Miami Marlins: Looking at the pitchers of the future

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 21: Sandy Alcantara #22 of the Miami Marlins talks with teammate Bryan Holaday #28 in the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 21, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 21: Sandy Alcantara #22 of the Miami Marlins talks with teammate Bryan Holaday #28 in the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 21, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /
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The Miami Marlins pitching staff will look a lot different in 2025 than it does right now.

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Elieser Hernandez hasn’t had the best of luck in his two outings on the mound this season.

9 IP 3 H 0 R 2 BB 10 K

It’s a great stat line with no wins for his effort. The Marlins haven’t been able to give him the support he needs. The team is now riding a three-game losing streak after having won six straight games. For those of us watching this team play on the daily, this is a team with the talent to make a playoff run – even with a makeshift lineup.

And then there are the usual growing pains. I might have been too bold a few days ago projecting this team being ready for a playoff run. But I do see it as a roster that can compete for the postseason and make noise toward the end of 2020.

There is still hope for the Marlins as they are a better than average club with a pitching staff that is still meshing due to changes in the bullpen. And how this team finishes its shortened season will be determined how the pitching staff continues to grow like Hernandez and other arms that have pressed into action.

Joe Frisaro of MLB.com was asked in his most recent “Inbox” feature what the starting rotation will look like in 2025. As many of you who read my work here at Marlin Maniac know, I have written many times about the logjam that may occur from the Miami Marlins building a string pitching foundation for years to come.

Many MLB teams would love to have the problem the Miami Marlins front office might be faced with in a couple of seasons, deciding who stays in South Florida and who will be sent elsewhere, hopefully bringing solid hitting help in return. He also shed some light on who he believes the team’s ace will be down the road.

More from Marlin Maniac

"“As we look into the future, my Marlins No. 1 starter in 2025 might surprise you. Meet the ace in the future – he’s the same as in the present. It’s Sandy Alcantara, Miami’s Opening Day starter in 2020. Of all players on the roster, Alcantara, in my opinion, should be Miami’s top priority for a contract extension,” Frisaro writes."

Alcantara is as important to the growth of this team as any player on the roster. If Brian Anderson is the every-day player the team should lockup to a long-term deal, then the former St. Louis Cardinals prospect has that same kind of impact. Both could headline a team that challenges for a World Series title down the road.

The pieces around Alcantara are the ones the Marlins front office must figure out. Manager Don Mattingly has plenty to choose from. Seven of the team’s top 12 prospects are pitchers with Sixto Sanchez leading the way. Fans may not see Sanchez in a Marlins uniform this season, but he will be a serious candidate to make the rotation in 2021.

Nick Neidert is a starter playing the role of a reliever already on the team’s roster. Edward Cabrera might be as good as Sanchez in time. And we saw Jorge Guzman in a brief relief stint already at the Major League level.

Did I mention there are more players to consider? It’s exciting to know this is now a farm system other organizations covet.

Frisaro offered more insight into how he sees the rotation forming. It does look a lot different than the one Mattingly set at the start of 2020.

"“Next, I’m going with Sixto Sánchez, the 22-year-old, who is Miami’s top prospect, and No. 24 overall on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list. No. 3 is left-hander, Braxton Garrett, who has the best curveball in the system,” Frisaro explains. “No. 4 is right-hander Edward Cabrera, the third right-hander, who throws 100 mph. And No. 5 is left-hander Dax Fulton, the 18-year-old who was Miami’s second-round pick in June.”"

That clouds the picture of what happens with Caleb Smith, Jordan Yamamoto, Robert Dugger, Neidert, Pablo Lopez, and Hernandez. It also means Jose Urena is almost guaranteed to be traded. And yes, Frisaro believes this year’s top pick, Max Meyer will be the Marlins closer of the future.

It makes for an interesting conversation over the next four years. It also means there is great debate on how this all plays out and there will be many thoughts on how the organization uses its prospects. Most all, it signifies a great future for the Miami Marlins at the Major League level and its feeder system.

Next. The Miami Marlins won't rush their top prospect. dark

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