Sep 12, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcher Rob Brantly slides into home plate to score a run in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Marlins 2013 season was a terrible disaster that the team hopes to avoid again in 2014. The team lost 100 games for just the second time in team history and struggled to compete all season long.
Luckily for the team, help could be on it’s way, as the Marlins had one of the top overall group of prospects in all of baseball. Before the season, prospect guru John Sickels ranked the Marlins farm system as the eight best in baseball.
The top prospect list for Marlin Maniac I made before the season had plenty of prospects that had a chance to make a difference on the team going forward. From my preseason list, seven prospects have graduated prospect status and two have seen their prospect status diminish due to off the field factors. This means the end of the season prospect includes at least nine different faces from the preseason.
Before I reveal the end of the season prospect rankings for Marlin Maniac, let’s take a look back at the prospects that graduated from prospect status, as well as the players that fell flat on their faces. There are 9 players I am going to talk about, so I will split the posts into two, to avoid getting too wordy.
Sep 27, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Tom Koehler (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
#18- Tom Koehler, SP:
I saw Koehler as a guy that will be used exclusively out of the Marlins bullpen down the road, as he had strong enough stuff to be a long relief guy, but lacked the arsenal to be a full-time starter. My bold prediction for Koehler’s 2013 season:
"Bold Prediction: Tom Koehler will make the Marlins team as a relief pitcher out of spring training, but due to injuries and inconsistencies from the Marlins young rotation, Koehler will make some spot starts and prove to be a valuable asset for the Marlins."
I am going to take credit for being correct on that one. Although he had his fair share of up-and-downs for the year, Koehler turned out to be an effective number 5 starter, posting a 4.41 ERA and a 4.27 FIP. He lacked the strikeouts to be a more effective pitcher and his bouts with control at times left him to be hit around.
Overall, 143 innings and a 0.6 WAR from Koehler cannot be discounted. He will be entering his his age 28 season in 2014 and should become a go-to-guy in the Marlins bullpen. He’s under team control for two more seasons, so expect the Marlins to take advantage of his cheap labor out of the pen until then. Co-Editor Chris Logel gave Koehler a C- grade for his 2013 season.
#17- Kolby Copeland, OF:
I predicted a strong season from the Marlins 2012 3rd round draft pick in 2013. Instead, Copeland refused a drug test before the season, got a 50-game suspension and never played a single game for a Marlins affiliate in 2013.
His not returning from his drug suspension has to make one wonder if he has a future in the Marlins organization going forward. If he can turn things around in 2014, there is a good chance he could rejoin the top prospect lists. His 2013 season has however soured expectations about his future, for now.
#15- Alfredo Silverio, OF:
Silverio’s story has been well documented now. His bat made him a top prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, but a terrible accident right before the 2012 season left him off the Dodgers roster. The Marlins picked him in the Rule V draft, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.
Unfortunately for both Silverio and the Marlins, Alfredo never saw the field in 2013. After experiencing elbow pain during spring training, Silvero had to undergo Tommy John Surgery for a second time and that effectively ended his season.
Not much has been heard about the Marlins plans with Silvero going forward, but one has to figure that the team will sell him back to the Dodgers. His chance of making an impact on the Marlins in 2014 and beyond are a long shot, at best.
Jun. 19, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Miami Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
13- Derek Dietrich 2B:
Dietrich was surprisingly called up to the majors prematurely, as the Marlins needed a replacement for Donovan Solano, who went to the DL with an injury. Upon arrival, Dietrich provided the Marlins with just what scouts expected from him. Weak plate discipline, but the ability to hit the ball further than anyone not named Giancarlo Stanton.
Dietrich had 233 plate appearances in the majors, hitting to slash line of .214/.275/.405 with 9 homers. The nine homers were third on a Marlins team that became the only team in 2013 to hit fewer than 100 home runs. Dietrich was also able to collect 10 doubles and two triples in his stint in the majors.
Despite the strong power, Dietrich’s lack of plate discipline led to a wOBA of just .297. That is somewhat high for a Marlin in 2013, but was still a disappointment. This led to his demotion on July 22nd, as the Marlins may have felt that a bit more seasoning for him in Double-A was necessary.
There have been reports that Dietrich’s promotion to the big leagues was blocked by owner Jeffery Loria over his involvement in the Tino Martinez fiasco, but we will probably never know that whole truth about that, as Dietrich missed most of the final part of the season with an oblique injury.
If Dietrich is still apart of the Marlins future, despite the team’s owner alienating him, I would expect to see Dietrich make some sort of impact on the Marlins major league roster in 2014. If he is not apart of the team’s future, the team can certainly do better, but would be losing a promising young power prospect. Dietrich earned a C grade from Chris.
8- Rob Brantly, C:
Everything that could go wrong for Brantly this past season seemed to go wrong. Brantly owned a slash line of .211/.263/.265 and his Fangraphs WAR (-0.8) was the second worst among catchers with at least 240 at bats. Brantly’s .238 wOBA only beat teammate Jeff Mathis’ .236 mark.
Behind the plate, Brantly threw out the league average of 28% of base stealers, but had 9 passed balls and 20 wild pitches when he was behind the plate. He also committing 5 errors on the season and Brantly cost the Marlins three runs compared to average according to DRS.
His play was so bad, that at one point he was demoted to Triple-A. His play in 2013 earned him an F grade from Chris. The Marlins are seemingly searching the market for a catcher, meaning the team does not view Brantly the same way they did before the 2013 season, when he was seen as the catcher of the future.
Stay tuned for part two, which I will post tomorrow. In the mean time, please drop a comment and let us now which of these five prospects had the most disappointing season in 2013 and which one impressed you the most!