The Miami Marlins minor league system will help define how the team will develop as a potential playoff contender in the future.
One of the perks of covering the Miami Marlins is having the chance to watch their Double-A team here in Jacksonville, the Jumbo Shrimp. Like baseball fans here in Jacksonville, it has given me the chance to see the stars of tomorrow get their feet wet, taking on the best the Southern League has to offer.
The same will be said of others who have made a stop on the St. Johns River en route to Triple-A New Orleans and eventually to the parent club. The Marlins have placed a premium of replenishing a barren minor league system with players who will one day were the new colors of the franchise, which hopefully leads to a World Series championship.
The Jumbo Shrimp will host a “Florida Man Night” as one of their promotions this season where a law will be broken each inning as part of the festivities.
The different stops along the path to Miami offer fans a chance to see how much the “farm” system has improved since the change in ownership and Derek Jeter has taken over the day-to-day operations of this organization. A bottom tier team in recent years, the Marlins are currently ranked as the 13th best farm system in MLB.
More success could mean the team finds the top 10 next year. Per Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald, the growth of this minor league system is everpresent in the daily operations of the franchise as a whole.
"“We are in a much better position than we were last year at the same time,” said Gary Denbo, the Marlins’ vice president of player development and scouting.More from Marlins ProspectsMiami Marlins: Checking in on prospects from the 2022 Arizona Fall LeagueMiami Marlins: How top 2022 MLB Draft picks performed this seasonWhat’s wrong with Kahlil Watson?Miami Marlins: Farm System rankings part 2Miami Marlins: Farm System rankings part 1"
He’s spot on with his assessment as the team’s top 30 players are not all home-grown, but they are set to make an impact much like players of the past have done so. The Marlins took an approach to add as many young arms as possible last offseason through trades.
Those deal and positioning are about to pay off handsomely.
"The Marlins are enjoying plenty of success in Spring Training this season, including an 11-game win streak. But just like McPherson wrote,“The biggest developments for this team very well might be what takes place on those back fields and how that development continues once minor-league seasons begin in Clinton, Iowa; Jupiter; Jacksonville and New Orleans.”"
Expect this trend to continue as players get better, show they can handle the changes of each stop in the minor league system and prove themselves in camp in Spring Training and in September as they are called up for a short stay in South Florida.
If Jeter is following that blueprint, and the ones established by the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, and Atlanta Braves, the results of success in the minors could lead to success in the Majors faster than many of us expect.