We have now entered the top 10 of the Marlin Maniac prospect list for the Miami Marlins. The Marlins have an impressive bunch of players in their minor league system. This is a huge turnaround from just last season, when most experts felt the Marlins minor league system was barren.
Here is a quick recap of the top 20 prospects we have taken a look at so far:
- #20-Mason Hope, RHP
- #19- Zack Cox, 3B
- #18- Tom Koehler, RHP
- #17- Kolby Copeland, OF
- #16- Austin Barnes, INF-C
- #15- Alfredo Silverio, OF
- #14- Avery Romero, INF
- #13- Derek Dietrich, INF
- #12- Mason Hope, SP
- #11- Adam Conley, SP
As I was doing my background work on this list, I was extremely enamored with a lot of the prospects on this list. The decision on how to rank these prospects amongst each other was not an easy one. For example, I could easily justify Adam Conley being in my top 10. The same with Mason Hope being ranked as high at 12 or 13.
Today, we will take a look at the Miami Marlins #10 prospect:
10. Jacob T. Realmuto
Drafted: 2010 3rd round pick
Birthdate: 3/18/1991 (21) Height: 6’1″ Weight: 190 lbs.
Realmuto has a strong arguement to be the top catching prospect in the Marlins organization. Up until I started working on this post, I had not decided which prospect would be here and which one would be ranked higher. I finally settled on Realmuto as the Marlins #10 prospect, due to the slight dip in his production in 2012.
Until the Marlins Anibal Sanchez-Omar Infante trade that netted the Marlins Jacob Turner and Rob Brantly, Realmuto was seen as the clear catcher of the future for the Marlins. That is in part due to the failure of the Marlins top pick from 2008, Kyle Skipworth.
The Marlins selected Realmuto in the third round of the 2010 draft, out of Carl Albert High School. While at Carl Albert HS, Realmuto played primarily as a shortstop. Once the Marlins drafted him, the decision was quickly made to make Realmuto a full-time catcher.
After struggling through 40 at-bats in the Gulf Coast League, Realmuto had a break out season during his first full season in Greensboro. Realmuto quickly impressed the Marlins organization, posting a slash line of .287/.347/.454 with 12 home runs and 13 stolen bases. The 13 stolen bases were especially impressive from a catcher, but not surprising considering his shortstop pedigree.
The Marlins decided to push Realmuto to Jupiter in 2012, where he was joined by several other significant hitting prospects for the Marlins such as Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Noah Perio. Realmuto could not repeat his impressive 2011 numbers and posted a slash line of Realmuto hit .256/.319/.345 with 8 home runs and 13 stolen bases.
Even though the dip in numbers was disappointing, it could partly be attributed to the increase in games behind the plate for Realmuto. The Florida State League is a known pitchers league, so with the extra wear and tear, Realmuto was probably not 100% prepared for the long season.
His decent bat speed should equate to more power as he matures. He also shows strong plate discipline at the plate, as he only struck out 64 times in 499 plate appearances last season. Realmuto also improved his walk rate from 2011. Realmuto also has above average athleticism. He will be a stolen base threat for at least 10+, which is always a major bonus from the catcher position.
Defensively, Realmuto still has a lot of work to do, as he is entering just his third full-season as a catcher. According to various scouting reports I have read, he has made significant strides behind the plate. There is no reason to believe that Realmuto won’t keep improving defensively behind the plate, his athleticism will be the main catalyst to that.
Realmuto should begin the 2013 season at Double-A Jacksonville, with a very talented core. He will be joining Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Jake Marinisk in what should be an extremely talented lineup. He will handle Marlins pitching prospects such as Andrew Heaney, Jose Fernandez, and Adam Conley.
He has a chance to make the Marlins decision on starting catcher a very tough one by the 2014 season, but do not rule out a late 2013 call-up, as he is likely the Marlins second best option behind the plate.