Both Edward Cabrera and Sixto Sanchez are part of the Marlins offseason conditioning program that is taking place at Marlins Park.
Many of the Miami Marlins top prospects began their off-season conditioning program this weekend at Marlins Park as the organization continues to develop its strength for the future.
More than a dozen players, including Sixto Sanchez and Edward Cabrera, listed by MLB Pipeline.com as the two top pitching prospects in the Marlins minor league system. The two were teammates at Double-A Jacksonville and along with Jorge Guzman, comprise another trio of starters who will knock on the Major League rotation’s door as early as the middle of next season.
Have we mentioned the front office has done a solid job of acquiring starting pitching at a premium while making the right moves in the MLB Draft and free agency in 2019 to acquire hitters for the future? It’s also possible the Marlins could look to deal pitchers from the 25-man roster and their minors system for hitting help this winter.
For now, the focus is on conditioning, continuing to develop as professionals and to make an impact in front of the top brass in South Florida.
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Being on the field in Miami left Cabrera feeling a bit nostalgic, especially when he and Sanchez took the field this past weekend.
"“When we saw each other on the field,” Cabrera said through an interpreter, “I said to him, ‘Can you imagine us playing on this field next year?’ We just laughed about it.”"
Cabrera is currently ranked as Miami’s No. 6 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Sanchez, the prized pickup in the J.T. Realmuto trade before the start of the season, is the Marlins top prospect and ranked 22nd overall by MLB Pipeline.
Miami has a developing 1-2 combination in Sandy Alcantara and Caleb Smith, but after that, there are plenty of arms to make an impact, which also includes Nick Neidert, Jordan Yamamoto, and Pablo Lopez.
The best-case scenario is the front office will be able to interchange arms next season because of injuries or inconsistency and maybe acquire a veteran bat with power to help the sluggish offense in 2020.
"“Cabrera, Miami’s No. 6 prospect, also ranks 99th on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list. The 21-year-old made perhaps the biggest leap of any prospect in the organization in 2019,” Joe Frisaro added. “He started off at Class A Advanced Jupiter and went 5-3 with a 2.02 ERA in 11 starts before earning a promotion to Double-A Jacksonville, where he was 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA.”"
It is assumed both pitchers will start their seasons at Triple-A Wichita and then potentially find their way to Miami at some point. That is how Yamamoto and Robert Dugger wound up on the mound in the Majors.
Sanchez went 8-4 with a 2.53 ERA in 18 Double-A starts, after he made two starts for Jupiter. He was brought along slowly at the start of the season because of right elbow inflammation that limited him to 46 2/3 innings while in the Phillies’ system in 2018. Miami watched his innings count this year.
"“I feel, overall, it was a great season for me,” Sanchez said. “Mechanics-wise, my release was a little high. Also, I worked more on my curveball. With my curveball, my elbow, I was leaving it behind. Physically, thank goodness, I feel great.”"