With the team’s first-round draft pick signed, J.J. Bleday and the Miami Marlins can write another chapter in the franchise’s record book.
Now that the Miami Marlins have secured the services of J.J. Bleday, how long will it take before the team’s No. 1 draft pick makes his Major League debut? It’s a question the fan base would like to know, given the team’s lack of power in the middle of the order and the praise this organization has received across the baseball landscape for their recent haul of offense last month.
"“I could see Bleday making a big-league impact in 2021 or 2022 depending on the competitive timeline of the club,” said Baseball America draft analyst Carlos Collazo. “We still have a long way to go before we can look back and accurately judge a team’s draft, although I fully expect Bleday to be one of the better hitters in this class.”"
The Marlins don’t want to rush the process of the Vanderbilt star, but the front office knows the long ball is something this team has not had great success with this season, with only 71 round-trippers to show for their efforts. The middle of the order isn’t a murder’s row of any kind and when the team has to depend on Garrett Cooper, Brian Anderson, and Jorge Alfaro to try and win games with one swing of the bat, then that’s all you need to know about the situation in South Florida.
The lack of power isn’t something the Marlins have beaten themselves up about, where Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly, and the coaching staff knew it would be a long season with several players having to emerge as run producers.
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A 24-24 record in the team’s last 48 games is encouraging, but the run support still hasn’t been steady and the young pitching staff has pitched well but hasn’t been consistent either.
"As Andre C. Fernandez of The Athletic wrote (subscription only), “Bleday lining up in right field for the Marlins on Opening Day in 2021 seems realistic.”“Even a call-up in late 2020 might not be too far-fetched if all goes well.”"
I’m banking on two seasons before the power hitter is inserted in the lineup on a daily basis. The same might hold true for Kameron Misner, who signed his rookie deal right under the wire on Friday. Those two players are being asked to bring Marlins baseball hope like Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna before them.
It’s not an easy fit, by any means.
The Marlins set put on a path of taking care of their pitching needs first. The minor league system was weak and thin when Jeter took over as CEO and made it a point to strengthen the organization’s major weakness. He did this through trades, as we all know, that was not popular with the masses. Now, the team in its second season of change and forward-thinking is addressing its current biggest need.
It did not start with Bleday, but it is showing it is using this Draft class to push through.
"“The Marlins, who signed Bleday for slightly above slot value ($6,670,000) and secured Missouri University outfielder Kameron Misner (their Competitive Balance Round A selection) with a last-minute deal on Friday for $2,115,000, have a glaring need for impactful outfielders these days on their major-league roster,” Fernandez explains."
The Marlins have some outfield prospects to build with. Looking at the team’s top 30 prospects, Monte Harrison, Victor Victor Mesa, Connor Scott, and Brian Miller are all among the top 15 on the list. Harrison figures to be on the team for the Sept. 1 call-up. Mesa is at least three years away. Scott possibly two as well as Miller.
This draft class is the one everyone sees as the key to the future of the Jeter-run Marlins.
"“We could look back in 10 years and really be impressed with the number of quality hitters that come from this group,” Collazo said."