Magneuris Sierra and Yadiel Rivera each spent a lot of time with the Miami Marlins at the major league level last season.
Magneuris Sierra, collected by the Miami Marlins in the deal with the St. Louis Cardinals for Marcell Ozuna in the lead to the 2018 campaign, hit .190/.222/.211 in 54 games. He stole three bases in five tries, and the consensus opinion was that he would probably do well with a little more time in the minors.
Yadiel Rivera was a free agent signee from the Milwaukee Brewers, and played in 111 games for the Miami Marlins. His batting line was just .173/.269/.216 – but his unquestionably above-average defensive capabilities kept him on the parent club.
Neither player made the team out of Spring Training, with Sierra joining the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the double-A Southern League and Rivera making his baseball-home with the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League.
Rivera has appeared in 56 games for the Cakes so far, and is turning in an all-star level season. He’s 66-for-205 with 10 home runs and 33 RBI, along with a dozen stolen bases. Sierra hit .282/.337/.365 in 48 games with the Shrimp before getting called up to the Cakes last week. Since joining, he’s 10-for-29 for a .345 average.
Is there something in the water down there? Or is it simply a case of these two players coming into their own? Rivera’s power stroke isn’t exactly unprecedented – he did hit 12 bombs with the Brewers Midwest League affiliate, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2012. Do you know any major league teams with a substantial power outage?
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Defensively, Rivera has played many games at all four infield positions, appearing in 22 contests at third base, 21 at shortstop, seven at first base, and six times at second. He’s even played three games in left field without incident, and continues to show the versatility required to garner a serious look back in the majors. Although he’s fielding just .891 at the hot corner, he’s more suited to shortstop, where he’s made only two errors in 174 innings of work in the Miami Marlins minor league system.
Sierra’s also coming along with his base running. Between the two levels, he’s successfully stolen 10-of-11 bases thus far this year. On the defensive side of the ball, he’s played all over the outfield at both levels, making only one error in nearly 400 innings of work.
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