Have the Miami Marlins found a gem in outfielder/first baseman Peter O’Brien? Can he become a much needed power source for this ballclub?
Peter O’Brien is a late bloomer – rookie at age 28. The south Florida native is still considered to be a rookie – he’s never had more than 66 at-bats in a season . It’s not because he can’t hit the, man has unbelievable power . He put that on display last season in September for the Marlins as he hit four homers that month.
O’Brien was a second-round pick out of University of Miami and was drafted by the New York Yankees . He was drafted as catcher and this started the biggest problem he had, which was defense . The Yankees gave him a shot as a backstop but he was a liability behind the plate. The Yankees gave him try at third base one season, but he had 18 errors at the hot corner.
The Yankees didn’t want to give up on him yet as he had solid number as a hitter and still showed potential at the plate. He was moved to the outfield. His fielding still wasn’t good but he hit 22 home runs in 2013, showing off his power he could bring to a team.
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Eventually, the Yankees did trade him to the Arizona Diamondbacks, for now Marlins veteran Martin Prado. Peter O’Brien again hit for power going for 23 home runs in the Arizona system across three levels and hit .271.
After showing those type of numbers it was hard to keep him in the minors . Arizona brought him up to the Big Leagues. He only played eight games. He didn’t really see the field very much and after another season of going up and down in the minors the Diamondbacks decided to trade him.
He then started bouncing around the league, where he spent time with the Reds, Royals, Rangers and Dodgers in one season . He still showcased his power by blasting 15 home runs in 2017 with four different teams. He was finally traded to the Marlins and showed the same kind of potential in 2018.
In 2018, across three levels in the Marlins system he broke out . He hit for 30 home runs but struggle at the plate as he only netted a .216 batting average. When he was called up to the Marlins in September, he was hitting .270. Now he’s been named the team’s starting right fielder for Opening Day.
He could still see time at first base, but Neil Walker and Prado have been mentioned by manager Don Mattingly as the favorites to platoon at the position him. For now, Peter O’Brien may be the Marlins best power source, but needs to still work on his discipline at the plate.
If he can work on his defensive skills, he can be a great power threat and could have a monster season for the rebuilding Marlins. If O’Brien can get more than 300 at-bats he could easily have 20 or more home runs in 2019.