Miami Marlins Prospect Watch: Strikeout Machine C.J. Carter

Photo by Darin Wallentine/Getty Images
Photo by Darin Wallentine/Getty Images /

C.J. Carter struck out 11.5 batters per nine innings in his professional debut.

Today, we’re finishing up our offseason-long series on every player in the 2018 Miami Marlins system. Carter is the 285th of 286 in total. Tune in later today for the last (but not least), pitcher Pablo Lopez.

Charvez Jordan Wesley Carter is a 6′, 165 lb. right-handed hitting and throwing pitcher from Atlanta, Georgia, population 2,094. The small town has produced five drafted players through their history, including one future major leaguer, left fielder Domonic Brown.

Carter was born on May 27th, 1997, and graduated from Arabia Mountain HS. In 2017, he played baseball at the junior college level with the Alvin Community College Dolphins, in Alvin, Texas. Carter led the team with 84 K’s, in 88 2/3 innings while holding opponents to a 1.13 WHIP, also the best mark on the club.

In 2018, Carter matriculated to play ball closer to his hometown, for the University of Troy. In his lone season of division I play with the Trojans, he was 8-6 with a 3.75 ERA, appearing in relief in 29 of his 32 appearances. He struck out 90 in 69 2/3 innings, and kept his WHIP at a familiar looking 1.12 for the season.

Carter’s strong showing with Troy helped the Miami Marlins decide to draft him in the 29th round in the 2018 MLB Amateur Entry Draft. Taken 867th overall, Carter may someday be the third player selected at that position to make the major leagues. He’s preceded by RHP Ryan Sadowski (2000, Los Angeles Dodgers, 0.2 career WAR), and shortstop Drew Hayes (2006, Arizona Diamondbacks, -0.4 WAR).

After coming to terms with the Miami Marlins for a $50,000 bonus, Carter was initially assigned to the GCL Marlins, in the Florida-based, rookie-level Gulf Coast League for his first professional billet. He struck out three over his first 2 1/3 innings over three games, allowing a hit, zero walks, and zero runs, but two wild pitches. Whatever the case, the Miami Marlins had seen enough for a quick turnaround to the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League. Here’s Carter at Marlins Park, courtesy of J Carter’s You Tube page.

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Carter continued his solid play up north, pitching 18 times in relief for the Muckdogs. He struck out 35 batters in 27 1/3 innings, for a more-than-acceptable 11.5 K/9 rate. He held the opposition to a 1.280 WHIP and a .179/.315/.302 slashline.

Taking out Carter’s disastrous last appearance (six runs in 2/3 innings), he allowed 13 hits in 26 2/3 innings, and struck out 33 batters, going 3-2 with four saves for Batavia. His best appearance was likely on July 18th, when he struck out five in three shutout innings to earn a 2-1, 10-innings win over the Williamsport CrossCutters.

Carter’s performance was enough to get another promotion to begin the 2019 campaign with the Clinton LumberKings in the full-season-A Midwest League. Despite that, he’s still rostered with the Muckdogs for the time being. Look for a possible quick turnaround. If Carter stays on his current pace, there’s very little to keep him from rising through the ranks quickly in time for a 2021 debut with the Miami Marlins.

Next. Tayron Guerrero's 2018 Season in Review. dark