Get Excited: The Miami Marlins 2021 Opening Day Starting Lineup

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: Miguel Rojas #19 of the Miami Marlins fields a hit by Wilson Ramos #40 of the New York Mets as teammate Isan Diaz #1 of the Marlins ducks out of the way in the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 24, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: Miguel Rojas #19 of the Miami Marlins fields a hit by Wilson Ramos #40 of the New York Mets as teammate Isan Diaz #1 of the Marlins ducks out of the way in the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 24, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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First Base

The Miami Marlins currently 12th ranked organizational prospect is recently acquired first baseman Lewin Diaz. The 6’4″ power-hitting lefty is just what the doctor ordered for the Miami Marlins. He’s also relatively patient at the plate, whiffing in only a fifth of his at bats.

In the just-concluded 2019 campaign, Diaz spent the lion’s share at the double-A level, first with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the Twins organization, then for the Jumbo Shrimp. Between those two and his time in high-A this year, he connected on 27 homers, more than double his previous high. There’s no reason to think that he can’t continue to progress in 2020 with the Wichita triple-A club.

Second Base

Isan Diaz had a rude awakening in his first look at the major league level over the last two months of the 2019 season with the Miami Marlins. A .173 average and 59 K’s in just over 200 plate appearances, to go with five homers and 23 RBI. Diaz’ short look was about 0.7 Wins Below Replacement. He also committed nine errors in 48 games for a .952 fielding percentage, hardly the stuff of legend.

But Diaz is a quick study. His triple-A footprint from 2018 to 2019 reveals a sharp learning curve that saw his slashline progress from .204/.281/.358 (in 36 games) to .305/.395/.578 over a 102 game sample. There’s no reason to think that his lousy first look means a repeat of the Lewis Brinson experiment. Diaz’ specific history shows that he’s a good bet to buckle down and figure this thing out.

Third Base

Brian Anderson will enter the 2021 season as the fourth-season incumbent at third base, and may be coming off his first all-star campaign. He led the Miami Marlins in Wins Above Replacement in 2019, with a mark of 3.8 despite missing the last quarter of the season with a broken hand. His production pace at the time of the injury suggests that this is a 5.0 WAR guy we have at the hot corner. Added bonus, he was the team’s best right fielder as well.

Shortstop

Jazz Chisholm can win the starting slot at short before 2021, but it’s far more likely he spends next year between Double- and Triple-A. With both Osiris Johnson and Nasim Nunez still marinading in the minors, Chisholm has a real chance to make the position his in the meantime. The Marlins current fourth-overall prospect, Chisholm, has serious tools. According to the MLB Pipeline:

"There is little question Chisholm can stay at shortstop, with good hands and actions to go along with a strong arm and a knack for making highlight-reel plays on a nightly basis. Those loud tools on both sides of the ball in turn give him an exceptional ceiling as a big league shortstop, but he’ll need to tighten up his overall game along the way."

Bench Depth

Garrett Cooper is a great change-of-pace from Lewin Diaz, and can also play both corner outfield positions. Miguel Rojas has always been a strong ace-in-the-hole, and can ably fill in at any of the four infield positions in a pinch. No slouch in the field either, Rojas can boast above average advanced metrics at each spot.

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