Mar 17, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcher Rob Brantly (19) in the third inning during a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Marlin Maniac #8 Prospect: C, Rob Brantly


We are almost through our Marlin Maniac top prospect list for the 2013 Miami Marlins. So far we have looked at some impressive prospects that should make an impact for the team in the coming years. Not all of these prospects will pan out like the Marlins or I predict. Some prospect not on this list could end up making a bigger impact than someone near the top of this list. That is the how the prospect game works.

Here is a quick recap of the top 20 prospects we have taken a look at so far:

The next prospect on my list is barley still a prospect. The Marlins acquired him in a midseason trade that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. While he was not the center piece (that was Jacob Turner) of that trade, he is going to be a key piece for the Marlins future.

8. Rob Brantly

Drafted: 2010 3rd round pick

Birthdate: 7/14/1989 (23)  Height: 6’2″ Weight: 205 lbs.

Interestingly enough, both catchers that are considered to be a huge part of the Miami Marlins future were drafted in the same round, in the same draft. Brantly was drafted 100th overall by the Tigers and Realmuto was selected by the Marlins, just four picks later.

Brantly was originally selected by the Washington Nationals in the 46th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft but did not sign. He instead decided to attend the University of California – Riverside.

Brantly is a left-handed bat with a good approach at the plate and improving defensive skills. Brantly is going to be the Marlins starting catcher for at least the 2013 season. By 2014, Realmuto could push Brantly for the starting job.

Prior to last season, Baseball America ranked Brantly as the Tigers 16th best prospect, but because of a strong showing in Triple-A and the majors, he is now seen as a concenus top-10 prospect in the Marlins organization.

After he tore Triple-A up with the Marlins and the continued struggles of former catcher John Buck, the Marlins decided to get Brantly some action in late August. Brantly got off to a slow start, but soon took off and posted a line of .290/.372/.460 in 31 games. He also hit three home runs in just 131 at-bats.

That sort of power should not be expected from Brantly going forward, as John Sickels noted in his Marlins prospect list:

8) Rob Brantly, C, Grade B-: Don’t expect him to hit for the power he did in his first 30 major league games over a full season, but he should have a long career as a solid defender who can hit for average.

While Brantly does show some gap power, a realistic number for home runs in a season for him should be somewhere between 7 and 10.

Brantly does not have the prototypical size for a catcher, so natural wear and tear from a long season could impact Brantly and become an issue. In addition to that, Brantly misplayed quite a few balls behind the plate last season. However, with more experience and work with former defense savvy catcher, Mike Redmond, Brantly should make some gradual improvement. His arm behind is good enough to keep him behind the plate long term.

Even with just a small sample size, the Marlins should be pleased with the progress that Brantly made in his first season as a Marlin. He will get a chance to further show-off the type of player he could become for the Marlins, over a full season in 2013.

It’s amazing how far the Marlins former first round pick Kyle Skipworth has fallen. He was supposed to be the clear-cut catcher of the future for the Marlins, potentially being the next Joe Mauer. That never worked out for the Fish and now Skipworth is seen nothing as more than a organizational depth player.

That’s the nature of the game with prospects.

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