Today we are going to look at the Marlins second base position in 2013. With the Marlins trading Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers last year, they were left with a young duo that they were hopeful would take the reins and provide Miami with a second baseman for the future. What they received were more questions than answers. The good news is both players are young and hopefully one of them can improve drastically next season. Here are the reviews for Donovan Solano and Derek Dietrich.
We’ll start with Solano since he was the incumbent player coming out of spring training. Solano suffered an injury plaqued season and was only able to log 395 plate appearances in 102 games. Solano earned the starting job, in large part, by hitting fairly well last year. Unfortunately his batting line fell about 50 points across the line this year. He finished with a .249/.305/.316 line and a WAR of -1.0. His fielding did show a marked improvement, likely due to the fact that he was no longer moved all over the field and played mainly one position.
Solano was a sure handed fielder who went through a very normal sophomore slump, not that unusual for MLB players. I expected more out of his bat and got slightly more than expected out of his glove. I gave his grade based on his performance against those predictions. I only wish that we would have gotten a full season out of him to give him a more accurate grade.
When Solano went down with his injury, it opened the door for Dietrich to make his major league debut. While his ability to get on base was nothing to write home about, he displayed some power, which for the Marlins, was a refreshing change. He hammered nine home runs in 57 games, giving him a pace close to 20 home runs on the year. That would have put him second on the Marlins for 2013. Unfortunately for Dietrich, power is about the only thing that he supplied. He finished with a .214/.275/.405 and a war of 0.0.
Dietrich will probably be most remembered for his run-in with then Marlins’ hitting coach Tino Martinez. In one of the more embarrassing moments for Miami, (and there were quite a few) It was reported that Martinez physically and verbally abused multiple players, eventually leading to his mid-season resignation. Later it was disclosed that one of the main whistle-blower’s was Dietrich. It was also reported that this disclosure cost Dietrich a second call-up to the big leagues when Loria supposedly blocked a move that Mike Redmond and Larry Beinfest were in favor of, because he cost Loria’s man, Tino his job.
As Dietrich continues to heal up this offseason, he may be able to wrestle the job away from Solano with a good spring training. Miami desperately needs some power in their lineup and Derek can provide that. Time will tell if he is able to improve other facets of his game.
With Miami’s second baseman ranking second to last in the majors in WAR, I have no choice but to give them a dismal overall grade. While the players individually did not perform far below expectations, the issue remains that the shredded Marlins lineup was not able to keep pace with the rest of the league at second base.
What do you think about the Marlins second base grades? Let us know in the comments below.