The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Miami Marlins Double-A affiliate, is waiting to open the gates on a 2020 Southern League season.
One thing we have not discussed here at Marlin Maniac is the state of the Miami Marlins minor league system. The main focus of most of the news here on the site has been the MLB season. The minor league prospects for lack of a better term, are sitting in limbo, waiting just like everyone else for the start of their seasons.
Hopefully, there is good news on the horizon for the Marlins’ teams at the A, AA, and AAA levels in the near future.
One team that is preparing for the start of their season in the Southern League is the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. But like every organization on the map, team owner Ken Babby and Harold Craw, the team’s general manager executive vice president, want the fans to know baseball will be back – when the time is right.
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"“For many, Opening Day is synonymous with more than just the game — it means the return of spring, fun nights together and memories made for a lifetime,” they wrote in an editorial that appeared in the Florida Times-Union on April 16. The letter is also visible on the team’s website.“… During these uncertain times, we believe it is the Jumbo Shrimp’s role and responsibility as the leader of Affordable Family Fun in Jacksonville to prioritize the health and well-being of our staff, fans, players and partners while also supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to resolve this unprecedented situation.”"
Minor league baseball has been a staple here in my hometown longer than any other sport that has come through the St. Johns River and set up shop along the north bank of this city. Its roots go back to the early 1900s and have created memories for generations. I grew up watching baseball at what is now 121 Financial Ballpark.
If the walls of the building that houses the Miami Marlins affiliate could talk, they would tell a great tale of past, present, and future MLB stars. How Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, and Hank Aaron all made appearances in this great city. How Clayton Kershaw and Mark Gubicza threw off the mound.
Now, the Marlins have a history of their own with Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton all played in the outfield. How Brian Anderson made his debut in a “Suns” uniform in 2016 and top pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Jorge Guzman threw 100-mph fastballs last season in the scorching heat.
Minor league baseball has become as important to the Marlins as any other organization, if not more. Derek Jeter’s belief in building from the ground up was a reason for the celebration of a farm system that looked like fodder rather than substance.
Babby, Craw, and the Jumbo Shrimp are part of the growth and development of this franchise.
"“The moment we hear any information from Minor League Baseball about a confirmed start date we will immediately share it with you and respond accordingly. Rest assured, we are committed to bringing Jumbo Shrimp baseball back to Jacksonville as soon as it is safe to do so,” they said.“In the meantime, on behalf of the entire Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp family, we want to extend a huge thank you to our local doctors, nurses, health technicians, and first responders. Your efforts have been nothing short of incredible and you are heroes.”"
The Jumbo Shrimp figures to be another hot ticket this summer with Edward Cabrera and Braxton Garrett on the mound and the potential arrival of JJ Bleday. This team has been a showcase of talent the past few seasons, which has become a gateway to the potential success of the Miami Marlins in the future.