Miami Marlins have a middle of the order bat
By Neil Raymond
The Miami Marlins had a breakout happening as last season was coming to a close. Who was breaking out? Bryan De La Cruz. Our new manager has every intention of giving De La Cruz 500 AB and it seems that he will start him in LF. This would make sense, as the defensively deficient and injury-prone Jorge Soler can then focus on hitting from the DH spot. As Kim Ng hesitates to improve our lineup, let's look at the positives that we already have.
The Miami Marlins can expect a big season from Bryan De La Cruz.
Bryan De La Cruz showed a lot of potential in the Minor Leagues for the Houston Astros. He batted .289/.367/.375 in 2018 in the single A and A+ levels, and then bated .280/.340/.428 at the A+ and AA levels for them in 2019. After skipping the 2020 season due to the pandemic, he batted an amazing .324/.362/.518 for them in 2021 in AAA. His reward was a trade to the Miami Marlins, where he would finally be given starting time in the Major Leagues.
De La Cruz received his first promotion to the Major Leagues with the Miami Marlins in 2021, and he batted .296/.356/.427 in 58 games and 199 AB with 5 HR and 19 RBI. This was a solid debut, but a slow start in 2022 got him sent back down to AAA in 2022, where he batted .320/.370/.620. De La Cruz's 2022 batting line of .252/.294/.432 in 115 games and 329 AB doesn't impress upon first view. However, he batted .388/.419/.718 to close out the season and .310/.342/.535 in the second half as a whole. He also had 13 HR and 43 RBI for the season.
Bryan De La Cruz has been working on adjustments to his swing. I think that it's something to pay attention to, as it led to his breakout last season. The Miami Marlins need offensive help and unfortunately De La Cruz isn't enough, but the fact is The Fish have a middle of the order bat that could do even better in 2023.