Miami Marlins Prospects: Josh Simpson Overachieving in Batavia

The Miami Marlins have a lot of prospects seemingly on the way to help out the parent club.

Here comes the cavalry, as they used to say. The 30 most widely heralded prospects of course make the MLB Pipeline website’s list for each team. The Miami Marlins farm system is considerably deeper even than that.

Josh Simpson is a 6’2″, 190 lb. left-handed reliever from Stafford, Connecticut. He’ll be celebrating his 22nd birthday in three days, and this past June was chosen by the Miami Marlins in the 32nd round of the annual MLB Amateur Entry Draft. Taken 951st overall, there is precedent for players chosen at the position in getting to the big leagues. Simpson would join major league alum Kevin Thompson (1999, Yankees), German Duran (2003, Reds), and Tom Lundstedt (1967, Dodgers) in turning the trick – but that’s still a ways off.

Simpson has had a solid start to his professional baseball career since making the jump from Columbia University. In three seasons, Simpson had compiled a 10-10 record and a. 4.20 ERA over 160 2/3 innings pitched, mostly as a starter. He walked 53 while striking out 127 with a 1.382 WHIP.

Simpson’s performance has thus far outpaced his modest collegiate pitching output. After one perfect inning with the GCL Marlins, in which he struck out one batter, the Miami Marlins sent him up a level to the New York-Penn League’s Batavia Muckdogs, the Marlins short-season-A affiliate.

Over 16 1/3 innings in Batavia, Simpson has struck out 21 and walked only two, holding opponents to 10 hits and just one run. His resultant 0.55 ERA and 0.735 WHIP are surely unsustainable. However, those figures demand attention. In yesterday’s 10-4 Muckdogs loss to the West Virginia Black Bears, Simpson struck out four in two innings of work, while allowing a baserunner only on a Dalvy Rosario defensive error.

Simpson’s performance yesterday is hardly an outlier so far. In five of his 12 appearances with Batavia, he has allowed no hits or walks in at least an inning of work. In fact, aside from one bad game, Simpson has given up six hits in 14 1/3 innings while striking out 19 batters. He’s also near-equally deadly on right and left-handers. Right-handed batters are hitting .163, while southpaws are hitting at a .143 clip. From both sides of the plate, Simpson is whiffing right around a third of opposing hitters. For his efforts, he was recently named to the NYPL’s All Star team.

If Simpson’s current performance holds up, it’s going to be a cinch for the Miami Marlins to expedite his promotions. Look for him to challenge for a bullpen spot in the big leagues sometime in 2022.

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