One of the biggest improvements within the Miami Marlins organization this year ahs been the development and growth of the minor league system.
While the moves during last offseason were unpopular and hurtful to some, the need to change the culture and philosophy in south Florida was essential for the growth of the franchise. That meant breaking up the nucleus of star players for the good of the future.
Fans were irate to see Giancarlo Stanton wear Yankee pinstripes. They cringed watching Christian Yelich win the National League MVP with the Milwaukee Brewers. An era had ended in Miami, one that was individually successful, but it was not a success as a whole.
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Through those trades and other moves made within the front office, the Marlins are heading in the right direction although it may take some time to reach the playoffs and contend for a National League East crown.
"“Without question, the system is deeper, and has added layers of talent — ranging from Class A ball through Triple-A. Dating back to 2017, the Marlins have made more than 15 trades that brought in more than 30 players,” writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.“Of that group, 15 are ranked by MLB Pipeline on Miami’s Top 30 prospects list. What the organization doesn’t appear to have right now is that marquee “can’t miss” talent like Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez when they were breaking into pro ball. But Miami has an influx of very talented athletes.”"
Truth be told, the Marlins may not have been able to keep Fernandez on the payroll had he still been alive to pitch this past season. Even before his passing, there had been rumors of the Yankees and other teams looking to acquire him. While I contend Fernandez would have added 16 wins to the team’s 2017 total, which would have been good enough for a playoff berth, it would not have stopped the inevitable.
The moves to break this roster up has led to Miami bringing in young talent that will develop into special players, some who will become household names sooner rather than later. Lewis Brinson has a chance to be a 30-homer run hitter. The young pitching staff will eventually see Sandy Alcantara as the No. 1 starter in the rotation. Joe Dunand and Isan Diaz will make up the middle of the Marlins infield.
Monte Harrison could be the middle-of-the-order slugger this team needs badly.
"“As an organization, it is profiling athletes who can play up the middle and move to the corner spots, if necessary,” Frisaro added.“Keep in mind, many players in the system are considered to have ‘first-round talent.’ Not all went in the first round, but players like international signings Victor Victor Mesa and his brother, Victor Mesa Jr., are regarded as players who would have first-round talent. [Lewis] Brinson was a first-rounder. Yes, he struggled in his first full big league season, but he has elite athleticism and talent.”"
The only issue I take with the rise of this farm system is manager Don Mattingly is in the final year of his deal with the Marlins with no safety net or reassurances of being brought back next year. He has been charged with taking this young organization and making it fit like a puzzle. He has endured three losing seasons here in Miami. He may not be around to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Also, take into account that trading catcher J.T. Realmuto may bring more prospects to the organization along with Major League talent. The Marlins could go into Spring Training with the best farm system it has had in some time.