Do the Miami Marlins Have Too Many Outfielders?
By David Levin
With the sudden infusion of talent from their minor league system, do the Miami Marlins have too many outfielders to choose from?
Looking at the current Miami Marlins roster, the message is clear. The organization is taking a long, hard look at what the future may look like with young minor league prospects on the rise. This includes many young outfielders to choose from.
The problem with the decision to add to the current roster and to continue that growth with the expansion of the 40-man roster is the organization and manager Don Mattingly will have some serious decisions to make at the end of March in Spring Training.
Take into consideration the Marlins have added many young outfielders to its roster and still have its top prospect, Monte Harrison, tearing up the Southern League at Double-A Jacksonville this past week.
Lewis Brinson is on a rehab assignment with the Jumbo Shrimp as well. Garrett Cooper is still dealing with a wrist injury.
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It’s a good problem to have – one a struggling organization should be thankful for. These Marlins, however, could have an issue with too many outfielders to choose from. It was the same issue I talked about a few years ago for another site, but it involved the Major League talent closing doors for minor leaguers to make the leap to the parent club.
It’s a guarantee team owner Derek Jeter is not going to make the colossal moves he did last offseason. There should be movement of veterans, but the core of this franchise’s future is within the organization. What this could mean is many outfielders will fight for one Opening Day spot or they will be jettisoned to Double and Triple-A, waiting to have their contracts purchased.
Ralph Ortega, Isaac Galloway, and Austin Dean are all interviewing for a job that is still seven months away. Christopher Bostick is on the 40-man roster and was in Miami for a cup of coffee before being sent to New Orleans. Braxton Lee still remains a possibility after he was part of the 25-man Opening Day roster this season, but was sent to Triple-A to have more opportunities to play every day.
Lee is a speedy outfielder who has won a batting title in Double-A.
Having so many prospects in the team’s minor league system could be both a blessing and a curse. If depth is something Mattingly, Jeter, et al wants, it’s what they have.
Now comes the decision of which players will stay, which players will go and which players will wait their turn.