Now that the Miami Marlins are focused on the upcoming 2019 season, which player will assume the role as the face of the franchise?
That isn’t an indictment on the state of this organization, rather it’s noteworthy because with all of the young talent within the organization, there is no one player who stands out as the “face” of the new-look Marlins.
With J.T. Realmuto now in Philadelphia, this team lost its most marketable player and its brightest star, who steps in and assumes the role of the one player everyone knows, the one that fans across the baseball landscape can identify. And the one that is not standing in the dugout making decisions or in the owner’s box, watching the team trip through another 90-loss season?
More from Marlins News
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
- Miami Marlins can’t afford to botch this trade
Not only does the face of this organization need to resonate with the fans, but he must also prove to the “go to” guy in the clutch and provide leadership on the field and in the club house. Martin Prado is one of the most respected players on the 25-man roster, but he is not the chosen one.
There is potential in the minor league system with Victor Victor Mesa and Monte Harrison. But they are both a season away from making an impact. While the team has many solid pitching prospects, they aren’t ready to assume such a distinction.
The Marlins may be a team without a face to call their own. We here at Marlin Maniac take a closer look at this topic. Here are three potential candidates to fill the role.
Brian Anderson – I think 2019 might be the season Brian Anderson could have had in 2018. While he looked like a sure-fire star in the first half of his rookie season, the third baseman/outfielder hit a wall on the back end of the season and could not show the same kind of consistency at the plate.
He finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting last season and could approach 20-25 home runs this year. Anderson is a player the Marlins are counting on to be a cornerstone of the franchise.
Lewis Brinson – I am one of those guys who still thinks Lewis Brinson can be an All-Star centerfielder with 25-30 home run potential. The south Florida native does have some work to do.
First, he must win a starting spot in the outfield for the Marlins. Second, he must avoid injuries that cost him a big chunk of the 2018 season. Third, he must become more consistent at the plate. But there are reasons to believe 2019 will be better for Brinson, which means a better season for the Marlins.
I see the former Milwaukee draft pick as a leadoff candidate and table setter in 2019.
Peter O’Brien – If there is a “sleeper” candidate, might I offer Peter O’Brien in this category?
O’Brien tore up the Marlins minor league system at both Double-A Jacksonville and then on the Triple-A level at New Orleans. As a late-season callup in September, he flashed some power in a small sample of play.
O’Brien’s power is what the team seeks and manager Don Mattingly has made the decision to play him in right field. He should bat cleanup in the Marlins lineup and could approach 30 home runs this season if he finds consistency at the plate.