The Miami Marlins have decided to option one of their top prospects, Monte Harison prior to the start of the 2020 MLB season.
In one of the more shocking moves prior to the start of the 2020 MLB season, the Miami Marlins have decided that one of their top prospects, outfielder Monte Harrison, would not be part of the team’s Opening Day 30-man roster.
The outfielder had been one of the bright spots in the second part of training camp leading up to the Friday’s Opening Day game against the Philadelphia Phillies, but as manager Don Mattingly explained, once the team finishes their exhibition games with the Atlanta Braves, Harrison will report to Jupiter, Florida at the organization’s Spring Training facility.
There are still some things that the outfielder must work on, which means there is still plenty of opportunities for the 24-year-old to play baseball in a Marlins jersey this season.
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"“If he would have been showing us the consistency of contact and smoking balls, at-bat after at-bat,” Mattingly said via Zoom. “I don’t want to bash Monte, because I think Monte is going to be a great player, but he punched out eight straight times in our Summer Camp. So it’s not exactly like every ball was getting squared up. He’s got room to grow.”"
The Marlins outfield has been crowded all offseason with key additions added in the offseason and prospects trying to crack the new roster. Due to changes in the MLB schedule, there are more players Mattingly had to choose from. And with the addition of the designated hitter, the roster does look different – much different – from a year ago.
"“Corey Dickerson is locked in at left field, Jonathan Villar is scheduled to be in center and Harold Ramirez won the right-field job after a strong Summer Camp,” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote."
The move also helps Mattingly with the strategy of this shortened season. Jon Berti is now an option to play in the outfield or to be used as a utility player on the infield. Also, Berti’s speed is something the club can take advantage of. Villar is expected to play in the outfield as mentioned, but he is also able to play at second base or slide over to third base. And there is still the possibility of the DH role as well.
"“We just think this is the best thing for Monte,” Mattingly said. “But absolutely, if he came in here and had been our best hitter, and showed us that at-bat after at-bat after at-bat that this guy is just absolutely ready, then I think he would have knocked the door straight down, and he’d be here.”"
This wasn’t the only move the Miami Marlins made prior to their game with Atlanta. Prospects Jesus Sanchez and Lewin Diaz will also be headed to Jupiter after the exhibition games. Neither were added to the 30-man roster. Both could still be added to the team’s roster this season.