1 IP he had a 2.90 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 150 strikeouts setting himself up to be the top lefty pitching prospect in the organization. Potential top of the rotation arm.

7. Monte Harrison, OF
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AAA
Spent some time on the IL but had the type of year he needed to show improvement. In 222 at bats he hit .270 with a .351 OBP .441 SLG. He stole 23 bags only getting caught twice. He should find himself in the bigs this year. The time is now! He has slid down the Marlins top prospects list but that is more of a testament to the prospects the front office has brought in. Do not forget he has the potential to be an impact 5 tool player.

8. Braxton Garrett, LHP
Age: 22
Highest Level: AA
Are the injury issues finally behind Garrett? It looks like it as he pitched in 21 games (all starts, totaling 106.2 IP) to a 3.54 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 119 strikeouts leading to his MVP award for High-A Jupiter. Not too bad for not pitching since 2017. He’s a former number one prospect looking to make up some ground and I love his potential and upside.

9. Kameron Misner, OF
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A
A supplemental 1st round pick, Misner a player with 5 tool talent that has a great batting eye, striking out only 42 times with 30 walks giving him an OBP of .388 in 163 AB. He also hit .270 with a .362 SLG. The future is bright for the former Missouri Tiger and he adds to a minor league system stacked with outfielders.



Tier 3

10. Lewin Diaz, 1B
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
Diaz struggled after coming over to Miami as part of the Sergio Romo deal. Overall 2019 was a good year for Diaz, as in 455 AB he hit .270 with a .321 OPB and a .530 SLG. He had 62 extra base hits and has the type of bat that Miami could use now but looks like he needs a little more seasoning in the minors.

11. Jose Devers, SS/2B
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A
Battled some injury issues last year but Devers did produce when he got the chance. He hit .322 with a .391 OBP (177 AB) while stealing 8 bags. At 20-years-old his power should start coming around this year as he looks prepared to start the season in A ball and with a good season, I could see him in Jacksonville by the end of the season.

12. Peyton Burdick, OF
Age: 22
2019 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.

13. Jerar Encarnacion, OF
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A+
Encarnacion is another producer in the OF for Miami. 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.

14. Victor Victor Mesa, OF
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
Rough first year for the international signing prize of the last offseason. 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.

15. Nasim Nunez, SS/OF
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: A-
In the Rookie league he was able to get on base at a .340 clip and then he let his wheels do the talking with 28 stolen bases (caught twice), but he only hit .211.

16. Jorge Guzman, RHP
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
Had a solid year in Jacksonville pitching 138.2 innings with 127 strikeouts producing a 1.20 WHIP and a 3.50 ERA, much needed year after a hiccup in 2018. Looks like a great back of the rotation type starter who may sniff Miami in September if they don’t try him out sooner.

17. Sterling Sharp, RHP
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AA
Selected by the Marlins 3rd overall in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft, Sharp was effective pitching to lefties and when ahead in the count. The Marlins see something in this kid that they hope to develop in 2020.


18. Alex Vesia, LHP
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
The former round 17th round pick (2018) from Miami rose fast in 2019. In 38 games (only 1 start, total of 66.2 IP) he had a 1.76 ERA with a 0.95 WHIP and 100 strikeouts. He appears to be effective against right-handed and left-handed batters making him profile as a closer. Could he make the jump this season?


19. Victor Mesa Jr., OF
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Rookie
Mesa Jr. had a solid showing at the plate last year getting 176 at bats while hitting .284 with a .366 OBP and winning the Gulf Coast League Marlins MVP award. Only 18-years-old, he should get some time in leagues other than Rookie ball to prove that he may have been the prize of last offseason.

20. Humberto Mejia, RHP
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A+
He made strides increasing his innings pitched to 90.1 with a 2.09 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 89 strikeouts. He started in 14 of the 18 games and he is looking like a K/9 type of starter with high upside. This year he should get his innings up to 130ish and it will be fun to track if he gets the same stats on the increased innings.

21. Nick Neidert, RHP
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AAA
2019 was a year of struggle for Neidert. He had a 4.67 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP in 54 innings. Hopefully 2020 he will find his old form and get back to pitching at a high level.

22. José Salas, SS
Age: 16
2019 Highest Level: DNP
The international free agent signee is only 16-years-old 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 16, but he really could be something special.

23. Will Banfield, C
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A
Catchers take longer to develop even if they are high draft picks, but he needs to starting showing what he can do with the bat soon.

24. Connor Scott, OF
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A+
While he did raise his batting average a little the biggest improvement came in the SLG. This year I’m looking for Scott to limit the number of strikeouts and get on base at a higher clip.

