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

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Jul 1, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcher

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

(39) connects for a two run RBI single during the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

In his first season with the Marlins, Saltalamacchia was a disappointment. After putting up 3.5 fWAR with the Boston Red Sox in 2013, the Marlins felt inclined to sign him for three years and $21 million. In 2014, he had a 1.3 fWAR and showed that the power and average he showed his last year in Boston was probably in large part thanks to Fenway Park’s favorable hitting dimensions.

Still, he was a massive upgrade over the Marlins laughable catchers from 2013, and he still played above-average defense behind the plate. The good news is Salty has virtually nowhere to go but up in 2015, and if he can get return closer to his ‘13 form than what he was last year, the Marlins should have a solid backstop this year. He hit .220/.320/.362 last year with 11 home runs and a 91 wRC+. Those aren’t awful numbers, but they’re not what the Marlins thought they’d get out of him.

The problem is Saltalamacchia struck out more in 2014 than he ever has in a season. He K’d 32.9% of the time; Adam Dunn would be in awe of that accomplishment. Salty has shown he can run into one now and then when he makes contact, but first he has to, you know, make contact. He did hit 25 homers with the Red Sox two years ago. Sure, blame Fenway for that, if you want. Marlins Park has actually proven to be more hitter friendly with each passing season, so you can’t really say Miami’s home ballpark suppresses power anymore.

The Marlins are hoping Saltalamacchia can regain his form in 2015. And personally, I think he will.

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