Miami Marlins Spring Training Breakdown: The Infield

There’s three games left on the Miami Marlins Spring Training schedule. What else must be decided?

This Spring Training, Marlin Maniac has been keeping an eye on the Miami Marlins roster situation. We’re doing what we can to try and read into the stats and roster moves to break down the 2019 Opening Day roster. On Mondays we look at the rotation, and on Wednesday the bullpen. We look at the catchers on Thursday. On Tuesday, the outfield, and that leaves the infield for Friday.

This article will be focused on the last seven days of games, from March 15th through 21st. Chances at making the Opening Day roster are estimated entirely by myself, and are not the official opinions of anyone else at FanSided.

Now it’s worth noting that the Miami Marlins have six infielders in camp that are pretty much a lock for the Opening Day roster. Brian Anderson, Martin Prado, JT Riddle, Neil Walker, Starlin Castro, and Miguel Rojas shouldn’t be worried. With only six available spots for infielders, it may be a hard sell for any of these other guys to join the club. Don’t worry, some of them will be back soon.

Miami Marlins Infielders

Miami Marlins

MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 22: Third baseman Brian Anderson #15 of the Miami Marlins hits an RBI double in the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on September 22, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)

Brian Anderson seven-for-12, two walks, two doubles, one triple, four runs, two RBI

Miami Marlins third baseman Anderson, who also saw time in right field, hit 11 home runs and knocking in 65 RBI while batting .273. It is something the youngster can build on for the 2019. What the team would like to see is more power in Anderson’s swing this season. – David Levin, Marlin Maniac

Opening Day Roster Chance: 100 percent

Jon Berti one-for-five, one double, three runs, one strikeout, one SB

Berti was a long-shot coming in, and has proved that he deserves a chance with his hustle.

Last season between three different minor league affiliates he racked up a .296/.384/.446 slash line, with eight homers and 29 stolen bases in 101 contests. Defensively, Berti has a .974 fielding percentage at second base, his most prolific position. – Kevin Kraczkowski, Marlin Maniac

Opening Day Roster Chance: Zero percent

Miami Marlins

MIAMI, FL – MAY 11: Martin Prado #14 of the Miami Marlins throws out a runner at first base in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on May 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Martin Prado seven-for-14, three doubles, three runs, one strikeout, one E

Prado started slow, going 0-for-15 after making his first appearance. In his latest 15 at bats, he’s collected nine hits, to bring his average up to .300.

Opening Day Roster Chance: 100 percent

Pedro Alvarez four-for-seven, three home runs, one walk, six runs, eight RBI

After a slow start, Alvarez is having a great spring. He probably won’t join the team for Opening Day, but stashing him at triple-A with the Baby Cakes is a good solution for Miami Marlins added depth. He’ll get the call when any of four (Martin Prado, Peter O’Brien, Neil Walker, Garrett Cooper) end up on the Injured List.

Opening Day Roster Chance: 10 percent

Justin Twine 0-for-one, one GIDP

Twine is still a season or maybe two away from challenging for a roster spot.

Opening Day Roster Chance: Zero percent

Miami Marlins

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – MARCH 14: Yadiel Rivera #2 of the Miami Marlins steals second base ahead of the tag by Jack Mayfield #80 of the Houston Astros during a spring training game at The Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 14, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Yadiel Rivera two-for-nine, one walk, two runs, three strikeouts, two SB, one E

Rivera has a “puncher’s chance” at making it until Opening Day. He’s made it before as a non-roster invitee, and provides above average defense at three infield positions.

Opening Day Roster Chance: 30 percent

Deven Marrero two-for-eight, one double, two runs, one RBI, one strikeout, one SB, one E

The glove-first infielder was once a top prospect in the Red Sox farm system. He has seven Defensive Runs Saved throughout his career and has local ties to the area. The key here is that his versatility makes him valuable to the organization. – Daniel Martinez, Fish Stripes

Opening Day Roster Chance: Zero percent

Dixon Machado 0-for-three, two walks, two strikeouts

Opening Day Roster Chance: Zero percent

Miami Marlins

MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 11: Miguel Rojas #19 of the Miami Marlins fields a groundball in the first inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on August 11, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Miguel Rojas six-for-13, one run, one double, one RBI

Rojas has been tearing the cover off the ball since the beginning of camp going 17-for-35 at the plate for a .486 average. Only two of those hits were for extra bases, both doubles, and he’s collected five RBI. Rojas is the clear choice for Opening Day starter at shortstop.

Opening Day Roster Chance: 100 percent

Neil Walker one-for-nine, one home run, one walk, one run, two RBI, one strikeout, one E

He’s still hitting for power, with three Spring Training long-balls, but Walker didn’t hit very well for average in his latest major league sample size. Last season with the New York Yankees, he slashed just .219/.309/.354 over 398 plate appearances. Compare that to his pre-2018 slashline of .272/.341/.437, and it’s clear that he’s on the decline that most ballplayers encounter in their 30’s. The Marlins are hoping that his Yankees performance was merely a speed bump.

Miami Marlins

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 28: Starlin Castro #13 of the Miami Marlins gets ready to tag Michael Brantley #23 of the Houston Astros in the third inning during the game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 27, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Opening Day Roster Chance: 100 percent

Starlin Castro two-for-10, two RBI, two strikeouts

Castro is seven-for-39 this spring, with zero walks and 12 strikeouts. Fret not, though, Marlins Nation. Castro will likely produce at his accustomed level over the full 162 game season. Baseball Reference has his projection set at .273/.319/.416 with 15 homers and 60 RBI in near-600 plate appearances.

Opening Day Roster Chance: 100 percent

J.T. Riddle two-for-nine, one run, one strikeout, one GIDP

Riddle took a long time to get going this spring, and will probably start the season off the bench, with Rojas getting the shortstop position to start out.

Opening Day Roster Chance: 90 percent

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