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 164 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Josan Simon Mendez is a 6’2″, 180 lb. right-handed pitcher from Guayabal, Dominican Republic. Born on July 10th, 2000, Mendez signed with the Miami Marlins on July 2nd, 2017, eight days before his 17th birthday.
Mendez is only the third player from Guayabal to have appeared in affiliated ball, joining pitchers Orlando Torrez and Raibel Custodio. Custodio is currently in the Arizona Diamondbacks system.
After coming to terms with the Marlins, Mendez reported to the rookie-level DSL Marlins, in the Dominican Summer League on June 1, 2018. Although most of his simple metrics aren’t exactly world beating, with a 3.93 ERA and a .259/.291/.333 opposing slashline, his 1.127 WHIP is reflective mostly of his walk rate, just 0.98 per nine innings.
Mendez initially joined the rotation, eventually starting nine times. He also made five trips out of the bullpen. In his first start, on June 5th, he struck out three and gave up only one run in four innings, as the DSL Marlins lost to the DSL Dodgers Robinson, 4-3.
On June 22nd, Mendez whiffed seven batters in just four innings, allowing no earned runs (but two unearned) in a 4-1 loss to the same Dodgers. On July 17th, he went five innings and held the DSL Athletics to three hits and zero runs in a 5-4, rain-shortened eight-inning victory. He duplicated that line in relief on August 6th, holding the DSL Red Sox1 to three hits over five scoreless innings in a 9-0 Marlins victory.
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In total, Mendez allowed only six walks in 55 innings of work, with 42 strikeouts and a 3-4 record. Only Luis Palacios, with four walks in 63 2/3 innings of work, had a better BB/9 on the club.
Players who start their professional careers in the Dominican Summer League generally have a small chance to get to the major leagues. Mendez took an important first step in 2018, and will definitely stay in the Miami Marlins system in 2019. He should start either with the DSL Marlins again or maybe with the Florida-based, rookie-level GCL Marlins in the Gulf Coast League. Continued progression through the system would see Mendez in Miami Marlins Spring Training in 2023, with a shot to make the team in either 2024 or 2025.
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