Will the Marlins moves to add minor league talent the past two seasons pay off in Year 3 of the team’s rebuilding project?
It appears the future for the Miami Marlins starts this season as fans will have a chance to see many top prospects fight for a 2020 roster spot. With plenty of talent on board throughout the minor league system, it’s only a matter of time before the current roster is once again transformed.
But as Joe Frisaro takes a deeper look into the list of potential Opening Day candidates, which one will make the leap first, and which ones will last the entire 2020 campaign.
"“The Marlins spent much of the past two years restocking their farm system. When Spring Training opens in mid-February, fans will get at least a preliminary look at much of the young talent that projects to be building blocks for the future,” Frisaro wrote."
Looking at the top tier of Miami’s top 30 players, Sixto Sanchez, Monte Harrison, and Jesus Sanchez all appear ready to take that leap. Jazz Chisholm is another candidate, but he will likely need more time to prepare before getting his feet wet. First baseman Lewin Diaz, who came over from the Minnesota Twins at the MLB Trade Deadline is also someone who will be knocking on the door to Marlins Park.
More from Marlins Prospects
- Miami Marlins: Checking in on prospects from the 2022 Arizona Fall League
- Miami Marlins: How top 2022 MLB Draft picks performed this season
- What’s wrong with Kahlil Watson?
- Miami Marlins: Farm System rankings part 2
- Miami Marlins: Farm System rankings part 1
Frisaro thinks it might be a choice between Harrison and Sixto Sanchez who might see the Majors the quickest, potentially after the regular season starts.
"“Both project to be with the club in 2020, perhaps at some point in the first half. I actually think Harrison has the better chance to reach the big leagues first. The 24-year-old center fielder was tracking toward a September promotion in 2019, but he missed time due to a broken right wrist,” Frisaro adds.“Sanchez, who dealt with right elbow inflammation in 2018, threw 114 innings in ’19. So look for him to start off at Triple-A Wichita and build up to about 150 innings this year. To me, he seems like a second-half rotation option.”"
I had the chance to see Sanchez here in Jacksonville on three occasions. His heat is impressive, topping off at 99 mph on the fastball several times. He reminds me of a younger Pedro Martinez. If the Marlins pitching staff can somehow harness that power and help him become more consistent, he is their ace of the future.
Harrison is a player who the team acquired from Milwaukee before the start of the 2018 season. After a year in Jacksonville (Double-A) and last season in New Orleans (Triple-A) that was marred by injuries, 2020 could be his breakout year, whether it is in Wichita or with the parent club.
"“Harrison may win the starting center-field job in Spring Training. My reservation with him is the time he missed last year,” Frisaro writes. “Often, players who miss so much time need those consistent game repetitions to be effective. Since he is continuing to develop, there is no need to rush him.”"
The Marlins have plenty of outfield and pitching options. Moving these two faster than needing may hurt their success in the long run. Miami’s front office has too much invested in them down the road to make that mistake.