Miami Marlins Long-Range Plans at Third Base

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 18: Brian Anderson #15 of the Miami Marlins watches the flight of a ninth inning RBI double against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 18, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 18: Brian Anderson #15 of the Miami Marlins watches the flight of a ninth inning RBI double against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 18, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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The Miami Marlins minor league affiliate feeder system is looking better than it has in many years.

With abundant talent at all seven levels, from rookie-ball in the Dominican Summer League to the Triple-A level in the Pacific Coast League, the Marlins currently have the number one ranked MLB minor league farm system, according to From the Stands Sports. The author goes on to say:

"I was a bit hesitant to put the Marlins at #1, given that they are one of only two teams in this grouping without a top 20 prospect, but their depth is overwhelming in all areas. Starting with their whopping 8 top 100 prospects, there is good balance with 4 pitcher and 4 hitters."

Third base is the only unrepresented position on the Marlins Top 30 list, as ordered by the MLB Pipeline. Pitchers (12), outfielders (11), and middle infielders (5) make up most of the list, with first baseman Lewin Diaz and catcher Will Banfield making 30. Despite the lack of a third baseman on the list, Miami seemingly has a plan for the immediate future. Brian Anderson and Jonathan Villar (both 4 WAR players) are ready to take the hot corner in 2020.

Another third baseman waiting for his turn is Bubba Hollins, who turns 24-years-old-today. An Orchard Park, NY native out of St. Bonaventure University, Hollins is major league royalty. Father Dave played 12 major league seasons, most notably with the Philadelphia Phillies when they all had long hair.

Hollins was a 35th round choice of the Detroit Tigers in 2014, but elected to play college ball instead. He hit .290/.379/.485 in 48 games for St. Bonaventure in 2017, and signed with the Marlins through free agency soon after.

After going just nine-for-42 with the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs to close out that year, Hollins hit .174 in 57 games across Miami’s three “A” level teams in 2018.

Hollins figured something out between the end of the 2018 campaign and the beginning of 2019. In 95 games for the Clinton LumberKings, in the Single-A Midwest League, he hit nearly 100 points higher, clocking in with a .269 average in 95 contests. He struck out about a sixth of the time, which is a lot more acceptable than more than a few of the “top” prospects on Miami’s list.

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Hollins still has a way to go defensively. He logged a .930 fielding percentage at third base last season, making more errors (16) than double plays (15) – but the future is wide open.

Hollins can continue his offensive improvement in 2020 with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League, and clean up his defensive game. With a good first half, he could join the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League before the end of the campaign.

With more-or-less normal progression, Hollins could be in line to compete for a roster spot on the team between the end of 2021 and 2022 Spring Training.

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