Five Miami Marlins that need to step up their games in 2015

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May 2, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon (9) is tagged out at second base by Miami Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich (32) during the first inning at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The new-look Miami Marlins show a lot of promise as the 2015 season looms near. Over the past few months, the infield has been almost completely revamped, the bullpen has been solidified and the team has added quite possibly the best fourth outfielder in baseball to what was already arguably MLB’s best starting outfield.

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Despite all the moves to improve, the Marlins still find themselves looking up at teams like the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. The projection systems like ZiPS and the Vegas computers don’t give the Marlins favorable outcomes for 2015; by most advanced metrics Miami is only around a .500 club.

The additions of Dee Gordon (starting second baseman), Martin Prado (starting third baseman), Mike Morse (starting first baseman) and Mat Latos (will probably be number two starter in rotation) were designed with the intention of winning, and winning right now. The Marlins didn’t give up much major league talent in the slew of trades they made this winter, but they did part with several top prospects. So it would appear the team now has a rather small window in which to contend, with the minor league system expected to be lacking for the next couple years.

For the Marlins to contend in 2015, it will likely take a perfect storm of overachieving and luck. Right now, the Nationals are the class of the National League East, and the New York Mets are expected to match the Marlins pound-for-pound. Of course, there’s always the potential for injuries or players underperforming, so the Nationals by no means already have the division in the bag, nor should Marlins players start planning their October vacations yet. Anything can happen; that’s why they play the games.

Giancarlo Stanton can’t carry the team on his back all season. The Marlins will need production from all 25 men on the roster. Let’s take a look at some names that will need to step it up for the Marlins to end their 12-year playoff drought in 2015:

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