Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 94 of 286. Stay tuned.
Justin Twine is a 5’11”, 205 lb. infielder from Falls City, Texas, origin also of former major leaguer Fabian Kowalik. Born on October 7th, 1995, Twine was the Miami Marlins second round choice in the 2014 draft, with the 43rd overall selection out of Falls City HS.
42 percent of players selected from the 43rd spot eventually reach the majors, led by Bob Knepper (1972, San Francisco Giants, 22.0 career WAR), Mark Prior (1998, New York Yankees, 16.6 WAR), and Scott Hatteberg (1991, Boston Red Sox, 10.1 WAR).
After signing with the Miami Marlins for a $1,316,000 bonus, Twine reported to the Florida-based rookie-level GCL Marlins, in the Gulf Coast League. Over his first 44 professional appearances, he went 38-for-166 with six walks, striking out 52 times in 179 plate appearances. In 203 total chances at shortstop, he put up a .946 fielding percentage.
For most of the following three seasons, Twine balled for the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League. In 282 contests, he slashed .216/.264/.313, striking out 300 times in 1,135 plate appearances. During all that time, he only drew 43 walks while collecting 13 homers and 103 RBI. After continuing to struggle at the shortstop position, with a .940 fielding percentage over 117 games, the Hoppers tried him at second base.
On July 19th, 2017, the Miami Marlins promoted the-then 27th ranked organizational prospect to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. He went 29-for-120 in 32 contests, with three walks and 30 strikeouts. In 98 games total through the 2017 season, Twine struck out over five times per every walk.
2018 would open with Twine still playing in Jupiter. He played in 70 games and earned a .235/.276/.354 slashline with three round-trippers and 31 RBI. On May 20th, he hit two singles and a triple as the Sharks defeated the Charlotte Stone Crabs, 8-3. On June 4th, he collected a season-high four RBI with a triple and a home run in a 10-5, eight-inning loss to the Lakeland Flying Tigers. In a 10-inning 4-3 loss to the Tampa Tarpons on July 9th, Twine went four-for-four with a walk, and two stolen bases. 10 days later, the Miami Marlins promoted Twine to the double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
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Twine feasted on double-A pitching like nothing we had seen from him up until then. He collected hits in 26 of his 28 appearances, with 15 multi-hit games. From July 19th through August 16th, he went 42-for-98 with 10 extra base hits and 18 RBI. In the short look, Twine slashed .402/.433/.571, giving the Miami Marlins something to think about as to where he starts his 2019 campaign.
Twine should get a nice look at the major league level with the Marlins in Spring Training, but will likely break camp with the Shrimp. A decent start to the season will likely see a promotion to the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes, in the Pacific Coast League. Could Twine make it to the majors at some point through the season? There’s no reason to doubt it if he can recapture his ridiculous start at double-A.
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