On January 25th, 2018, the Marlins traded away then-future NL MVP Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers for a quartet of promising young prospects. Namely, outfielders Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison, second baseman Isan Diaz, and starting pitcher Jordan Yamamoto.
Yelich’s further travails are well documented. Since leaving Miami, he’s slashed .327/.415/.631, with 80 home runs and 207 RBI, along with 52 stolen bases in only 58 tries. He won the 2018 NL MVP and came in second in 2019, due only to missing the final month of the campaign with an injury. The now-two-time defending NL batting champion also led the NL with his OBP and SLG this season, with a league-best 179 OPS+. He’s earned 14.7 WAR since leaving, as compared to a Marlins-franchise sixth-all-time 18.9 before.
At the time, Brinson figured to be the centerpiece of the deal, with a nice five-tool scouting report to go with it. In 184 games since coming over, he’s hit just .189 with 11 homers and 57 RBI, including a .173/.236/.221 slashline in 2019, with zero home runs and 15 RBI. He’s been -2.3 WAR for Miami.
Yamamoto, who at the time was considered sort of a “throw in” to the larger deal, has gone 4-5 with a 4.46 ERA in 15 starts for Miami. He’s struck out 82 in 78 2/3 innings and allowed an oppBA of .191 and a 1.144 WHIP for a 1.0 WAR.
More from Marlins News
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
- Miami Marlins can’t afford to botch this trade
- Miami Marlins news: the New York Mets are a risky threat
- Miami Marlins keep missing out on stars
Diaz made his major league debut with two months left in 2019, and hit just .173 in 49 games for Miami. He hit five round-trippers with 23 RBI, but struck out 59 times in 201 plate appearances for a -0.7 WAR.
Harrison has the loudest tools of the bunch, but hasn’t made his major league debut as of yet. Injured much of 2019, he clubbed 19 homers in 2018 for Jacksonville, but struck out a minor-league-wide-high 215 times in 583 plate appearances, a scary 36.9 percent whiff-rate.
As of this moment, the Marlins clearly lost this trade. They still remain on board with Brinson despite his struggles, and hope to see Harrison graduate to the top level as well. Yamamoto seems like he’ll be part of the rotation next season, and the second base job is Diaz’ to lose. Still, their combined output is unlikely to rival that of Yelich’s Herculean efforts of the last two seasons.