Jorge Alfaro will still be the starting catcher for the Miami Marlins in 2021. His unique combination of pop-time (1.92) and raw power (18 HR, 57 RBI in 130 games) is only eclipsed by one guy in the major leagues at this moment, and he used to be a Miami Marlin too.
Nick Fortes and/or Will Banfield should be ready to back up Alfaro by this time. Neither hit very well in 2019, but both are plus-plus defensive stalwarts who will be able to continue the Miami Marlins legacy of excellent defensive catching. And lets face it, Bryan Holaday‘s adventures notwithstanding, you’re not really looking to your backup catcher to hit very much. So, who are these guys catching on Opening Day?
Now that’s a good question. The smart money is on Sixto Sanchez, the top overall prospect in the Miami Marlins organization. For those of you counting, by the way, that makes five of the starting nine Miami’s current top five prospects.
Sanchez had a decent 8-4 record and a 2.53 ERA for the Jumbo Shrimp in 2019, but that doesn’t really do justice to just how good he was at the level. This guy has a plus curve, a plus change, and two plus-plus fastballs, a two-seamer and a four-seamer (h/t to MLB Pipeline).
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And as alluded to earlier, the Miami Marlins aren’t really hurting as far as pitching depth goes. If Sanchez isn’t ready for some reason, or injury strikes, Sandy Alcantara may very well at that time be the team’s number two starter. Other possibilities include Edward Cabrera, Trevor Rogers, Braxton Garrett, Pablo Lopez, and Caleb Smith.
I know, I know, we still have 2020 to play through, and a lot can happen. The team can keep playing the shell game until the cows come home, or, they could surprise everyone, probably Jeter included, and wind up in a pennant chase. Hey, don’t @ me, stranger things have happened!
But whatever happens, I’ll be there to go mad about it, I am a Maniac, after all.
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