Marlins NRIs up to Full-Squad Status, 63 Total in Camp

The Miami Marlins invited another 14 players to 2020 Major League Spring Training.

The invitations bring to a total the amount of NRIs in camp to 23, and 63 players in total. Included amongst the invited were the Marlins last four first round draft picks.

In December, the Marlins signed to minor league contracts and invited to Spring Training C Santiago Chavez, RHP Aaron Northcraft, C B.J. Lopez, C Brian Navaretto, IF Christian Lopes, IF Gosuke Katoh, RHP Josh Smith, OF Matt Kemp, and C Ryan Laverway. RHP Ryan Cook and SHP Pat Venditte were signed earlier this month and invited soon after that.

Well, I think that’s a quality stipend of catchers, anyway.

The Marlins filled out their dance card yesterday with another bunch of players from various levels of their minor league feeder affiliate system. In addition to the four first round picks, they also issued invitations to another eight players.

LHP Daniel Castano joined the Marlins in the Marcell Ozuna deal with the St. Louis Cardinals along with Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen, and Magneuris Sierra. If he makes the club, that will be a perfect four-for-four to make the majors in the deal.

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RHP Tommy Eveld is a possible future closer at the major league level that the Marlins picked up from the Arizona Diamondbacks for two months of Brad Ziegler.

LHP Braxton Garrett came to the Marlins with the seventh overall pick back in 2016. Expected to start this season at the Double-A level with the Southern League’s Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Garrett struck out 10 per nine innings last year between the Shrimp and the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League.

Chosen in the 10th round in the same draft as Garrett, LHP Dylan Lee has solid numbers across all six of the Marlins affiliates over the past four seasons.

LHP Trevor Rogers joined the Marlins in 2017 after getting chosen with the 13th overall pick. He whiffed 9.9 per nine innings between the Sharks and the Shrimp in 2019, with a 2.90 ERA in 23 starts.

LHP Alex Vesia was picked in round 17 back in 2018 for Miami, and has systematically demolished minor league hitters at every level he’s played at. Last season, he struck out 13.5 per nine between the Single-A Clinton LumberKings in the Midwest League, the Hammerheads, and the Shrimp, going 7-2 with a 1.76 ERA in 66 2/3 innings.

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SS Eddy Alvarez has already earned accolades for his athletic career. In 2014, he became the first Cuban-American male to make the U.S. Olympic team for speed skating, and helped win the Silver Medal in the 5000 meter relay. After five seasons in the Chicago White Sox system, he joined the Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League and hit .323/.407/.570 in 66 games, with 12 homers, 43 RBI, and 12 stolen bases in 15 attempts.

SS Jose Devers joined the Marlins in the deal with the New York Yankees for Giancarlo Stanton, along with Starlin Castro and Jorge Guzman. Still just 20-years-old, he’ll be the youngest player in camp. He hit .322 last season between Clinton, Jupiter, and the rookie level.

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OF J.J. Bleday was Miami’s first round pick in 2019, fourth overall off the board. After joining the system out of the University of Vanderbilt, he hit. 257 in 38 games for the Hammerheads.

OF Jerar Encarnacion hit .276 with16 homers and 71 RBI last year between Jupiter and the LumberKings, appearing in 135 games in total. Previously unheralded, he’s since worked his way into the conversation as the number 17 organizational prospect.

After signing with the Marlins through international free agency for a $6 million bonus, OF Victor Victor Mesa slashed a disappointing .235/.274/.263 line for the Jumbo Shrimp in 2019, in 116 contests. He’s looking for a rebound year.

OF Brian Miller was Miami’s competitive balance pick in 2017, and has hit .289 through his first three seasons of professional ball. He’s stolen 83 bases in 111 attempts between the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the Hammerheads, and the Jumbo Shrimp.

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