30 in 30: Miami Marlins

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1922

Oh boy, what can one say about the Miami Marlins? The team has yet to have a season above .500 as the Miami Marlins. The team has completed 7 seasons since changing the name to Miami, sporting a .440 win percentage with zero playoff appearances. They have gone through 4 different managers and even an ownership change.

You would think a team that once had an outfield of Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and Giancarlo Stanton could have made the playoffs. Ozuna was traded to St. Louis, Yelich got shipped to cheese country and Stanton is up in the Bronx. All this talk of trade and Jerry Dipoto made a call to get himself Dee Gordon. 4 key players to the franchise all shipped off in one offseason. Not to mention this offseason most recent trade. This team could have been a strong playoff contender if they had pitching, which has been the Achilles heel for a number of years.

The team finished 2018 with a record of 63-98 finishing last in the NL East. With some of the moves the Marlins have made this offseason, it does not appear it will get much better.

The Garage Sale Continues

Don Mattingly will be the Miami skipper for his 4th season, despite regressing every year in terms of win percentage. To be fair, there is not much you can do when half of your offense gets traded. Then you are left with arguably a top 3 catcher in baseball. Sounds like a decent piece to start the new look of the franchise until that guy gets shipped off too.

Yeah, that’s right. J.T. Realmuto was sent to the city of brotherly love. The Philadelphia Phillies gave up a decent amount for the all-star catcher. The Marlins got MLB Pipeline #27 prospect in Sixto Sanchez, who is a right-handed pitcher that is at least a year or two away from cracking the big league roster. They also got former top prospect, Jorge Alfaro, to take over the catching position for Realmuto. The 3rd piece was left-handed pitcher Will Stewart.

In terms of free agents, they have not made any big signings. The big-ticket signing of the Marlins this offseason came back in October when they signed the top international free agent in Victor Victor Mesa. They were also able to get his younger brother Victor Mesa Jr.

While getting both of them is a win for Miami, Victor Victor Mesa has been a highly touted guy for some time now. He is 22 years of age and Miami will more than likely start him at AA Jacksonville. Mesa’s best tools are his speed and his defense. The outfield prospect has scouts saying his defense is MLB ready. He also has a plus arm. The only thing that people worry about is his hitting abilities which is something he will work on in his time in the minors.

Other than the Mesa brothers the two other signing the Marlins made were for second baseman Neil Walker and relief pitcher Sergio Romo. Not exactly signings that will knock your socks off.

The Regulars

There are not many players who you could say are consistent contributors when it comes to this team. Starlin Castro was the team leader last year in batting average with a .278. Brian Anderson is another guy that comes to mind. He finished the year with a .273 batting average. Castro and Anderson will man second base and 3rd base respectively. Other than those two, there are not many guys that are guarantees, mainly for the fact that both of them played their 1st full season with Miami last season.

As for the pitching staff, I don’t know how this team is going to win games. The current rotation consists of Jose Urena, Dan Straily and Wei-Yin Chen as your top 3 starters. Of those three, Urena was the only guy with and ERA less than 4.00 with a 3.98. The remainder of the rotation is yet to be filed based on current spring training battles.

Breakout Candidates

Peter O’Brien is the first name that comes to mind when looking at potential breakout guys. In 22 games with Miami last year he stepped up to the plate 74 times. In his limited time, he hit 4 home runs. His strikeout numbers are high, but as long as he is putting the ball in play, it doesn’t matter for the Marlins. O’Brien is slated to be the teams starting right fielder this season after the addition of Neil Walker.

On the pitching side of things, Sandy Alcantara is another guy who could breakout. Alcantara started 6 games towards the end of the season and put up a modest 3.44 ERA. Pair his 30 strikeouts in 34 innings and it looks like the Marlins could have themselves a solid starter on their hands.

Needless to say, I think this team is in line for a long season. In addition, they don’t exactly have any more guys that they can trade away. The only guy that makes sense to trade would be Starlin Castro, but a guy like Castro will not yield a big return. Pitchers like Straily and Urena could be guys on the move if they were to improve their numbers big time. Other than that, I do not see how this team will be able to score runs or hit home runs. The three team leaders in home runs last year are no longer with the club. In addition three of the top six guys in RBIs are no longer with the club. So unless some of these young guys step up drastically this will not be a fun season in Miami.

Final Thoughts

A month until the season begins and my prediction for the Miami Marlins team MVP will be Brian Anderson. The team Cy young will be Sandy Alcantara and the Miami Marlins rookie of the year will also be Alcantara.

In all honesty, it is very likely this team won’t win more than 60 games. Heck, I think you can say 50 games will be a stretch. I can almost guarantee without a doubt they will finish last in the NL East. The Marlins are one of the favorites to finish last the league alongside the Baltimore Orioles. The tank is on for the top pick in the 2020 MLB draft.

Final Record Prediction: 55-107

Team MVP: Brian Anderson

 

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