The Miami Marlins minor league affiliate feeder system runs seven layers deep below the major league level.
These days, “wait ’til next year” has become a bit of a philosophy for the Miami Marlins. Without the luxury of a live pennant chase in South Florida, Marlins fans should cast their eyes to the future, where hope springs eternal. With the farm system looking the best it has in several years, help, as they say, is on the way.
On the top of the Marlins system, right below the majors, is the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League. The triple-A level is where major league teams generally stockpile their major league-ready players, and players who already have major league experience. We profiled them on Friday, the DSL on Sunday, and the Jupiter Hammerheads on Monday. Check back for a Clinton LumberKings report tomorrow.
The double-A level, however, has evolved to where a team’s most valuable prospects can expect a call to the majors at a moment’s notice. In the Southern League, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp have many of Miami’s top prospects.
Prior to the 2017 season, the team was known as the Jacksonville Suns. The rebrand to the Jumbo Shrimp, initially widely panned by a portion of the fanbase, quickly became one of the most successful minor league merchandising powerhouses. Known as the Jacksonville Expos from 1985 through 1990, the team went by the Suns in every other season since its inception in 1962. They have earned seven Southern League titles in their history. In addition to the Marlins and the Expos, the club has been affiliated by the Los Angeles Dodgers (2001-2008), the Detroit Tigers (1995-2000), the Seattle Mariners (1991-1994), the Kansas City Royals (1972-1983), the New York Mets (1966-1968), the St. Louis Cardinals (1964-1965), and the Cleveland Indians (1962-1963, 1971).
Some of Jacksonville’s top prospects currently include top prospect RHP Sixto Sanchez, number nine, RHP Jorge Guzman, number 14, outfielder Brian Miller, number 22, RHP Robert Dugger, number 23, shortstop Joe Dunand, number 24, and middle infielder Bryson Brigman. The number 17 Miami Marlins prospect, RHP Jordan Yamamoto is reportedly getting called up to the major leagues from the double-A affiliate shortly.
Here’s what the Jumbo Shrimp have been up to over the past week, from June 5th through 11th.
Game Four @ Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Trailing their scheduled five-game series, two-to-one, the 23-35 sat in last place in the SL Southern Division. Scheduled to play the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati Reds), the game was postponed due to rain.
Blue Wahoos 2, Jumbo Shrimp 0
When the rainout was rescheduled to be part of a doubleheader the following day, both games were rescheduled as seven-inning affairs. Top prospect Sanchez (1-2, 3.42) started the first, getting 59-of-82 pitches over the plate and taking the loss. He struck out six in five innings, while giving up one walk and four hits for two runs, but only one of them was earned. Brett Graves tossed a flawless sixth, striking out two in relief.
Offensively, the Shrimp could only manage three hits and no runs. All three hits were singles, two by Dunand and one by outfielder Anfernee Seymour. The two clubs totaled only seven hits in the contest between them.
Game Five @ Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Blue Wahoos 11, Jumbo Shrimp 4
Justin Twine went three-for-three with a double, two runs, and two RBI in the night-cap, but there wasn’t much else to write home about for the Shrimp. Brigman was two-for-two with a walk and an RBI.
Home Series: Five-Game set against the Montgomery Biscuits.
Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays) 3, Jumbo Shrimp 2
Losing for the fifth time in a row, the Shrimp were outhit by the Biscuits, eight-to-three in this game. Yamamoto started and struck out nine in five innings to take no-decision. He walked three and allowed two hits for two runs, placing 59-of-97 offerings in the strike zone. Jeff Kinley relieved and whiffed four over two shutout innings, and Dylan Lee (0-3, 3.05) lost, giving up a run on three hits in two innings. He struck out two.
Seymour and Dunand each collected a single. outfielder Stone Garrett went deep for the fifth time this year with a two-run second-inning shot to give the Shrimp a 2-1 lead that wouldn’t last.
Jumbo Shrimp 8, Biscuits 2
Guzman (2-6, 3.93) started for the Shrimpys and won for just the second time in two seasons in the Miami Marlins organization. Long lauded as a flamethrower who can touch 103 on the radar gun, Guzman came one out away from a Quality Start. He struck out three in 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks, while putting 48-of-89 over the plate. Kolton Mahoney struck out four over 3 1/3 innings for a 10-out save.
Offensively, Jacksonville outhit Montgomery, eight-to-six for the game. Third baseman J.C. Millan led the way with two doubles, a homer, three RBI and two runs scored. Santiago Chavez added a three run shot in the seventh, Justin Twine hit safely twice, and John Silviano drew a walk and hit an RBI-double.
Biscuits 3, Jumbo Shrimp 1
Although the Biscuits were outhit, seven-to-five in this game, and committed three errors to help Jacksonville’s cause, somehow the Shrimp could only get one runner home. Cody Poteet was solid, putting 52-of-84 over the plate and allowing three hits and two walks in eight innings. He allowed only one run and struck out four. Brett Graves (1-3, 3.10) lost by allowing a two-run Kevin Padlo round-tripper.
The Shrimp got their only run on an eighth-inning error. Miller collected a pair of base-hits to lead the Jacksonville offense. Dunand, center fielder Corey Bird, Brigman, and catcher B.J. Lopez also each collected hits. All of the Jumbo Shrimps hits were singles.
Biscuits 9, Jumbo Shrimp 4
Jacksonville outhit Montgomery, 10-to-9, but the Biscuits claimed the five-game series with the third win in the fourth game. Seven of the nine Shrimp starters hit safely, led by Dunand (3), who hit a two run homer and a double to finish with three RBI. Miller added a single and a double, and Twine added a single and a triple.
On the other side of the ball, Shrimp pitching did not come through as needed. Dugger (6-6, 3.31) allowed five runs in five innings to take the loss. Only two of those were earned, and he struck out five. Mills allowed four runs in two innings of relief. Only Araujo had a pretty good outing, striking out two in two hitless innings.
Jumbo Shrimp 6, Biscuits 5 (11 innings)
The Shrimp orchestrated a come-from behind, extra-inning victory over the Biscuits in the series finale. Brigman, after starting the day 0-for-four with a walk, hit a walkoff RBI-single to score Millan in the bottom of the 11th. Dunand collected three hits, including a double, and Garrett added two doubles and a single as Jacksonville finished with 15 hits for the game.
More from Marlins Prospects
- Miami Marlins: Checking in on prospects from the 2022 Arizona Fall League
- Miami Marlins: How top 2022 MLB Draft picks performed this season
- What’s wrong with Kahlil Watson?
- Miami Marlins: Farm System rankings part 2
- Miami Marlins: Farm System rankings part 1
Silviano hit a single and a double, and Twine again finished with a pair of hits. Miller and Chavez added doubles to the hit column.
Sanchez whiffed six in 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and earning no-decision. Castano and Lee each pitched scoreless outings, and Stevens (2-1, 2.45) won after striking out three in two innings, despite allowing an unearned run in the 10th.
Starting tonight at 8:05 PM EDT, the Shrimp will travel to Birmingham to take on the Barons (Chicago White Sox) in a five-game series. Following that, they’ll return home to face the Blue Wahoos in another five-game set.