The Miami Marlins, and the rest of the sporting world for that matter have taken an unscheduled holiday.
Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of holiday that we get excited for. The Miami Marlins spring training “tryouts” ended up about two weeks short of what the management group were hoping for in order to make an informed decision about who’s ready for the majors.
Sterling Sharp joined the Miami Marlins via rule 5 draft in December, and is expected to remain with the club through the 162 game campaign. If they decide he’s not ready, they cannot send him to the minors without his original team, the Washington Nationals, reclaiming him.
Sharp was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 30th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Entry Draft out of North Farmington HS, in his hometown of Farmington Hills, MI. Instead, he spent a few years in college, playing for Eastern Michigan in 2014 and Drury College in 2016. The Nationals picked him in the 22nd round following his time at Drury.
Sharp, who is six-foot-three, 170 lbs., and 24-years-old, only started 14-of-33 games through his collegiate career. He’s been mostly used as a starter since coming out. In 69-of-75 appearances through four professional seasons, he’s posted a 25-21 record with a 3.71 ERA. He’s racked up 290 whiffs in 378 1/3 innings, while holding onto a 1.33 WHIP.
More effective for Sharp than his strikeout rate is his ability to induce groundouts. MLB Pipeline noted:
"Sharp has exceptionally low spin rates on his one- and two-seam sinkers, resulting in heavy life and exceptionally high ground-ball rates, including a 3.2 groundout/airout ratio in 2019. His fastball velocity usually ranges from 89-92 mph and tops out at 94, so he pitches to weak contact more than he misses bats. His changeup sinks as well and gives him a solid second offering, though his slurvy slider needs more work."
Over the past two seasons, Sharp has spent most of his time for the Nationals at their Double-A level in the Eastern League, with the Harrisburg Senators. It was the highest level he’s yet pitched at. He’s gone 11-6 with a 4.19 ERA over 22 starts, striking out 92 in 118 1/3 innings with a 1.42 WHIP. Sharp is currently involved in a MLB The Show 20 Twitch stream for those interested, along with Jazz Chisholm and Aaron Northcraft.
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Sharp is ranked as the number 28 prospect in the Miami Marlins system by MLB Pipeline, and 20th by Baseball America. The Marlins seemingly have every intention of giving Sharp the full 162-game season after a solid spring training. He struck out nine in eight innings of work, surrendering only one run on three hits and four walks for a sub-1 WHIP in a small sample size.
Whenever the Miami Marlins commence their 2020 campaign in earnest, Sharp should be there to pitch in as he can as part of their eight-man bullpen. On Fangraphs, there are a lot of projection models to forecast what’s “going” to happen in 2020. The average outlook for Sharp is around 50 innings, an ERA around 4.20, a K/9 rate around 6.6, and a WHIP between 1.35 and 1.40. Hopefully he can outperform those projections.
Thanks for reading on this slower-than-expected late-spring-training-era seasonal projection. Tune in tomorrow for a look into what we can expect in 2020 from Magneuris Sierra.