Miami Marlins: Spring Training and Week One Player Analysis

Lefty power is on the rise for the Miami Marlins. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Lefty power is on the rise for the Miami Marlins. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

With one week just about in the books for the Miami Marlins, it seems as good a time as any to start overreacting to player performance.

Should attention just shift to the NFL Draft because Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t homered yet? Or should fans of the Miami Marlins start saving money for playoff tickets based off of Christian Yelich‘s torrid start at the plate?

Spring Training belongs to dreamers and panickers alike after all, and if that isn’t the substance fan blogs are made of, I’m apparently misinformed about what we’re supposed to be discussing here.

So let’s dive in fellow Miami Marlins prognosticators. What follows will be three players trending up and making some noise, followed by three that are either triggering Don Mattingly‘s alarm bells or preparing to become forgotten faces as they trend downward.

Let’s check out some statistics that are consistent with play through Thursday.

Three Up – Marlins Worth Catching

Christian Yelich 

Hard not to start with the man that’s arguably the best player on the Miami Marlins roster. Yelich has been knocking the cover off the ball since Day 1 and is batting .545 with 2 HR and 7 RBI through the first six games of the spring.

What’s more, he’s doubled up on walks as opposed to strikeouts, with only a single wasted at bat to his name. He’s been the definition of locked in, and that’s something the Marlins will need all season long from the best player in baseball not to make the All-Star team last year.

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Matt den Dekker 

Picking up the trail from last Sunday’s piece on potential fifth outfielders, the early lead would have to go to Matt den Dekker. He’s gone 3-for-8 so far in camp, and the only member of the Miami Marlins who has been as productive with that many at bats or more is the first player mentioned on this list. Yes, it’s early. Yes, he’s getting at-bats because the regulars are being eased in.

But production is production, and he’ll stick around as long as he continues to do so- especially given the performance of the rest of the bonus outfielder crop.

Tyler Moore 

Alright, all cards on the table, this should be Martin Prado. But he went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts on Thursday, which was the same day I noticed Tyler Moore existed. The journeyman bats right-handed, he plays first base, and he has gone 4 for 7 with 2 HRs.

So let’s ignore the fact that all the at-bats have come almost exclusively late in games for a moment, and pretend he keeps this going for another week. Even after a month of passing on a slew of platoon complements to Justin Bour, if one suddenly materializes in camp, we could find ourselves having a whole new conversation about that four-man bench.

Three Down: Marlins Worth Throwing Back 

Brandon Barnes 

Ummm, the dude has gone 0 for 10. That stretch of futility includes six strikeouts, so it’s not like we’re talking about a bunch of productive, moving-the-runner-over at-bats here either. Plus, he broke Ichiro. When the biggest impact you’ve made is running into a clubhouse leader, you’re probably going to have a hard time explaining to management why you should stick around. After all, there is always the Korean League.

Dan Straily 

I tried to avoid putting a pitcher on the list. You just can’t conclude anything. But allowing seven hits in less than 3 IP, two of which were HRs? It’s a tad upsetting is all.

That said, he’s in no danger of losing his roster spot at the moment. Jeff Locke still isn’t pitching, Jose Urena still isn’t performing, and Justin Nicolino just surrendered 4 ER in a third of an inning. Dan Straily remains your fifth starter, but it will be interesting to see where we stand if another pitcher starts to play well.

Giancarlo Stanton 

Think he’ll make the team? Yea, me too. However, he has been lapped by every other Miami Marlin regular regarding total hits except one – that’d be Dee Gordon, who missed half the games due to illness.

Even in Spring Training, you hope for than 1-for-9 from your $325 million investment. He hasn’t looked that comfortable at the plate, though he is moving fine in the field. That’s a good sign, considering his health issues last season. He’ll sort it out, but of all the Marlins currently prepping to pack for the WBC, his attendance continues to concern me more than any other Fish.

Next: Fifth Outfielder Battle

And that’s your first week of Miami Marlins spring action. Expect a closer look at pitching as we move forward, as starters start to be stretched out more and more. As for hitters, expect a focus on non-stars over All-Stars, brought to you by the WBC.

If only it stood for “We’ll Be Careful.”