MLB.com released its mid-season prospect lists today, and the Miami Marlins placed one prospect in the top 100, as well as experienced a bit of a shakeup in their top 30 prospect list.
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Tyler Kolek, the Miami Marlins #2 overall pick last season, ranked atop the Marlins prospect list, as well as the 61st best prospect in baseball.
"Scouting grades: Fastball: 80 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 40 | Control: 45 | Overall: 55Kolek made waves before the 2014 Draft, thanks to his powerful fastball. He consistently threw the pitch 100 mph or more, making him one of the hardest throwers in Draft history. That was enough to make him a candidate to become the first high school right-hander to go No. 1 overall, and the Marlins were ready to grab him with the second pick of the Draft when the Astros ultimately passed on him.There’s more to Kolek than pure velocity. He gets heavy sinking life on his fastball, creating lots of groundball outs. He’s refined his breaking ball since being drafted, giving it 12-to-6 break. He still needs to work on his secondary offerings, as he’s largely been able to rely on his fastball to this point.As is the case with most young power pitchers, command remains a work in progress for Kolek. He’ll need to improve it to reach his ceiling, but his size, stuff and arm strength give him top-of-the-rotation potential."
At this point, I believe Kolek is living more off his draft pedigree than his actual results for his top 100 spot. He currently owns a 4.15 ERA and a 4.84 FIP in 84 2/3 innings of work in 2015, for the Marlins Low-A team.
Kolek has struck out just 15.3% of the hitters he’s faced, while walking 11.1% of them. He’s still a work in progress and according to John Sickels, has not even touched 100 MPH like he did pre-draft.
"64) Tyler Kolek, RHP, Marlins (46): Blah results are one thing, but reports of velocity declines and lack of secondary pitch progress lowers his stock independently of the stats. Watchful waiting right now."
While it’s easy to look at his numbers, with Carlos Rodon already in the major leagues, and say the Miami Marlins made a grave mistake selecting Kolek over Rodon, Kolek still has plenty of time to prove himself. He could still turn out to be the pitcher the Marlins drafted.
Or he could be the next Chad James. Only time will tell.
I still side with the Marlins should have taken Rodon side, as I think Rodon would have fit the Marlins win now mentality better and gave them a pitcher that could contribute right now.
Top 30 List Shakeup?
As evidenced by Kolek being the lone Marlin top 100 prospect, he still remains the top prospect in the Marlins system. However, preseason number 2, Justin Nicolino, has taken a dip to the #3 spot, as a new guy has risen through the rankings for the Fish.
Here’s a look at the top 30 list:
- Tyler Kolek, RHP
- Jarlin Garica, LHP
- Justin Nicolino, LHP
- Adam Conley, LHP
- Josh Naylor, 1B
- Kendry Flores, RHP
- Trevor Williams, RHP
- Brett Lilek, LHP
- Austin Dean, OF
- Iseal Soto, OF
- Brian Anderson, 3B
- Avery Romero, 2B
- Nick Wittgren, RHP
- Justin Twine, SS
- J.T. Riddle, SS
- Michael Mader, LHP
- Casey Soltis, OF
- Austin Brice, RHP
- Colby Suggs, RHP
- Brian Ellington, RHP
- Justin Bohn, SS
- Matt Milroy, RHP
- Blake Anderson, C
- Anfernee Seymour, OF/SS
- Chris Reed, LHP
- Miguel De Pozo, RHP
- Brian Schales, 3B
- Raudel Lazo, LHP
- Isaiah White, OF
- Gabriel Castellanos, LHP
The biggest surprise has to be Jarlin Garcia at number 2, over Justin Nicolino. Garcia, 21, had a 3.06 ERA and a 3.07 FIP in 97 innings of work in High-A, before being promoted to Double-A yesterday. In his first start with the Suns, Garcia struggled, allowing 5 earned runs on 8 hits in 5 2/3 innings of work. On the plus side, he did strike out 5 and walk just one.
Garcia seems to have a higher upside that Nicolino at this point, as Nicolino has started to lose some of his prospect pedigree, struggling in Triple-A.
In 105 innings in Triple-A, Nicolino owns a 3.43 ERA, but a 4.74 FIP with a lowly 9.3 strikeout percentage, and a career high 6.1 walk percentage.
Conley slots into the fourth slot, with him enjoying a very nice bounceback season in 2015, after struggling with elbow issues for much of 2014. He owns a 2.52 ERA and a 3.83 FIP in 107 innings of work, and is a strong candidate to be in the rotation after the All-Star break.
I believe Conley has the ceiling of a #3 starter, which is actually a bit higher than I’d say for Nicolino. Heck, if I were releasing my top prospect list right now, I’d probably slot Conley over Nicolino, which I know a lot of people would not be crazy about.
Miami Marlins first round pick from this season, Josh Naylor, rounds out the top-5. Naylor owns a .359/.390/.436 slash line 41 plate appearances into his professional career. He still hasn’t flashed the power he was touted for when the Marlins picked him, but a good start to his career is great to see.
We’ll have a lot more prospect coverage after the Trade Deadline Friday, including a post trade deadline look at the the top 20 prospects in the Marlins system. In that we will go more in-depth on the top 5 guys, as well as the rest of the top 15.
With the Marlins being sellers at the trade deadline, there’s a good chance there will be a bunch of new faces.
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