Miami Marlins Season Preview: Prospects

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Magneuris Sierra
JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Magneuris Sierra /

Throughout the last week, Marlin Maniac has been taking a look at Miami’s tools for the 2018 season. We have already covered the rotation, the starting lineup, the bullpen, and the bench. Today’s feature is all about what Miami’s prospect pool in their newly stocked cupboard.

Miami’s next-men-on-deck has more than just a liberal sprinkling of new arrivals. The “official” Top 30 prospect list on is split half-and-half between home grown talent and those picked up via trade in the last several months. Scouting grades are as reported by MLB.COM pipeline. We’re looking at Miami’s top 10 prospects.

Prospects 1-10

Lewis Brinson

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55

All but anointed “The Chosen One” since his arrival via the Christian Yelich trade, Brinson could make good on those expectations. Long considered a top prospect, he’s currently ranked #1 in Miami’s system, and #27 overall. In 2012, he was chosen in the first round by the Rangers. He arrived in Miami’s system with Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison, and Jordan Yamamoto for Christian Yelich.

The 6’3″, 170 lb. Brinson is a Tamarac, FL native, and will be 24-years-old in May. Steamer projects him to appear in just under 100 games, and hit .256. He’s a legitimate 20-20 threat as a rookie, and is widely expected to compete for NL Rookie of the Year.

Toolsy” is a word that is often applied to Brinson, and watching his minor league reel it’s easy to see why. He grades at least above average in every category except for “hit,” and he’s shown improvement in that as well. With measurable strides made in plate discipline and pitch recognition, Brinson is the closest thing the Marlins’ have to a “can’t miss” prospect. Currently listed as a center fielder, Brinson is probably Miami’s long-term solution in right field.

Monte Harrison

Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 70 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55

Harrison, a 6’3″, 220 lb. athletic prodigy from Missouri, was a nationally regarded talent in three different sports. That’s not to say he was kinda good at football, baseball, and basketball. He was scouted and offered separate scholarships at each of the three sports. He’s probably good at soccer, golf, hockey, swimming, and horse racing, too. He arrived in Miami with Brinson in the Yelich trade.

Harrison hit 21 home runs with 27 stolen bases last season between two levels of minor league ball. He made the Midwest League All-Star team and made himself stand out further with a solid Fall League showing.

Not expected to appear at the major league level this season, Harrison will start the year with the Jupiter Hammerheads.

Sandy Alcantara

Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Slider: 55 | Curveball: 45 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 45 | Overall: 50

Miami’s top overall pitching prospect, Alcantara is a 22-year-old right hander out of the Dominican Republic. Although it’s likely that we will see him in Miami this season, he’s not regarded as a short-term solution in the rotation.

Alcantara did make his major league debut late last season out of the Cardinals bullpen. He struck out 10 in 8 1/3 innings, earning a 4.32 ERA in the short sample size. He arrived with the Marlins via the Marcell Ozuna trade, along with Magneuris Sierra, Zac Gallen, and Daniel Castano.

Alcantara sits in the 97 MPH, although his fastball tops out in the triple digits. He’s also got a hard slider, a decent changeup, and a curveball that could still use a little work. Although most of his minor league experience has come out of the rotation, he’s seen as a future closer.

Alcantara could see some action with the Marlins this season, but he’s starting this year with the New Orleans Baby Cakes.

Jorge Guzman

Scouting grades: Fastball: 80 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 50

Guzman is a right-handed pitcher out of the Dominican Republic. Although he can be groomed as an elite closer, 33 of his 43 minor league appearances to this point have been starts. His velocity tops out at 103 MPH on the fastball. In 66 2/3 innings over 13 starts last season, he struck out 88 batters while pitching for the Staten Island Yankees.

Guzman also relies on an above average slider and a still developing off-speed pitch. He joined Miami with Jose Devers and Starlin Castro in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. Still just 22-years-old, Guzman is currently rostered with the Batavia Muckdogs. After spending last season at the low-A level, however, it’s likely that he joins the Greensboro Grasshoppers shortly.

Guzman has a mid-rotation starter ceiling, and the Marlins should see him in Miami sometime in 2020.

Braxton Garrett

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

Garrett was selected seventh off the board by the Marlins in the 2016 draft, and is the highest “home-grown” prospect on the list. For about a year, he was regarded as Miami’s top prospect, before the influx of Miami’s fire sale yield.

Garrett has a 94 MPH fastball, an above average changeup, and a world class curveball. After the Tyler Kolek injury debacle, Miami was being cautious with Garrett, holding him out of action in the months after his signing. All for naught, however, as Garrett only made four starts before going on the DL for Tommy John Surgery. He went 1-0 and whiffed 16 in 15 1/3 innings for the Grasshoppers, filing a 2.93 ERA.

