Miami Marlins Prospects: Alex Vesia’s Charmed 2019 Campaign

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 28: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 28: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Alex Vesia tore through three levels of minor league ball for the Miami Marlins, excelling at each.

This offseason, we’re taking a look back at every player to appear at any level of the Miami Marlins system. Alex Vesia, a left-handed reliever out of California State University at East Bay, is the fourth of 274 in this exclusive series. Look out for this guy.

Alexander Victor Vesia is a 6’2″, 195 lb. native of Alpine, California, and only second from the area to graduate as far as the double-A level from the town, population 14,236. Trenton Brooks, in the Cleveland Indians system is also currently at the level.

Vesia was picked in the 17th round of the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft by the Miami Marlins, with the 507th overall choice off the board. Ten players have graduated to the majors after being chosen at that spot, led by “Spaceman” Bill Lee (1968, Boston Red Sox, 22.0 career WAR).

Born on April 11th, 1996, Vesia was profiled in last seasons’ series as well, here. He racked up a 1.35 ERA, a 1.140 WHIP, and struck out 38 in 33 1/3 innings between two of the Miami Marlins lower minor league teams.

If you were to assume that Vesia’s strikeout rate would decline from his heady mark of 10.3 per nine innings in 2018, you would have been wrong. In 2019, he struck out 13.5 per nine innings, racking up a total of 100 while walking only 19 in 66 2/3 frames.

Vesia opened the 2019 campaign with the Single-A Clinton LumberKings in the Midwest League. He appeared in a total of 19 games through the first two months of the season, striking out 51 in 31 2/3 innings while holding opponents to a 1.295 WHIP. He was 1-2 with a 2.56 ERA when he got the call to join the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League.

As a Shark, Vesia continued to make grown men miss badly, with 24 K’s in 18 2/3 innings of work. He also cut his WHIP nearly in half, allowing a mark of 0.696. That’s 12 hits and one walk allowed during his time in the FSL.

Although players aren’t generally promoted twice in a season, at least not semi-permanently, the Miami Marlins made an exception in Vesia’s case. On August 2nd, he joined the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League. He dropped his WHIP even further at the more advanced level, earning a mark of 0.551 and striking out 25 in 16 1/3 innings. He allowed just eight hits and again walked only one.

So in his final 35 innings between High-A and Double-A, Vesia walked two and struck out 49, while giving up 20 hits. Unsurprisingly, he notched a mark of 6-0 between the two stops, with a combined 1.03 ERA.

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With what we’ve already seen from Vesia, it’s no wonder he was one-of-seven Miami Marlins minor leaguers to be chosen to appear in the Arizona Fall League, with the Salt River Rafters. In his first two games, he’s struck out five and pitched three perfect innings. His acceleration through the minor leagues begs the question: is this guy ready for the majors? Already? Maybe. Look for him to challenge for an Opening Day roster spot as a bullpen arm. Will he make the club out of Spring Training? I don’t know, but the worst case scenario seems to be a spot with the Triple-A Wichita ball club, whatever they finally decide to call themselves.

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