Through Spring Training 2019, Marlin Maniac will be updating positional battles through the roster.
On Monday, we review the Miami Marlins rotation, and the bullpen on Wednesdays. Catchers get their look on Thursday, and outfielders on Tuesday. That leaves the infield on Fridays. Click here for last week’s review.
This spring, the Miami Marlins have 12 infielders “officially” in camp. That’s seven guys on the 40-man roster, and five more who are non-roster invitees. The 12 figure is down from 14 last week due to Peter O’Brien and Garrett Cooper now being designated as outfielders on the official Miami Marlins 40-man roster page. All statistics on the player’s name line are collated from the last seven days.
Miami Marlins 40-Man Roster
Of course, the 40-man roster players have the inside track on making the team, even though some “regulars” seem to be struggling through Spring Training.
Brian Anderson four-for-10, three doubles, walk, RBI, K
Anderson has started the spring out hot. He’s hitting .350 with a 1.108 OPS in 20 at bats, and has even stolen a base. He’s also been perfect defensively at the hot corner, fielding 12 chances in 39 innings in total.
Starlin Castro two-for-10, RBI, three K
Castro’s only hitting .118 this spring, going two for his first 17 with an RBI. Remember though, he’s a four-time MLB All-Star, with a .977 career fielding percentage at second base. He just needs to heat up a little.
Martin Prado 0-for-nine, K, E
Prado got a late start this spring, in making sure any lingering injury issues were put to rest before he began live play. He was solid in his first two seasons for the Miami Marlins, hitting .297 with 17 homers and 138 RBI. Since then, he’s missed most of the past two years with an assortment of ailments, and has played in only 91 games, hitting .246 with three homers and 30 RBI.
Miguel Rojas four-for-11, RBI, walk, K, GIDP
Remember Rojas discovered a previously undisplayed power stroke in 2018. With just one homer in each of his prior four seasons, he connected 11 times for the Miami Marlins last year. He’s hitting .412 this spring, and can always be counted on for above average defense at any of the four infield positions.
Neil Walker 0-for-eight, two walks, two K
Walker signed a deal for one year and $2 million for the Miami Marlins prior to camp, and stands to give the team some added options and depth on the right side of the infield. 2018 was the first time that Walker finished with an OPS+ below the “average” figure of 100. He carried a 114 career figure before clocking in at 79 last year. The Marlins are hoping it was the switch to the American League and not a symptom of advancing age.
JT Riddle one-for-13, four K, two RBI, SH, E
Baseball Reference has Riddle pegged to hit .241/.292/.378 this season, with around 400 plate appearances. He’s racked up a .977 fielding percentage in two seasons of defense at shortstop for the Miami Marlins, but he’s only collected one hit in 21 at bats this spring.
Isan Diaz one-for-seven, three walks, three RBI, SB, CS, four K, E
A power hitting second baseman, and the heir apparent to the position once the Miami Marlins inevitably deal away Starlin Castro, Diaz is three-for-18 this spring. In five minor league seasons, he’s slashed .254/.353/.444 across all levels of play.
NRI’s typically face an uphill battle to make the Opening Day roster, but once in a while one of them catches on. Last season, Yadiel Rivera joined the team after being invited as an NRI. Who, if anyone, is going to catch on this year?
Pedro Alvarez two-for-12, RBI, walk, four K, E
Pedro Alvarez is a 6’3″, 250 lb. corner infielder who led the National League with 36 home runs not so very long ago. Last season, he hit just .180 with the Baltimore Orioles, and would like nothing better than to make a dent in the Miami Marlins Opening Day roster.
Dixon Machado two-for-10, double, run, two RBI, three K
Baseball Reference has Machado making 335 plate appearances this season, and hitting .234/.295/.347. The middle-infielder has spent part of each of the last four seasons with the Detroit Tigers, hitting .227 and fielding at a .980 clip at second and a .982 mark at shortstop.
Jon Berti one-for-eight, four walks, two runs, two K, SB, E
Berti only has the barest of major league experience, going four-for-15 for the Toronto Blue Jays last season. Mostly a second and third baseman, Berti may have an edge here because he can be plugged in anywhere on the diamond, save catcher, pitcher, and first base. In eight minor league seasons he has collected a .258 batting average.
Deven Marrero one-for-11, two RBI, seven K
Marrero’s a career .197 hitter with a career OPS+ of 41, over 158 major league games. Mostly a third baseman, he has a .974 fielding percentage at the position in 103 appearances.
Yadiel Rivera one-for-eight, walk, run, RBI, sac fly, four K, CS, PO
The majority of Rivera’s major league experience happened last season with the Marlins. Rivera hit just .173, but provided above average defense at second base, third base, and shortstop.
These players were called up late for the split-squad game, and some have stuck around. Those who haven’t didn’t go very far, as the major and minor league Spring Training facilities are colocated, in Jupiter, Florida.
Joe Dunand 0-for-2, K, E
Dunand was the Miami Marlins second round choice in 2017, and he’s since marched up the Miami Marlins minor league organization. He’s got a sweet right-handed swing and obvious power, with 15 career homers and 74 RBI in 135 minor league games.
James Nelson one-for-one, RBI
Nelson was the Miami Marlins minor league player of the year in 2017. Initially a 15th round choice of the Marlins, Nelson is a third baseman with a .916 career fielding percentage. He made great strides defensively in 2018, with a mark of .948.
Bryson Brigman 0-for-one, K
Brigman came to the Miami Marlins from the Seattle Mariners, in the Cameron Maybin trade at the deadline last season. Brigman is the 29th ranked prospect in the system, and could fit at either second base or shortstop if pressed into action.
Justin Twine 0-for-two
Twine absolutely torched double-A pitching after getting reassigned to the Jumbo Shrimp late last year. He slashed out a .402/.433/.571 line in 28 games, including 15 multi-hit contests.
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Sean Reynolds 0-for-one, K
The 6’7″ Reynolds led the NYPL by a very large margin last season with both 17 home runs and 133 strikeouts. Miami’s fourth round pick in 2016, it’s important to remember that Reynolds is still only 20-years-old.
Thanks for reading today. Keep checking back here at Marlin Maniac as we continue to monitor developments in camp in the leadup to Opening Day 2019.