Garrett is still not old enough to drink, so even with the delay in his development he’s still on schedule to make his major league debut in 2021. He has what is considered a “high-floor,” and is expected to hold down the #2 rotation spot on the Marlins. If his rehabilitation remains on schedule, he should make some starts for Greensboro in August.

Trevor Rogers

Rogers was Miami’s first round selection in 2017, 13th off the board. A 6’6″ left-handed-pitcher, he reaches the mid-90s with his fastball but hasn’t yet appeared at any professional level. He’s also reliant on a slider, a curve, and a changeup, but they all still need work.

Currently rostered with the GCL Marlins, in the rookie instructional league, Rogers should make his professional debut in July. If all goes according to plan, expect him to join the Marlins in 2021 or 2022.

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Curveball: 45 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50

Magneuris Sierra

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 30 | Run: 70 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 50

Sierra made his major league debut last season, hitting .317 in 22 games. A right fielder out of the Dominican Republic, the 5’11”, 160 lb. left-hander offers top-of-the-order speed. He’s stolen 98 bases over his five minor league seasons.

Sierra has slashed .292/.339/.378 in 442 minor league games since 2013. He arrived in Miami in the Ozuna trade, with Alcantara, above.

Sierra should make his regular season major league debut shortly, if not on opening day.

Isan Diaz

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

Diaz is a middle infielder originating from Puerto Rico. The Diamondbacks chose him in second round of the 2014 draft. Only 5’10” and 180 lbs., Diaz shows more power than his size would indicate is possible. He smacked 21 homers in 152 minor league games in 2016, and 13 last season in 110 for the Carolina Mudcats. This was a year after winning the Pioneer League MVP Award in 2015.

Diaz has slashed .261/.357/.458 over his 362 game minor league career. He’s starting his season with the Hammerheads, but could easily end up with the Jumbo Shrimp in the next few weeks. He’s projected to make his major league debut in 2019.

Brian Anderson

Already regarded as Miami’s starter at third base, Anderson has been a top-10 ranked prospect for the Marlins for the last three seasons. He opens this year as their #3 Baseball America prospect. The Marlins picked up the Oklahoma native in the third round of the 2011 draft.

A veteran of just 25 major league contests, Anderson is projected to appear in just 62 games for the Marlins. Don Mattingly has gone on record as saying that Anderson is Miami’s third baseman going forward, so that number could rise. Fangraphs Al Melchior had this to say:

"Brian Anderson’s rise through the minors hit a bump in 2016, when his production hit a snag upon reaching Double-A Jacksonville. After posting a .326 wOBA in his first tour of the Southern League, he revisited the circuit in 2017 and improved that mark to .361, thanks to an increase in power. Anderson earned a promotion to Triple-A New Orleans, and after batting .339 with eight home runs in 33 games, the Marlins called him up when rosters expanded.Anderson was given the bulk of the starts at third base over the season’s final month. In his 25 games, he went homerless, and his overall production was 10% below league average. There were some bright spots, namely an 11% walk rate and a 28% line drive rate, the latter of which helped him to bat .386 on balls in play and .262 overall. Sounds fluky, you say? xBABIP disagrees, estimating that he should have compiled a .393 BABIP."

Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 50

Nick Niedert

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 60 | Overall: 50

Neidert is a 6’1″, 180 lb. right-handed pitcher from Atlanta. Still just 21-years-old, he was chosen in the second round of the 2015 draft by the Mariners. He’ll start this season with the Jumbo Shrimp, and is expected to join the Marlins’ rotation in 2019.

Niedert releases from a three-quarters arm slot. He tops out at 93 MPH on his fastball, and also has a plus-changeup and an above-average curveball. In three minor league seasons, he’s put up an 18-11 record with a 2.87 ERA, 214 whiffs in 254 innings, and a 1.071 WHIP.

Prospects 11-30

3B James Nelson
OF Brian Miller
RHP Edward Cabrera
RHP Zac Gallen
LHP Dillon Peters
RHP Merandy Gonzalez
OF Braxton Lee
SS Christopher Torres
3B Joe Dunand
2B Riley Mahan
OF Brayan Hernandez
RHP Trevor Richards
RHP Jordan Yamamoto
SS Jose Devers
RHP Pablo Lopez
OF Thomas Jones
OF Isael Soto
RHP Tyler Kolek
RHP Jordan Holloway
SS Ynmanol Marinez

Thanks for reading today’s article. Check back tomorrow for more Marlins’ news. In the meantime, like us on FaceBook, follow us on Twitter, and check back here for all the latest Marlins’ developments.