Will this be the spring that Nick Neidert moves into the Marlins starting rotation?
After his stellar performance in the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game, the Miami Marlins must take a long look at Nick Neidert as a potential member of the rotation next spring.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranked Neidert’s performance as the third-best amongst Fall Star prospects.
"“Neidert missed three months of the season with a knee injury, though you wouldn’t know it from his AFL performance (1.62 ERA, .186 ERA, 17/2 K/BB in 16 2/3 IP),” Mayo writes. “He kept that up in his start for the East on Saturday, tossing two scoreless and striking out four, mixing in his low-90s fastball with life well with his breaking ball and changeup.”"
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Those two pitches will serve him well as he tries to make the Marlins staff from Spring Training, something he wasn’t able to do last year, but he could sneak into a rotation that is chock full of questions this offseason.
As we’ve discussed before, Neidert, who is the Marlins 11th rank prospect in their farm system, had the majority of the season derailed by a meniscus tear. But that did not slow him down from being able to produce off the mound one he returned to Triple-A New Orleans. He could be a solid fourth or fifth starter in Don Mattingly’s rotation come the end of March.
To give you some idea of how strong the Marlins pitching prospects are, Neidert began last season as the fourth-ranked prospect in the minor league system by MLB Pipeline. Given the moves, this team has made through trades the last year, and the development of prospects who are in the organization, Neidert has fallen out of the top 10. It does not mean that he isn’t just as effective with his pitching repertoire.
Credit the front office and scouting for doing such a good job of identifying prospects on the rise and developing them at a slower rate than in the past. Miami’s minor league system was unorganized with talent being pushed too quickly through different stages of development. To make matters worse, the old ownership group and front office traded off prospects who are now thriving in the Majors.
Neidert was the Seattle Mariners first-round pick in 2015 but was dealt to Miami last off-season in the deal that sent Dee Gordon out west. Robert Dugger and Christopher Torres were part of that deal as well. Dugger is currently part of the Marlins rotation after being called up from New Orleans late in the season.