There’s nothing particularly wrong with the players currently considered “long-shots.” They’re mostly just young guys who are maybe a season or so away from getting into the rotation.
Holloway has only pitched 105 innings over the last three seasons, and none over low-A with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. His stuff is apparently filthy enough, however, for the Miami Marlins to protect him with a valuable 40-man roster spot. Despite that, he’s unlikely to break camp with the parent club. The 22-year-old right-hander will probably spend most of his 2019 campaign with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, in the double-A Southern League.
Guzman went 0-9 with a 4.03 ERA in 2018 for the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. He struck out 101 in 96 innings, but also threw 16 wild pitches. Still just 23-years-old, he’s probably going to compete for a rotation spot in 2020 or 2021. He currently weighs in as the number seven prospect in the Miami Marlins system. According to the MLB Pipeline:
"Guzman’s lightning-quick arm and relatively easy delivery produces exceptional velocity in a fastball that sits 97-103 mph as a starter. He showed better control of the pitch in 2017 after improving his mechanics, but regressed as a strike-thrower in ’18 while pitching in the Florida State League. Guzman’s power slider is an above-average pitch and complements his heater nicely, and together they help him to rack up strikeouts. He also has changeup that’s in its nascent stages."
Dugger went 10-7 between Jacksonville and the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League in 2018, pitching to a 3.40 ERA and 141 K’s in 150 2/3 innings. He held the opposition to a solid 1.21 WHIP, and currently ranks as the Miami Marlins number 26 prospect in the MLB Pipeline:
"An athletic right-hander, Dugger repeats his delivery well and creates some deception with his three-quarters slot and cross-fire finish. He misses his share of bats but doesn’t project to do so as frequently at higher levels, as many evaluators forecast Dugger as a future back-end starter who relies on pounding the zone and generating weak contact."
Of the “long shots,” Gallen is perhaps the most ready to enter a big league rotation. In 2018, he pitched 25 games with the Baby Cakes, just one level below big-league ball, posting an 8-9 record and a 3.65 ERA. He struck out over a batter per inning at the high level, racking up 136 K’s in 133 1/3 innings. He is the Miami Marlins number 21 prospect.
Pegged as a solid bet for a future number four rotational starter, Neidert was 12-7 with a 3.24 ERA for the Jumbo Shrimp in 2018. He got 154 strikeouts in 152 2/3 innings, while walking only 31 batters. His 1.83 BB/9 rate isn’t just a flash in the pan either, as he boasts a career mark of 1.66. This statistic, maybe more than most others, is indicative of future success at the major league level. Neidert is Miami’s number five prospect entering Spring Training.
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