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

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Jul 1, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich (32) takes infield practice before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Dietrich

Remember Derek Dietrich? If he could’ve just stayed healthy, Dietrich had the chance to be the Marlins second baseman of the future a couple years ago. He showed some pop his rookie year of 2013, hitting nine home runs in 233 PA. Then last year, he hit five in 183 PA. He posted a .405 SLG in ‘13 and .386 in ‘14, so the power is definitely there. Unfortunately, Dietrich’s development might have been stunted by his rushed callup out of desperation in 2013.

He’s still just 25 and is expected to be healthy and ready to go in Spring Training. But now with Dee Gordon in Miami for the foreseeable future, Dietrich has virtually no shot at a starting job with the Marlins. He could still get a chance at a utility role, as he can play all over the infield. The Marlins also tried him at first base in the Arizona Fall League, but he went down with injury once again, and saw very little playing time.

If Dietrich does make the Marlins, he could have a ton of value pinch-hitting and spot-starting. The Marlins haven’t had a reliable left-handed hitter off the bench since the surprisingly solid 2011 version of Greg Dobbs. They will have Ichiro Suzuki as an option, and Dietrich could supplant him on days Ichiro starts games. Dietrich can also make spot starts at third, second, shortstop and maybe first base if needed.

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