The Miami Marlins are starting to get used to being a below average team. Last season they dealt with injuries to stars Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez as both missed major time. The Marlins without those guys are nothing special, and that was apparent. Now that we’re heading into a new season, it seems that the front office thinks Miami can compete if their stars stay healthy, because their moves don’t suggest either a ‘rebuild’ or a ‘win now’ attitude.
Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Johnson, Edwin Jackson, Justin Maxwell, Destin Hood, Dylan Axelrod, Paul Clemens, Tim Berry, Nefi Ogando, Mike Strong, Dustin McGowan, Troy Patton, Xavier Scruggs, Dan Black, Adrian Nieto, Francisco Arcia, Maxx Tissenbaum, Robert Andino
Henderson Alvarez, Casey McGehee, Donovan Solano, Erik Cordier, Trevor Williams, Mike Strong
Biggest Strength - Bullpen
AJ Ramos has proven that he is a stud reliever after he took the closer's role and ran with it last season. Miami also had a couple more guys suggest they could be legitimate MLB assets in Carter Capps, Mike Dunn, and Kyle Barraclough. All three have had small sample sizes in the majors, but show promise. The combo of all of these guys coming out of the pen will probably be the biggest strength outside of the two super-studs on the team. Yet, the uncertainty of the health of Capps could keep this bullpen from being elite.
Biggest Weakness - Offense
The fact that Giancarlo hasn’t hit 40 homers in a year yet is because of two things. The first is a consistent dosage of DL stints. The second is the fact that there is no reason for any team to ever pitch to him. He has terrible lineup protection and is the only legitimate offensive threat on the team. Christian Yelich could be good, but he’s not scary. The same goes for JT Realmuto and Roberto Ozuna. Justin Bour might be the next best threat on the team, but he hasn’t proven himself with full time at bats in the bigs yet. This team needs to get some protection for Stanton before it will be a legit offensive team and contend.
Something To Keep An Eye On - JT Realmuto
This catcher broke out last year seemingly out of nowhere. Coming into this year he is now expected to be the everyday catcher for the Marlins. If he can produce the way he did last year, he will undoubtedly be considered a Top 10 catcher in a league that is a little thin in that department at the moment. He has the tools to get on base at a pretty good clip with slightly above average power, plus he actually steals bases which is unusual to see out of a catcher. If he could take a few steps forward this year, it could potentially be a huge help for an offense that needs it.
Projected Lineup… Lefties*… Switch Hitters^
- Dee Gordon* - 2B
- Christian Yelich* - LF
- Giancarlo Stanton - RF
- Justin Bour* - 1B
- Marcell Ozuna - CF
- JT Realmuto - C
- Martin Prado - 3B
- Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Projected Rotation… Lefties*
- Jose Fernandez
- Wei-Yin Chen*
- Jarred Cosart
- Tom Koehler
- Edwin Jackson
Carter Capps - Closer
Fantasy Bargain - Martin Prado
This is a very thin year for third base in fantasy, which makes Prado a great late round selection. First of all, there is little to no competition for his position. Secondly, he may be eligible in the outfield as well. Most importantly, Prado consistently puts up good percentage numbers. While there isn’t much power or speed upside, you know you’ll still get quality at bats that won’t ruin your teams average.
Overrated Fantasy Option - Jose Fernandez
It is what it is. When he pitches he will be unreal like he normally is. The truth is that fantasy owners can't and shouldn't trust him to stay healthy at all. On top of that, the fact that he wants a trade and doesn’t want to stay a part of the Marlins could hurt his focus. If he falls later in drafts he’s definitely worth the risk, but it might be risky to draft him in the top 35 overall because of injury concerns.
The plan for the Marlins is fairly confusing. It would probably be a better use of their time to totally tear their team down and start from scratch, but they aren’t doing that. They don’t really have many prospects that look like stars in their system and they don’t look like they’ll compete this year either. They will probably be a little better this year than last if Giancarlo and Jose stay healthy, but it won’t make up the 20 games they need to compete for their division. This team looks like it will win about 74 games.