Isan Diaz comes into camp as the heir apparent to the second base position, but only after Starlin Castro is inevitably traded away.
Diaz is probably the strongest power hitter the Miami Marlins have ever seen, pound-for-pound. Despite a 5’10”, 185 lb. frame, the middle infielder has hit 51 homers over his three full-season minor league years.
Diaz is likely to start the campaign with the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes, in the Pacific Coast League. Look for him with the Miami Marlins in late-June or early-July, in order to save a year’s eligibility.
Peter O’Brien has always had a lot of power. Last season, he collected 34 homers across four different teams at three levels, including four in the majors for the Miami Marlins.
Considered a nominal front-runner for the first base job to open the season, O’Brien has a lot of competition coming in the next five weeks. Garrett Cooper, Martin Prado, Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, and Miguel Rojas all figure to get reps at first base.
Garrett Cooper had a problematic 2018 after joining the Miami Marlins system. He began the season as the Opening Day right fielder, only to go on the disabled list for two months following the season-opening split with the Chicago Cubs.
After returning to the active roster just after Independence Day, Cooper played in another 10 games, then was again sidelined, this time for the duration of the campaign. Both times, the culprit was Cooper’s right wrist, first with a contusion, then with a sprain.
Cooper is looking to rebound with a strong showing in Spring Training after going just seven-for-33 last year.
It really wasn’t all that long ago that Pedro Alvarez led the National League with 36 home runs, for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013. The power hitter has struggled since joining the American League for the Baltimore Orioles in 2016, and last season hit just .180 in 45 major league games for the MLB’s worst club. Despite his contact issues, he still managed to club eight round-trippers in 127 plate appearances.