6. SP Zach Thompson
2021 Season Stats: 2-6, 3.16 ERA, 1.117 WHIP, 22 BB, 52 K
When looking at surprises for the Marlins this season, Bender might be at the top of the list, but Thompson is 100% right there with him. After signing with Miami as a free agent in the offseason, Thompson was forced into big league action for the first time in his career early in the season, and has been phenomenal as a mainstay in the Marlins starting rotation since.
There is no denying how good Thompson has been, but will he have a spot in the rotation next season due to Miami’s loaded pitching depth? The 27-year-old right-hander deserves to stay with the big league club going into next season in either the rotation or bullpen, and could guarantee that with a strong final seven-to-eight starts.
5. C Alex Jackson
2021 Season Stats: .149 AVG, .219 OBP, .299 SLG, .518 OPS, 3 HR, 8 RBI
Acquired at the trade deadline from the Atlanta Braves, Jackson instantly joined the big league club in Miami quickly making an impact by hitting his first career major league home run in game No. 2 with the Marlins. While the 25-year-old has struggled at times since, he has shown flashes at times of possibly being the Marlins top catcher.
With the uncertainty surrounding the Marlins catching position entering the 2022 season, Jackson is certainly a candidate that could fill the starting role. While his overall numbers aren’t the most eye-popping since joining the Marlins, Jackson has only played 22 games with the club, and could solidify himself as the starting catcher entering 2022 with a strong September.