How the Marlins Will Finish in the Playoff Race (in 2020)

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 05: Harold Ramirez #47 of the Miami Marlins celebrates with Jon Berti #55 after the final out in a 10-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 5, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 05: Harold Ramirez #47 of the Miami Marlins celebrates with Jon Berti #55 after the final out in a 10-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 5, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Digging In

Fielders

Starting at the top of the Steamer projections, Brian Anderson is projected at 2.3. Considering he nearly doubled that in 126 games in 2019, I think that this particular projection may be a little off, due to their undervalue of Anderson as a right fielder. I’m going to go out on a limb here and project a 5.0 WAR for Anderson in 2020, full stop. This, by itself, turns the Marlins into a 70-win club (with 22.3 WAR), but I’m not really satisfied with it.

Jonathan Villar is next down from the top, and projects at 1.8 WAR. The system predicts 17 home runs, 32 stolen bases, and a .257 average. Now, Villar has never been below replacement, actually clocking in at the actual replacement level in his rookie campaign in 2013 with the Houston Astros. Since then, he’s topped 120 games in three of his six seasons of play, with WAR figures of 3.9, 0.1, and 4.0 – an average of 2.7. If he stays healthy, I don’t think there’s any reason he can’t duplicate at least a 3.0 WAR. Now up to 23.5 WAR, the Marlins are a 71-91 club.

Miguel Rojas is next, at 1.7 WAR. Now, I don’t know how closely you, personally, have been paying attention to Rojas’ output, but his last three seasons have resulted in WAR figures of 2.2, 2.4, and 2.4, respectively (mostly due to great defense). Rojas is a safe bet to continue that track, and I don’t think a mark of 2.5 is too “pie in the sky” for our purposes. Up to 24.3 WAR now, the Marlins are 72-90.

Jorge Alfaro is next up, at 1.1 WAR. That actually appears to be dead on, as Alfaro has totaled 2.2 WAR over his two full major league seasons. I’ll leave this one alone. Still 72-90.

Marlins
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 10: Corey Dickerson #31 of the Philadelphia Phillies. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Corey Dickerson is also valued at 1.1, just like Alfaro. Unlike Alfaro, Dickerson has a trackable increase in WAR every season from 2015 through 2018, from 0.5 to 1.5 to 2.5 to 3.8. Clobbered by the injury bug in 2019, he only totaled 0.8 WAR, but his .565 slugging percentage as a lefty put him in elite company. If he remains healthy, another 4.0 WAR season is not out of the question. Now up to 27.2 WAR, the Marlins sit at 75-87.

The rest of the fielders shake out as such. (with my adjustment, when warranted, in parenthesis).

Jesus Aguilar 0.7 (1.5)
Isan Diaz 0.6
Garrett Cooper 0.2 (1.0)
Jon Berti 0.2 (3.0) – Berti’s really, really a lot better than 0.2, right?
Harold Ramirez 0.1
Austin Dean 0.0
Christian Lopes 0.0
Jesus Sanchez 0.0
Matt Kemp 0.0
Monte Harrison -0.2 (0.0)
Magneuris Sierra -0.3 (0.5)
Lewis Brinson -0.3 (0.0)

Now with 32.1 WAR, not cleaning up the pitching projections as such just yet, the Marlins are at 80-82, within sniffing distance of .500. But we want the playoffs, right?

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