2013 Marlin Maniac Miami Marlins Season Preview: Interview with Jason Collette of Baseball Prospectus


One of my favorite websites to check out throughout baseball season and the off-season is Baseball Prospectus. Not only is the site the home of some of the best analytic information you can find on the web, they also do a great job of covering all the moves that happen around baseball, make fairly accurate predictions for the season, using PECOTA, but also have one of the more regarded prospect ranking systems in the game.

I am extremely excited about the upcoming baseball season, so I had to get my hands on a copy of 2013 edition of Baseball Prospectus. If you are a diehard fan of baseball, this is the best book to obtain to gain more knowledge about your Miami Marlins team, as well as gain an advantage over your opponents for fantasy baseball season. As a regular reader for both the site and the book, I was thrilled when I got a chance to interview on of the writers of the book, Jason Collette.

My interview with Jason happened over the phone last Wednesday and I am thrilled to be able to share it with you guys. We discussed everything about the Marlins from Giancarlo Stanton to the Marlins best prospects in Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich. Here is a look at my interview with Jason Collette:

Ehsan Kassim: What kind of effect will the Marlins fire sale trade have on Stanton’s production?

Mar. 9, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: USA outfielder Giancarlo Stanton in the second inning against Italy during the World Baseball Classic at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Collette: Lineup protection is a myth. At the beginning of the season, Stanton may see less pitches to hit, but as the season moves along, he will find more pitches to hit. If lineup protection was an issue, Stanton’s numbers would have suffered last season. In 2012, with Logan Morrison, Greg Dobbs, and Gaby Sanchez hit behind Stanton in 83 of his 122 games. That trio posted a .291 wOBA and a .670 OPS. Hardly much protection for Stanton in those games.

Ehsan: How many home runs do you think Stanton will hit in 2013?

Jason: I would say anywhere between 40-45 home runs for Stanton.

Ehsan: Will Logan Morrison have a bounce back season?

Jason: Logan Morrison will have a bounce back season, if he can stay healthy. Currently, he is projected to hit fourth behind Stanton. If pitchers decide to pitch around Stanton, Logan Morrison will face a lot of pitchers pitching from the stretch with a runner on base. This will give Morrison more pitches to hit.

Ehsan: Between the three, Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez and Jacob Turner, which young pitcher will break out in 2013?

Jason: Of those three pitchers, I would say that Eovaldi has the best talent. He has the best pure stuff on the Marlins and his control will be what can either help or hurt him.

Henderson Alvarez gets sold short a lot in baseball circles. He does a great job with his command and getting ground balls. The Marlins 2013 defense should be stronger than the Jays, so that should help him as well.

Ehsan: Thoughts on Marlins closer Steve Cishek?

Feb 22, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Steve Cishek (31) poses for a picture during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jason: I like Steve Cishek. He had a strong 2011 season and should have been the Marlins closer heading into 2012. The Marlins made a huge mistake signing Heath Bell, as they did not need him and they overpaid him. Usually a sidearm pitcher like Cishek does not do well against opposite side hitters, but Cishek had good splits against both righties and lefties. He is an undervalued pitcher in baseball right  now. The Marlins would make a huge mistake if they signed Jose Valverde this off-season.

Ehsan: How will the 2013 season fare for the Miami Marlins?

Jason: The Marlins will not have a good season in 2013, as they will likely finish in last place in a competitive NL East. The Marlins should win between 57-70 wins next season. If a team does not think it can reach the 85-win threshold, they should hit the reset button and start over. I am a fan of how the Houston Astros dismantled their team and started over. They have fully stocked their farm system and have drafted better the past few seasons. The Marlins should follow a similar path, even if that means trading Giancarlo Stanton for a huge package.

Ehsan: What kind of package should the Marlins receive in return in a potential Stanton trade?

Jason: The Marlins should receive at least 2 top 50 overall prospects in all of baseball. They should also get 2 major league ready players that can make a huge impact on the Marlins in the future. A good comparison point would be the Marlins trading Miguel Cabrera to the Detroit Tigers. At the time of the trade, Cameron Maybin was about as untradeable of a prospect as there was. The Tigers refused to include him in many trades overtures from other teams. Andrew Miller was the sixth overall pick for the Tigers and seen as a huge part of their future rotation. The Marlins also got a very valuable bullpen arm in Burke Badenhop. At the time of the trade, many experts saw the deal as fair value for both sides. Unfortunately, the trade did not work out for the Marlins. That’s the type of package the Marlins should seek for Stanton.

Ehsan: Give me your thoughts on top Marlins prospects, Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich?

Jason: Love both guys. Both high-end impact guys down the line. The Marlins should not rush either guy.

A huge thanks to Jason for taking time out of busy schedule to do this interview with Marlin Maniac. I actually agree with a lot about what Jason had to say. Lineup protection is a major myth in my view, it’s not like Stanton succeeded in a better lineup last season. His protection will probably be around the same as it was last season.

What did you guys think of the interview? Any thoughts about what Jason had to say?