The Miami Marlins will be as good in the future as their top pitching prospects take them.
If the Miami Marlins ever run out of top pitching prospects, the baseball world may come to an end.
I say this with sarcasm, but the reality is the team’s front office has done such a good job of acquiring solid young arms to secure the future of this organization.
Whether it is through the deconstruction of the team’s roster from 2017, hot stove, free agency, or the MLB draft, this is an organization that has been built by Derek Jeter for this for seeable future. There is sustainability based on the moves he, president of baseball operations Michael Hill and the director of the team’s farm system Dick Scott, have put together.
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While there are many who project this team to take another year or two to develop and become a viable playoff contender, the one thing that this franchise is being praised for is how it has developed each tier of its farm system from the bottom up. And the good news is that even at the lowest level of competition, there are young arms who could become fixtures on a Major League level.
It starts with Sixto Sanchez, the teams top prospect overall who was acquired from Philadelphia last year. And continues with Edward Cabrera who is a holdover from the old ownership group. Those two, who are considered one and 1 and 1A pitching prospects for the future, could be in the rotation next year.
That also begs the question of what happens with other prospects who are scratching and clawing their way to the Majors?
Given that the Marlins already have a young staff, with a rotation that will improve this season despite it being a shortened stanza, how does the front office and manager Don Mattingly juggle all these players, make everybody happy, and still find ways to improve the team’s parent roster?
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald recently wrote about the top right-handed prospects in the Miami Marlins farm system. It is clear that Sanchez and Cabrera are being held as future “aces”. Nick Neidert might be the most “Major League“ ready player at Triple-A and could become part of the rotation this season. And then you have Jordan Holloway and Jorge Guzman who could wind up in the bullpen as affective relievers or even closer.
This is as deep as the Marlins minorly pitching depth has been in years. While the old regime, which was led by president Dave Sampson, traded away prospects for players who did not succeed, I believe there is a chance that the development of these minor-league players, which also include everyday future stars, will lead the Miami Marlins to a lengthy run at the playoffs and potentially a World Series or two.
Now, it’s all about how these young arms are cultivated and what happens at each level leading up to a ticket to The Show.
It also means that Jeter and his front office cannot take their foot off the gas peddle when it comes to bringing prospects along at their own pace and finding players to add to the lengthy ladder that has been established.
Before too long, Miami Marlins fans will become more familiar with these prospects as they make their major league debuts. And with that comes change. Who stays, who goes? Which players are added to the organization in return?
Most important in this process, I believe, is will the moves Jeter and company make be the ones we look back on and realize were subtle but impacted the organization enough to allow South Florida to enjoy another World Series title?