Will the Marlins make the moves to improve their offense in 2020?
As the Marlins collectively watch the World Series and see their National League East rival Washington Nationals hammer the Houston Astros, one thing stands out that the team must do better in 2020. Finding hitters in free agency must become the team’s priority before the organization heads to Spring Training in February.
With a 2-0 lead in the series over Houston and the next three games in Washington, it’s hard to imagine the Nationals leave their home city before capturing their first World Series title. There are lessons to be learned in watching how the Nationals have caught fire at the right time, taking down the Dodgers and Cardinals and then making short work of their American League opponent, so far.
Hitting is something the Marlins had plenty of issues with this season, which is why the front office will make it a point to shuffle the deck and find to hopefully find a winning hand that leads to progress next year.
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"“Upgrading the offense is the No. 1 offseason priority, followed by beefing up the bullpen. The Marlins ranked 29th in runs scored with 615, only the Tigers (582) scored fewer.” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com explained. “Miami also was last in home runs with 146. So, impactful, middle-of-the-order bats are the greatest needs.”"
There are a few names out there who could be on the Marlins radar once free agency becomes official. Jose Abreu has been discussed this past season. Justin Smoak is also a name mentioned. There could be others, with potentially a higher price tag like Marcell Ozuna and Anthony Rendon, who could be wearing a World Series ring in a few short days.
The Marlins must also look within the organization, determine if someone like Monte Harrison could remain a five-tool player on the next level as he showed more promise at Triple-A last season. Ideally, Harrison makes the roster out of camp in March and becomes a potential leadoff hitter next season.
The outfield is crowded, which makes for an interesting spring in Jupiter. Finding a power-hitting first baseman should also be a top priority for the front office, something the team lacked last season.
The Marlins figure to lose some of the explosiveness in the middle of their lineup next season. Starlin Castro doesn’t figure to be back with the team. He led Miami with 22 home runs. Brian Anderson will return from a broken hand. He swatted 20 home runs last season. Other hitters who could improve at the plate in 2020 include catcher Jorge Alfaro, who had a career-high 18 home runs last season.
The coaching staff could also get more help from outfielder/first baseman Garrett Cooper, who hit 15 home runs in an injury-riddled season. If he can stay healthy, he could approach 25-30 home runs as the clean-up hitter in the middle of the order.