After playing first base in the Miami Marlins home finale on Sunday, will the coaching staff make the decision to keep Austin Dean on the bag in 2020?
For the second game in as many days, Austin Dean will be in the Miami Marlins lineup playing first base. The move proved to be a good one yesterday as the 25-year-old Texan hit a home run and helped his ball club to a 5-3 win over the Washington Nationals.
Now, with Dean playing the infield, can he help the team put a dent in the playoff hopes of their National League East rivals, the New York Mets. The two teams will play three games before the Marlins close out the season with three games in Philadelphia against the Phillies.
If Dean continues to play on the bag at first the remainder of the season and does well, it could make an impact on how the front office looks at the offseason and free agency or trade for a power-hitting first baseman. Dean has shown he can hit the long ball but has not been given an opportunity to do it in long stints on the Major League Level.
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"“Austin Dean homered and fellow rookie Jon Berti delivered a two-run double in the momentum-turning seventh inning that enabled the Marlins to salvage the series finale, and make the Nationals’ playoff push a little more challenging with a week remaining,” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote."
If the Marlins are going to gain some momentum moving toward the final week of the season, why not be at the expense of the Mets, who are still in the playoff chase and the Phillies, who also have a slim shot at the postseason.
Miami has had to deal the majority of the season with the fact they don’t have a true first baseman in their lineup, using multiple players including Neil Walker, Garrett Cooper, Peter O’Brien, and others. If the team does not require a power-hitting first baseman in free agency next year, then Dean is as good a solution to the problem as any they have had this year.
The Marlins do figure to be spenders in free agency this year, knowing that they will have a payroll which can afford to bring in a slugger who will not break the bank but will cost more than most of the players on the current roster.
The Marlins do figure to go after a young player with an affordable contract in free agency, potentially in the outfield and at first base. The team is last in the Majors in home runs. In his first season in the Majors, Dean hit .221 with four home runs, 14 RBIs, and 16 runs scored in 34 games.
This season he has five home runs and 20 RBI.