When the Miami Marlins kicked off the start of the 2011-2012’ MLB season last year, many people believed that they would contend for a championship. With additions of former All-Star’s and MVP’s, the Marlins were set to take the MLB by storm. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned and the Marlins finished in last place in the National League East. After a last place team, the Marlins controversially traded away key pieces such as Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for prospects. The Marlins also fired former World Series
winning manager, Ozzie Guillen. With the team going through yet another rebuilding phase, they acquired multiple young players that could help the Marlins win some ball games this season. A few of these players included Nathan Eovaldi, Jacob Turner, and Jake Marisnick. I don’t see the Marlins being successful, but hopefully they can prove me wrong. Outside of Stanton and Nolasco, there isn’t much to be excited about; however, I am going to list the three players that I think will end up surprising fans by seasons end.
Number 3: Jacob Turner
Coming into the league, Turner achieved a high praise from multiple scouts and coaches. Drafted by the Detroit Tigers 9th overall in the 2009 MLB Draft, Turner was expected to quickly develop into a middle of the rotation guy for Detroit. With Justin Verlander already being there, the Tigers were trying to develop one of the best pitching rotations in the American League. The Tigers decided to take their time and develop Turner in the minor leagues. During the 2010-2011’ season Turner made his debut for the Tigers after he was recalled to replace Charlie Furbush, who was traded to the Seattle Mariners. After his debut, Turner was temporarily sent back down, as he was brought back up to the main roster when the rosters expanded to 40 players. After starting last season in the minors, Turner was able to find his way back to the big leagues. Turner didn’t exactly fare well in his second outing with the Tigers on a big league level. After two starts, Turner had compiled an ERA of 8.03 after giving up 11 earned runs in a span of 12.1 innings. He was later traded to the Miami Marlins along with Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn in exchange for second-baseman Omar Infante and pitcher Anibal Sanchez. Turner was decent in a Marlins uniform last season. In his seven starts as a Marlin, Turner had a record of 1-4 with a 3.38 ERA and 29 strikeouts. Coming into this season I am confident that Turner can continue to develop into one of the top pitchers on the team. He was the Tigers number one rated prospect for a reason.
Number 2: Rob Brantly
Yes, another player from the trade with Detroit. When Brantly was drafted by the Tigers in the third round of the 2010 MLB Draft, Detroit knew they were going to be getting a good player. After a really good collegiate career at University of California Riverside, Brantly was set to take his talents to the next level. Despite being in the Tigers farm system, Brantly never got the call to be the Tigers catcher. Instead, he was traded in a move in order to help be more prepared for the playoffs, as the Tigers acquired Infante and Sanchez. As a Marlin, Brantly was very impressive. Finishing the 2011-2012’ season on the Marlins main roster, Brantly had a batting average of .290 with an on base percentage of .372. Coming into this season, the competition for the catcher’s job was wide open; however, catcher Jeff Mathis went down last weekend with a broken collarbone. Although you don’t want to see anyone injured, this could ultimately end up being a blessing in disguise as Brantly should get the majority of the playing time to start of the season. Hopefully Brantly could continue to play how he did last season with the Marlins. Catcher is easily one of the weakest spots on the roster, but Brantly could easily step in and fill that role with his above average potential.
Number 1: Joe Mahoney
When the Baltimore Orioles invested their sixth pick in the draft during the 2007 MLB Draft, they envisioned Mahoney to be their first baseman for the next decade. It didn’t take long for Mahoney to make an impact on Baltimore’s organization, as he went onto win the organization’s Brooks Robinson Minor League player of the year award. During the award winning season, Mahoney hit .307 with 18 homeruns and 78 RBI’s. Despite being one of the best players in their farm system, the Orioles decided to move in another direction, when they made the decision to designate Mahoney for assignment last November. It didn’t take long for Mahoney to find another team as the Marlins quickly claimed him off waivers. Mahoney is doing very well this Spring Training as well, hitting .375 with a double and an RBI. If Logan Morrison continues to struggle in the big leagues, I believe that this kid could end up taking LoMo’s spot. Mahoney is definitely someone Marlin fans should keep an eye on, as he could very well end up being our starting first baseman by the end of the year.
Thanks For Reading!