Lets take a quick look at the prospects the Miami Marlins received in the trade that sent David Phelps to the Seattle Mariners.
The Miami Marlins are most likely going to miss the playoffs for the 14th straight season. They are sellers at the trade deadline. With their record projected to be below .500, the Marlins are on the prowl for future young talent.
This team urgently needs starting pitchers that can fill out the back of their rotation and a formidable bullpen. The rotation and bullpen rank 22nd and 17th, respectively. There has been no standout pitching outside of Urena, Volquez, and Straily, with the team continuing to try new pitchers.
One promising player who has had two straight strong starts is LHP Adam Conley. He had recently pitched seven scoreless innings against the Rangers only allowing seven hits and gaining five strikeouts. Despite the encouraging starts, the Miami Marlins front office is looking for more consistency.
This resulted in them to make roster changes that would benefit them in the long-term. Last week the Marlins traded right-handed relief pitcher David Phelps to the Mariners for four prospects.
Getting closer to the deadline, it was a smart decision to look towards retooling their weak farm system. Phelps was the lone player in the Marlins bullpen that still possessed value. Before he was traded, he was 2-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 47 innings of work.
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The Mariners saw Phelps as a versatile player that they can keep through the 2018 season and pitch multiple innings. He has the physical attributes to blow by batters in critical situations, as well as pitch to lefties and righties.
With Phelps traded, the Marlins have three pitching prospects that they can groom and carve into successful players.
Who are the three pitching prospects?
In the Phelps trade, the Miami Marlins acquired three right-handed pitching prospects, Pablo Lopez, Brandon Miller, and Lukas Schiraldi. For detailed prospect reports on them, click here, here, and here, respectively.
Miller was the highest rated prospect of the bunch. At 22 years old and standing at 6-foot-4, Miller was one of 10 finalists for the Brett Tomko Award. This award is presented annually to the nation’s best Division II Hurler.
Miller has starting rotation appeal, but needs to continue to develop in the minor leagues. Currently, his fastball sits in the low 90’s and can top out at 93 mph. Though this fits the criteria of your average Joe right-handed pitcher, he has a knack for hitting all quadrants of the zone.
Being in a pitcher-friendly park is the cherry on top because he’ll be dependent on his defense to make plays. His secondary pitch is his slider, which has late bite action that misses bats and is a plus-offering.
His other two pitches are his changeup and curveball that still need further work with pitching coaches to get to the next level. One of his greatest attributes his command and strike-throwing ability.
Still recovering from Tommy John (TJ) surgery in 2014, Lopez is a project pitcher that has an average three-pitch mix. He does not have a blow by fastball, but he has strong command of his three pitches.
His fastball only sits in the 88-91 mph range, but he has the ability to pitch it down in the zone to induce groundballs. At only 21 years old and a year off from TJ surgery, Lopez will begin to grow into his 6-foot-3 frame.
He will work diligently with pitching coach Jeremy Powell, who will look to improve his velocity. There is a high ceiling with this pitcher as he had success with the Mariners minor league organization. In three seasons, he had 16 wins and three losses, with a combined ERA of 2.61.
The last Marlins pitcher, Lukas Schiraldi has a ton of kinks to get rid of with an unbelievably high ERA. One of the core reasons is because of his inability to control his sizzling mid 90’s fastball. As a young player, he should begin focusing on learning how to work around zones, instead of focusing on throwing pure gas.
This season in 37.1 innings of work, he has thrown 27 walks and allowed 19 runs. This developmental prospect can only get better if he learns how to pitch to contact and develop stronger secondary pitches.
Diversifying his pitches will be the key to gain an edge over batters. In a league, where even flamethrowers such as Chapman and Kimbrel have got shelled, mixing pitches up will keep batters on their toes . If Schiraldi builds a level of consistency, he can later find himself in the back of the bullpen as a reliever.