The Miami Marlins defense has interesting projections

Jean Segura
Jean Segura / Jasen Vinlove/Miami Marlins/GettyImages

The Miami Marlins made some controversial defensive alignment changes for 2023. I analyzed the team's defense before and found it to have actually improved. It's useful to see however what Fangraphs projections are for it. Is second base worse with Jazz Chisholm Jr. being replaced by Luis Arraez? Is CF better with Jazz instead of Bryan De La Cruz? Is 3B better with Jean Segura instead of Brian Anderson? Is LF better with De La Cruz instead of Jorge Soler? Is SS better with Joey Wendle instead of Miguel Rojas?

The Miami Marlins defense analyzed by Fangraphs.

I'm using Fangraphs "def" stat for simplicity, with ATC projections (the most accurate) for 2023. Let's start with 2B. Jazz Chisholm Jr. received a 2.4 rating for his work at 2B in 2022, but he was also injured for most of it. Luis Arraez is projected for -1.0, which is a decline unfortunately. At SS the Miami Marlins received a 14.3 rating for Miguel Rojas. Joey Wendle is projected for a 2.2 rating. These aren't good projections to say the least.

At third base, Brian Anderson received a -4.1 defensive rating for 2022. It could've been worse as he missed time on the injured list. Jordan Groshans handled most of the rest of the workload at third base, and received a -0.7 defensive rating. Jean Segura is expected to produce a 3.0 defensive rating. That's a definitive positive for The Fish. Turning to CF, Bryan De La Cruz received a -7.0 rating in 2022, but his ratings weren't updated to reflect his upcoming work in LF.

Jazz Chisholm Jr. is projected for a 0.2 defensive rating in CF. LF was a mess in 2022, with Jorge Soler receiving a -3.6 defensive rating in the short time that he actually played prior to season-ending injury. That is of course an upgrade.

When we add up the defensive ratings for 2022 we get 2.0. We get 4.4 (without the De La Cruz projection). This shows that the Miami Marlins defense is indeed expected to improve in 2023 NOT decline.

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