Miami Marlins 2019: Three bold predictions

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Trevor Richards #63 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on September 23, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Trevor Richards #63 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on September 23, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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The Miami Marlins could be one of the surprise teams of the 2019 Major League Baseball season. Here are three bold predictions to follow.

The Miami Marlins are hoping to walk away with their 12th win in a row this afternoon. For fans of the team from South Florida, the streak, although only in the Grapefruit League, is bigger than some outside the state would think. After years of losing and the team shedding itself of stars and high-priced salaries, this is something to get excited about.

The Marlins appear to be recovering from the evacuation of talent that was purged by the front office last offseason. The pitching staff appears to be as deep as it ever has been. There are plenty of reasons to think players like Brian Anderson, Lewis Brinson, and Monte Harrison will shine in years to come.

There is depth in the minor league system and this organization may become a major player in free agency next season. Baseball is on the upswing with the Marlins.

When is the last time we spoke about that happening?

This could be a season fans and the baseball media talk about as one where the team exceeded expectations. I’m of the opinion with the right moves and the stars aligning correctly, Miami can win 80 games this coming season.

I know it’s a bit of a stretch, but I can hope. In the meantime, here are three bold predictions that still may come true in 2019.

Lewis Brinson makes the All-Star team – This may not be as far-fetched as I think given that he has shown significant improvement at the plate this spring.

Brinson showed power in the first half of 2018 with 10 home runs, however a .198 batting average was abysmal. A hip injury sent him to the disabled list, which may have helped him. He came back after a stint in the minors and joined the team as a September 1 callup.

Brinson showed more discipline at the plate and was able to work the count better than he had.

This spring, he has shown power and more discipline, which could lead to a 25 to 30 homerun season. His defense is never been a question as he’s able to cover party of ground in the spacious outfield of the Marlins Park.

I predict big things for Brinson in 2019.

Trevor Richard to becomes the ace of this pitching staff – Trevor Richards has worked to improve his control this off-season. While his changeup is filthy, he now is able to rely on a four pitch repertoire, including a slider and cutter, which makes him even more dominant on the mound.

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After a 4-9 season as a rookie last year, Richard has shown greater control of his pitches and looks more comfortable on the mound. Look for him to be in an innings eater this year.

While the news out of camp has been the added velocity for Pablo Lopez and with Caleb Smith coming back from injury to look unhittable, Richards continues to be the a steadying force of a young pitching staff this spring.

It’s possible his continued development could lead to the team trading Dan Straily before the July deadline

Sergio Romo saves 35 games this season – There is no clear cut winner in the competition to become this team is closer yet. Sergio Romo was brought in as a veteran influence in the bullpen.

Can he nail down the closer’s role? Adam Conley and Drew Steckenrider haven’t stood out enough this spring to grad the job and keep it. My hope this is not the same situation the franchise faced last season.

When the team signed Romo, I wrote that it it was a strong move because this team lacked stability. If Romeo can fill various roles from the bullpen, which includes being a ninth-inning specialist, he will save many solid performances by the starting rotation.

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