Which Marlins prospect is ready to jump off the ground and impact the franchise on the Major League Level? The staff at Marlin Maniac weighs in with their thoughts.
We have talked plenty about how the Miami Marlins have fortified their main roster for the 2020 season with offseason deals in free agency and via trade. The one thing we have not discussed is the potential of prospects to crack the Opening Day roster.
Instead of going through a long opening paragraph and analysis, the staff here at Marlin Maniac has their own opinions about which player should make the jump to The Show in Spring Training and have a direct impact on the team at the start of the 2020 Major League season.
The Marlins two-year plan of stockpiling minor league prospects and building through their minor league system is about to pay off in a big way. It may not be this season where the little team in South Florida will compete for a playoff berth, but with Derek Jeter pushing the right button from the front office and Don Mattingly making the best of what he has on the diamond, the wind of losing is closing faster than some think in Miami.
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Here is are our thoughts.
David Levin – Jesus Sanchez could be the impact player the team is looking for.
The Marlins were interested in Sanchez this time last year when the front office was deciding what to do with J.T. Realmuto. Sanchez is an outfielder who could crack the 26-man roster out of Spring Training or could start the season in Wichita and be one of the first prospects to get the call to The Show.
Sanchez is a player that has been “regarded” as untouchable in the Marlins organization by some analysts. He should play a key role with the parent club at some point this season. He showed an ability to continue to hit with power once he made the jump from the Tampa Bay Rays minor league system to the Marlins.
What I am curious to watch this spring is the competition in the outfield between Sanchez, Monte Harrison, one of the team’s highly regarded prospects and veteran Matt Kemp, who is fighting for a roster spot as a non-roster invitee.
When is the last time we were this excited about the Marlins coming into Spring Training? I know, it’s been a while.
Kevin Kraczkowski – The only Miami Marlins prospect that is guaranteed a 26-man roster spot come Opening Day 2020 is Sterling Sharp. As an acquisition via the annual Rule 5 draft, the Marlins are required to keep Sharp on the active roster all season, excepting time on the injured list and rehabilitative appearances. I realize that this answer may be taking the question slightly too literally, so I’ll include a second that I think will break camp with the team.
Lewin Diaz has a real good chance to make the team out of Spring Training if Jesus Aguilar doesn’t win his spot outright. Garrett Cooper will make the team, based on both his track record and his modularity. Diaz would also pair nicely with Cooper as a platoon-based solution at first. Of course, Aguilar could knock it out of the park, quite literally, and make this a moot prediction.
David Fernandez – I think it will be Monte Harrison. The Marlins have a vacancy in center, and Monte Harrison might be the prospect to take the position this Spring. The 24-year-old would’ve been a September call up last season had he not suffered through injuries.
Originally acquired as part of the Christian Yelich trade, Harrison hit .274 with nine homers, 24 RBI and 20 stolen bases at Triple-A New Orleans. This winter, his play in Puerto Rico has also been solid. He hit .300 with a .397 on-base percentage in 16 games. If Harrison can consistently reach base and provide solid defense this spring, he’s a guarantee to make the active roster.