This weekend MLB.com released their mid season update to the Top 100 Prospects list with three Miami Marlins minor leaguers making the cut this time around. Left handed pitcher Andrew Heaney was the highest ranked Marlin at No. 22 followed closely by right handed pitcher Tyler Kolek at No. 27 and third baseman Colin Moran coming in at No. 72. Two Marlins prospects who were on the pre-season version of the Top 100 have fallen off the list altogether in Jake Marisnick (formerly No. 65) and Justin Nicolino (formerly No. 81).
Heaney has had an excellent season at the minor league level earning a promotion from AA Jacksonville to AAA New Orleans and finally to the big league where he made 4 starts before being sent back down. He started the season with a 2.35 ERA and 8.72 strikeouts per 9 innings (K/9) rate for Jacksonville before being promoted to New Orleans. He has continued to have success at the AAA level where his ERA currently stands at 3.80 and his K/9 has actually improved to a 10.97 mark. The major league level has proven to be a struggle, however, as he owns a 6.53 ERA and 0-3 record over 4 starts. The main issues he has encountered in the majors appear to be a drop in K/9 rate to just 5.66 as well as having allowed 5 home runs in 20.2 innings which more than doubles his homer rate from the minor league level.
Tyler Kolek was the Marlins top draft pick in June 2014 and the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. The big right-hander repeatedly topped 100 mph with his fastball during his high school season in Texas. Scouts rated his fastball as the best among this season’s draft class. The Fish inked him to a $6 million deal shortly after the draft and he has started his minor league career with the GCL Marlins. So far the results have not been pretty as he owns a 5.23 ERA over 10.2 innings of work and has issued 7 bases on balls. To top it off, he has been shut down due to a back injury. Scouts remain high on his potential, however, and see his future as a No. 1 type starter.
Colin Moran was the Marlins’ first pick in the 2013 draft and was expected to reach the majors quickly due to his polished approach at the plate and successful college career. He is seen as a solid defender by scouts, but there are questions about his power as a hitter. So far his results have been mediocre with a .294/.342/.386 (AVG/OBP/SLG) line, 4 home runs and 32 RBI at single A Jupiter. Certainly respectable numbers, but lacking in power and definitely not someone who is anywhere close to major league ready. Fortunately, Casey McGehee has been outstanding for the Marlins and has another year of team control left to possibly allow Moran to develop further.
As for the two players who dropped off the list, Jake Marisnick has had a solid season so far at AAA New Orleans with a .278/.327/.436 slash line along with 10 home runs and 24 stolen bases. For the second year in a row, though, he has failed when given some time at the major league level. In 50 at bats with the Marlins this year he hit just .170 with 3 walks and 18 strike outs. He will need to produce the next time he gets an opportunity in the big leagues or risk getting passed up by someone else. Justin Nicolino has had a very good season at AA Jacksonville with an 8-3 record and a 3.16 ERA, but his disappearing K/9 rate stands at only 4.02. That low of a strike out rate will make it very difficult to have success at higher levels.