25. Evan Edwards, 1B
Age: 22
2019 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.


Tier 4

26. Demetrius Sims, SS
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: A+
Good year for the 14th round pick as he had a .365 OBP with a .412 SLG.

27. Remey Reed, RHP
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: A
Started 14 games between A- and A amassing 75.1 innings. He had a 2.75 ERA, 1.10 WHIP with 76 strikeouts.

28. Thomas Jones, OF
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A
Jones made improvements in his average and OBP while increasing his SLG. He did have 135 strikeouts in 385 at bats, leaving room for improvement.

29. Jordan Holloway, RHP
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: A+
Holloway had a down 2019 but did pitch 2 complete games for A+. Overall the 6’6″ righty pitched 95 innings with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP totaling 93 strikeouts.

30. J.D. Orr, OF
Age: 23
2019 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 in his pro debut.


31. Evan Fitterer, RHP
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: Rookie
2019 5th round pick started in 8 games (22.2 IP) with 19 strikeouts and a 2.38 ERA but a 1.41 WHIP.

32. Tommy Eveld, RHP
Age: 26
2019 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 2020 as he should try to compete for a bullpen spot in Spring Training.

33. Tristan Pompey, OF
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A+
Former 3rd round pick didn’t experience the same results in A+ as he did in the Rookie league in 2018. He did increase his stolen base effectiveness.

34. Osiris Johnson, SS
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: DNP
Missed 2019 recovering from surgery on a right tibial stress fracture suffered in Spring Training.


Tier 5

35. Brian Miller, OF
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AA
Miller regressed in 2019 in many categories and that was repeating in AA Jacksonville. He really needs to prove himself soon as he has lots of competition coming.

36. Joe Dunand, SS/3B
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AA
Slight increases in average and OBP but at the cost of his power, hitting only 5 HR in 462 at bats. Looking for a rebound from the former 2nd rounder.

37. Christopher Torres, 2B
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A
While regressing a little in average he kept his OBP respectable while adding 25 steals in 31 attempts.

38. Breidy Encarnacion, RHP
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: Rookie
Stellar start to his career, firing a 0.83 WHIP, 1.91 ERA in 47 innings with 57 strikeouts.

39. Luis Palacios, LHP
Age: 20
2019 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).

40. Luis Lopez, RHP
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Rookie
In 42.1 innings he had a 3.61 ERA, 1.16 WHIP with 26 strikeouts.

41. Jake Walters, RHP
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: A
The 2019 9th round pick had a solid start to his baseball career, throwing 92 innings with a 2.35 ERA, 1.07 WHIP with 87 strikeouts.

42. Tanner Andrews, RHP
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: A+
Working mainly as a starter, Andrews tossed 128.2 innings, striking out 110 batters with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

43. Lazaro Alonso, 1B
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: AA
Good year in A+ but he was 24. Let’s see how he handles AA for a whole year.

44. Milton Smith, OF
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A-
Looks like an old school type leadoff guy. Smith was 20/25 on the basepaths with a .305 AVG/.385 OBP but little to no power.

45. Chris Mokma, RHP
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Rookie
12th round pick with an impressive debut in the Rookie league. I love the 6’4″ height. Excited to see how 2020 goes.

46. Riley Mahan, 2B
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AA
He increased his offensive profile last year but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

47. Bryson Brigman, 2B
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AA
Declining numbers led to some lost AB. Maybe starting 2020 in AA again will spark something in the former 3rd round pick.

48. Tevin Mitchell, OF
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: Rookie
The 8th round 2019 pick only hit .238 in 80 AB but his OBP was .400 and he did have 5 steals.

49. Ian Lewis, SS
Age: 16
2019 Highest Level: DNP
International free agent signee signed out of the Bahamas, Lewis was considered the best prospect in the Bahamas for 2019.

50. Junior Sanchez, SS
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: DNP
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.




3 Comments

    • He was close, the Marlins are stocked with talent. He was just looking in and will be on my “Just a bit Outside” List in February.

  1. FYI- Miami’s AAA team is moving to Wichita for the 2020 season, which makes me really excited to watch some of these kids. But their choice of a team nickname is even worse than Baby Cakes (Wichita Wind Surge??!? That announcement didn’t go over well here in the “Air Capital”)

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Futures Focus - Episode 11, Stoffer Cochran (Marlins) & Alex Sanchez (Padres) Top 50 Prospects | Prospects1500
  2. Marlins going all in, call up top prospects Sixto Sanchez, Jesus Sanchez – Current affairs

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