The Miami Marlins have two rookie outfielders on the dl and just traded away their second most experienced player from the grass. The departure of Cameron Maybin via trade and the inclusion of Garrett Cooper and Lewis Brinson on the disabled list leave the Marlins outfield in a state of flux.
The Miami Marlins have four players currently listed as “outfielders” on the active roster, three of them rookies, and two of them playing out of position. The 40-man roster offers only more questions.
After Braxton Lee started the season with just three hits in 17 at bats, he was optioned to the New Orleans Baby Cakes, but has been retained on the 40-man. Since then, Lee has split his time between the top three levels of the Marlins minor league system, slashing .232/.313/.291 in 54 contests. Not quite what we were expecting after he led the Southern League with a .309 average last season.
Brinson opened the season as Miami’s #1 overall prospect, and struggled mightily in 84 appearances, mostly in center field. He put up a .186/.232/.338 slashline, and although his defense at times was well above average, he was also prone to gaffes which more experienced outfielders could have likely avoided. He currently holds a .971 fielding percentage, with seven errors.
Garrett Cooper, listed as an outfielder, was also expected to contribute to Miami’s overall bottom line this season. Instead, a pair of injuries to his right wrist has limited him to a seven-for-33 season with two RBI. He’s unlikely to return to the field anytime soon, and is possibly awaiting surgery.
Maybin provided some depth to the Marlins outfield, but of course Miami parted with him in a trade deadline deal with the Seattle Mariners yesterday. We received single-A infielder Bryson Brigman in return, along with $250,000 of international bonus pool money.
That leaves overachieving rookie third baseman Brian Anderson in right field, infielder out-of-position Derek Dietrich in left field, and a combination of the extremely untested Magneuris Sierra and Isaac Galloway in center.
Sierra is extremely fast. Maybe the fastest in the game today. His 3.46 second home-to-first time on his 10th inning bunt single on Saturday was the fastest recorded in the Statcast era. In 29 career major league games, he’s hitting .301/.333/.313. So pretty much singles and stolen bases from him.
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Galloway is a very different proposition. To say Galloway waited a long time for his callup is an understatement. An eighth-round selection out of California in 2008, he toiled in the minors for 11 years before his first major league game yesterday. He made the most of it, collecting a hit and a run in the ninth inning of Miami’s 11-6 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Galloway was slashing .262/.315/.429 in 92 games for the Baby Cakes, and has 69 career minor league home runs in 947 games in total.
September’s Miami Marlins Outfield Picture
Brinson may have to earn back his playing time when he returns. Sierra has been more than adequate in an admittedly small sample size, and Galloway is sure to make the most of his opportunity. Brinson struck out almost a third of the time, with 94 whiffs in 311 plate appearances. That’s Rob Deer-esque right there. Steve Balboni-ish even.
So we’re left with the question, ‘Will Brinson ever realize the potential of his skillset?” Only time travelers know for sure right now. I wouldn’t bet against him, but his position shouldn’t be considered a given.
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