Marlins Top 10 Pipeline Prospects: What to Watch For
This offseason, the Marlins have done a lot to address their immediate needs at the major league level.
Beneath that level, however, most of the work they’ve done has come over the past two seasons, the first two of the Sherman/Jeter Marlins ownership group.
Most of the Marlins top prospects have been additions under the new regime, including trade acquisitions, shrewd draft choices, the international free agent market, and the rule 5 draft. Whatever Miami may be lacking at the major league level, you can be sure that need is being addressed at multiple levels of their minor league affiliate feeder system.
RHP Sixto Sanchez, San Cristobal, DR
Still just 21, the six-foot Sixto Sanchez ranks as the number 22 prospect in all of baseball. With three offerings ranked at above-average or better, including a 75-grade fastball, Sanchez may impact the Marlins as soon as this season.
Gained from the Philadelphia Phillies in the deal for J.T. Realmuto (along with Will Stewart and Jorge Alfaro), Sanchez posted a 2.53 ERA with the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in 2019. Over 18 starts, he struck out 97 while walking only 19 in 103 innings of work for a 1.029 WHIP.
RF J.J. Bleday, Danville, PA
22-year-old J.J. Bleday was Miami’s most recent first-round pick, chosen fourth overall in the 2019 draft out of Vanderbilt University. In 65 games as a junior, Bleday led the NCAA with 26 home runs and with 182 total bases. A .350/.464/.717 slash line with 69 RBI wasn’t bad either.
Bleday, a left-handed hitter and the Pipeline number 29 overall prospect, lacks speed, but the rest of his skillset rates as above-average or higher. After joining the Jupiter Hammerheads at the High-A level post-draft, he hit .257/.311/.379 with three homers and 19 RBI in 38 games. With a little polish, Bleday can reasonably be expected to reach the Marlins at the parent level sometime in 2021.
OF Jesus Sanchez, Higuey, DR
Jesus Sanchez not that one, or that one, is the third such named player to be a part of the Marlins organization. A six-foot-three, 230 lb. 22-year-old, Sanchez joined the Marlins from the Tampa Bay Rays organization along with Ryne Stanek for Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards in July last season.
Sanchez, who bats left and throws right, has topped double digit homers in each of his last three minor league seasons. In 17 post-trade games for the Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes, he was 16-for-65 with four home runs, along with nine walks versus 15 strikeouts.
Ranked as the MLB Pipeline’s number 51 overall prospect, and now with a little triple-A experience under his belt, it’s possible that Sanchez could make the roster out of Spring Training.