Mar 9, 2013; Melbourne, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich (76) against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Since the MLB Draft, I have received numerous questions to how the Miami Marlins first round pick Colin Moran fits into the teams top prospect rankings.
Coming into the season, the Marlins had one of the top farm systems in the major leagues, as the top talent Christian Yelich and Jose Fernandez rated out as top 20 prospects in all of baseball by many prospect rankings.
This is how I ranked the Marlins top 20 prospects coming into the season:
"#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- Austin Brice, SP#11- Adam Conley, SP#10- J.T. Realmuto, C#9- Jose Urena, SP#8- Rob Brantly, C#7- Adeiny Hechavarria, SS#6- Marcell Ozuna, OF#5- Jake Marisnick, OF#4- Justin Nicolino, SP#3- Andrew Heaney, SP#2- Christian Yelich, OF#1- Jose Fernandez, SP"
From this list, Jose Fernandez, Marcell Ozuna, Derek Dietrich, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Rob Brantly have all graduated due to the playing time they have gotten in the majors. Injuries are ruining Alfredo Silverio’s shot at ever playing in a Marlins uniform. A scout I spoke to at the Barons-Suns game talked about Zack Cox losing his prospect status falling quickly, as he still has not found his power stroke that the Cardinals fell in love with to draft him in the first round.
With all the graduations and level of play of the prospects, the list should look a lot more different come the end of July, when I plan on posting an update to my top 20 list.
Going to focus on the top 5 today, as that is easier to get a feel for at this point. This is a rough idea of how I rank the prospects, come July I should have a better idea with more research and statistics to look at:
Marlins Top 5 Prospects (as of June 9th)
- Christian Yelich, CF
- Colin Moran, 3B
- Andrew Heaney, SP
- Justin Nicolino, SP
- Jake Marisnick, CF
Christian Yelich is the obvious name to go on top of this list, as he has continued to hit well after his promotion to Double-A. The only thing that has held him back so far has been his injury woes. Yelich is out two weeks right now with an abdomen injury currently. If he can return from his injury and pick up his hot hitting, he won’t be far from making his major league debut.
June 1, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tarheels third baseman Colin Moran (18) during the Chapel Hill Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament at Boshamer Stadium. The North Carolina Tarheels won 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Colin Moran was the Marlins selection with the number 6 pick in the MLB draft just last week. Moran was seen as one of the top hitters in the draft and luckily fell to the Marlins. The team expects Moran to rise through the system quickly and could become the third baseman of the future for the Fish. The Marlins still have the task at hand to get him signed and playing in their system.
Andrew Heaney had a 32.7% strikeout rate coming into his start on Sunday. Heaney has been nothing short of spectacular in his brief stint with the Marlins so far. While the strikeout numbers are expected to go down as Heaney faces stiffer competition, he has shown flashes of being the top left handed college lefty the Marlins drafted last season with the ninth pick.
Nicolino was one of the top prospects in the Jays system when the team pulled off the blockbuster deal with the Marlins last December. Nicolino has pitched well early in 2013, but his strikeout rate has to have the team a bit concerned. Nicolino has only struck out 5.54 hitters per nine innings for the Fish so far. His upside keeps him in the Marlins top 5 prospect list.
The Marlins also acquired Marisnick from the Jays in the fire sale trade. He had a rough start to the 2013 season, breaking his hand in the middle of spring training. Marisnick missed about two weeks of the beginning of the season due to the injury and got off to a slow start. He has started to heat up as of late and the scout I talked to about Marisnick still sees a bright future for him down the road.