Right now, the most prominent face of the Miami Marlins is its owner, Derek Jeter. Who will become the face of this franchise as it moves toward mediocrity and beyond?
Looking over the Miami Marlins, it’s plain to see it lacks star power. J.T. Realmuto is regarded as one of the best catchers in the game but is not considered a nationally known player. Young stars like Brian Anderson and Sandy Alcantara may become household names, but there aren’t there yet. The most prominent name attached to this organization is owner Derek Jeter.
That is never good when the owner of the franchise is a rock star and his underlings are trying to claw their way toward the regional and national spotlight.
When the Marlins made the deal that sent Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers for Lewis Brinson and minor leaguers Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison, and Jordan Yamamoto, it was believed the south Florida native could become a player that not only identifies with the community in Miami but was a future All-Star and four or five-tool player.
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Brinson still has plenty to work on with mechanics and hitting. The progress will come, but he is in no position to accept the role of face of a fledgling organization.
The Marlins did a good job of acquiring talent over the course of the past year to build for the future. The pitching staff should be one of the best in two or three seasons. The outfield will be young with names like Brinson, Harrison, and Austin Dean to watch.
The infield should be good defensively with Anderson possibly the breakout star amongst the four positions. Peter O’Brien could be the team’s answer at first base. Diaz could be playing second by the end of the 2019 season. Shortstop is a battle between J.T. Riddle and Miguel Rojas.
Still, none of them are names that you immediately get excited about. Realmuto still remains “the guy” this franchise will try to put all of its eggs in the basket and hope he improves on a 21 homer, 74 RBI season like this past one.
There is no Manny Machado to acquire. The team had Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, and Marcell Ozuna – players that were recognized across baseball’s landscape. Fans did not come out in record numbers to watch them, but they knew them by name. Losing does a lot to ruin a fan base’s support, regardless of the community that is perfect for this game.
For now, Jeter remains the team’s biggest name and most high-profile face. That’s what happens when you have World Series rings, rock star looks and a celebrity profile while living in Miami. Until the Marlins promote the players of the Marlins like other MLB teams, the message will remain the same.
Until they win consistently, Jeter will remain the face of this organization.