Earlier this week, Baseball Prospectus released their annual top 101 prospect list. Of the top 101 prospects, there were somehow no Miami Marlins cracking the list. This is a major shock, especially since Keith Law and MLB.com each had Tyler Kolek and J.T. Realmuto comfortably in their top 100 lists.
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While many are thrown off by the list, we have to remember that a lot of homework and research go into making a broad prospect list that emcompasses the entire league. Making these lists are not easy, so I’m not going to critique Nick J. Faleris, Chris Mellen and or any of BP Prospect Staff for their work on this list.
Tyler Kolek was the Marlins first round pick during the 2014 MLB Draft. In drafting Kolek, the Marlins went back to their strength, since Larry Beinfest’s time, of drafting projectable high school arms with a ton of upside. The last example being Jose Fernandez.
It’s very surprising to see Kolek not cracking the top 101 prospect list, as he is universally seen as an ace caliber pitcher, if he develops properly. He’s still aways from the major leagues, so that could have been among the reasons for him not receiving more consideration.
In fact, here’s what staffers Nick J. Faleris and Chris Mellen had to say to a commenter when asked about Kolek.
"Was Kolek particularly close to getting Miami on the board?Feb 09, 2015 06:06 AMlink Nick Faleris BP staff"
"He was on a couple different variations of the list but missed the cut when Mellen and I finalized.Feb 09, 2015 06:13 AMlink Chris Mellen BP staff"
"It was a tough call, but felt right based on where we are with his development."
"Feb 09, 2015 06:26 AMlink"
It’s good to see that Kolek was not an oversight for not making the list. Since the BP staff likely sees him as a much more long term prospect than the other prospects that did crack the list, they probably didn’t feel he earned his spot in this elite group of prospects, just yet.
If Kolek pitches well in 2015, he’ll force the hands of not just the BP staff, but every prospect list to include in him not just on the list, but near the top. Much like Jose Fernandez did a few years ago.
As for J.T. Realmuto, while I am high on him myself, I was actually pretty shocked to see him included on both MLB.com and Law’s lists. While he is capable of being a decent starting catcher at the major league level, there are still enough questions surrounding him that I’d figure he’d have sat somewhere near the top 200 list, rather than the top 100 list.
For that reason, I have zero issue with the Baseball Prospectus list not having him in the top 101 prospect list.
Justin Nicolino could have been another name to crack the top 101 prospect list, but just like the previous two top 100 prospects lists we’ve looked at, he didn’t make the cut. This is likely a result of his inability to find strikeouts at all during his 2014 campaign in Double-A Jacksonville.
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Former Marlin top prospect from a year ago, Andrew Heaney, came in number 37 overall on the list. That is a seven spot drop from his 30th ranking from a season ago, but still shows that he is viewed by many as a top end prospect. This is the reason a lot of the Maniac staff was down on the Dee Gordon trade with the Dodgers in our roundtable earlier this week.
While it’s easy to be down on the Marlins system right now, fans have to remember the graduations of prospects like Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna in recent seasons play a major role in that.