A big key for an MLB organization to become successful is not just their major league success, but also the successes of their minor league affiliates. A good combination of the two will give a team, ala the San Francisco Giants, to dominate the league over a few years span.
Prospect guru John Sickels of Minor League Ball released his organizational rankings for the upcoming season on Wednesday. Unfortunately, John isn’t too high on the Miami Marlins organizational depth.
"29) Miami Marlins: Promotions and trades slap system depth here and cost them some slots in an already-low ranking. Much rides on the hot arm of Tyler Kolek and the extreme pitchability of Justin Nicolino. Other arms of interest include Jarlin Garcia and Jose Urena, products of an under-rated Latin American program. Bats are thin, with catcher J.T. Realmuto and infielders Brian Anderson (watch him closely) and Avery Romero standing out as the top men. Slugger sleeper: outfielder Isael Soto. Last year: 24th."
The Marlins system has not ranked too highly since the trio of Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna graduated a couple of years ago. The team then also went out and traded a lot of depth this off-season to fill needs on the major league roster.
With all the recent trades and graduation, Sickels sees the Marlins system as very thin at this stage. Tyler Kolek has a ton of potential for the Marlins, but he’s still ways away from the majors and has some questions surrounding his ability to develop his secondary pitches.
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To get a better idea of how Sickels feels about the Marlins system, we can revert back to his top 20 prospect list for the Marlins earlier this year.
Fortunately for the Marlins, there is talent in the pipeline for the team. If guys like, Avery Romero, Brian Anderson continue to show the promise they did in 2014 with their hitting, the team has a trio of hitting prospects that could inch closer to the majors and improve the teams overall rank.
Also, the team has prospects in the lower minors, like a Justin Twine, or a Mason Davis, or a Michael Mader, who were recently drafted and can show enough in the lower levels next year to earn more respect.
The team also has prospects that struggled last season, but have the talent to bounceback and become potentially impact prospect again, like left hander Adam Conley.
While guys like J.T. Realmuto Jose Urena and Justin Nicolino are expected to make the majors this season and could lose prospect status, the team does have more talent in the minors, but they aren’t going to be confused with the Chicago Cubs anytime soon.