The future of the Miami Marlins franchise lies in the faith of Jeffery Loria and their future prospects. Predicting what Loria will do is as accurate as predicting which prospect will become a star player and which one will be considered a bust.
The Marlins farm system ranks as one of the better ones in all of baseball. Baseball America ranked the Marlins farm system as the fifth best in baseball. The Marlins had tied an MLB high with six players listed on BA’s top 100 list. Only time will tell if the Marlins prospects which prospects will pan out and which ones will flop.
Today we will continue on with my personal Miami Marlins top prospect list. So far we have gone through the following prospects:
- #20- Mason Hope, RHP
- #19- Zack Cox, 3B
- #18- Tom Koehler, RHP
- #17- Kolby Copeland, OF
- #16- Austin Barnes, IF-C
- #15- Alfredo Silverio, OF
- #14- Avery Romero, INF
Those prospects named so far are not having the best springs so far. Copeland was recently suspended 50 games for refusing to take a drug test over the winter. Koehler was rocked in his last appearance, a major blow to his chances of making the team as the fifth starter. Finally, Silverio has been shut down indefinitely after straining the same elbow he had Tommy John surgery on.
Let’s look at our #13 prospect now:
13. Derek Dietrich, INF
Drafted: 2010 2nd round pick
Birthdate: 7/18/1989 (23) Height: 6’1″ Weight: 195 lbs.
Originally, the Marlins acquired Yunel Escobar from the Toronto Blue Jays in the fire sale trade in November. When Escobar told the team that he would not be comfortable accepting a move to third base, the Marlins decided it would be in their best interest to entertain trades for Escobar.
The Tampa Bay Rays came calling and offered the Marlins prospect Derek Dietrich in return for the services of Escobar. While many Marlins felt that the team could have gotten more in return for Escobar and his team friendly contract, the return in Dietrich was not a horrible one.
The Tampa Bay Rays drafted Dietrich in the second round of the 2010 draft from Georgia Tech. Derek hit .282/.343/.468 with 10 homers, 25 walks, and 78 strikeouts in 372 at-bats for High- A Charlotte this year, then .271/.324/.429 with four homers, seven walks, and 36 strikeouts in 133 at-bats after being promoted to Double-A Montgomery. Dietrich has a career line of .278/.342/.470 hitter in 304 games in the Rays system.
Dietrich has slightly-above average power (15-20 home runs in his prime) and has hit for a decent average in the minors. Scouts are unsure his batting averages and OBP will hold up in the major leagues. Dietrich is currently playing short stop, but is projected to move to second or third as he progresses, as his range at short stop is limited.
Third base is a major question mark for Dietrich as well, as he does not hit for the traditional amount of power for the hot corner, nor does he have enough plate discipline to make up for that lack of pop as a third baseman.
So that puts Dietrich’s future at second base. At second base, he would have an above-average arm, better than most second baseman. Dietrich would also provide a lot of value with his power at second base. He would profile as a below-average defensive player at second base, so most of his value would be tied in with his power.
A fair major league comparison for Dietrich would be Danny Espinosa. Espinosa, like Dietrich, lack plate discipline and hit for above-average power for a second baseman.
Dietrich should open 2013 in double-A and could be ready for a cup of coffee in the majors by the end of the year.