Ranking the Miami Marlins’ Top 10 Prospects Heading Into 2015

By Drew Jenkins

Ranking the Miami Marlins’ Top 10 Prospects Heading Into 2015

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Being a small-market team, the Miami Marlins rely on young, cheap talent to stay competitive. Though they missed out on the playoffs, they finally showed signs of life in 2014 thanks to a solid core of young talent. They have graduated many prospects to the big leagues in recent years, but still have some intriguing talent in their system that could add to their young core soon. Here's a look at how their top 10 prospects stack up.

10. Austin Barnes

Austin Barnes Miami Marlins
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10. Austin Barnes

Austin Barnes Miami Marlins
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Barnes is not the type of player who stands out on a team, and his raw tools are only average. But, Barnes knows how to play the game, and his instincts and makeup are off the chart. He hit .304/.398/.472 between High-A and Double-A in 2014, and he has a nice overall offensive skill-set. He is also versatile, having proved himself capable of playing catcher and second, and also seeing time at third. He is the type of player every manager wants.

9. Domingo German

Domingo German Miami Marlins
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9. Domingo German

Domingo German Miami Marlins
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German has a career 2.33 minor league ERA, and he had another solid year in 2014, posting a 2.48 ERA, 8.2 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 at Low-A. The 22-year-old righty stands out for his control and command, which makes his stuff play up. He has a nice, above-average power sinker and an above-average changeup, but his slider is well behind them. If it develops, however, German could turn into a very good No. 3 starter.

8. Trevor Williams

Miami Marlins
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8. Trevor Williams

Miami Marlins
Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports

Williams is a similar pitcher to German in that he is a control and command specialist, but he is a level ahead, having posted a 3.12 ERA, 6.5 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 at High-A and a Double-A cameo in 2014. His fastball is an above-average pitch, and he pairs it with a solid-average curveball and changeup. He likely will not be more than a fourth or fifth starter, but he is a pretty sure bet to get there thanks to his polish.

7. Jose Urena

Jose Urena Miami Marlins
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7. Jose Urena

Jose Urena Miami Marlins
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Urena had a solid 2014, posting a 3.33 ERA, 6.7 K/9 and 1.6 BB/8 as a 22-year-old at Double-A. His above-average fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s, and he pairs it with an above-average changeup and a solid, though inconsistent slider. His above-average command and deceptive delivery make his stuff play up. The upside of a mid-rotation starter is there, but his slider does need some more development for him to get there.

6. Avery Romero

Avery Romero Miami Marlins
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6. Avery Romero

Avery Romero Miami Marlins
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A 21-year-old, Romero stands out for his advanced hitting abilities. He had a solid year in 2014, hitting .320/.367/.432 in 92 Low-A and 26 High-A games. He needs to slightly tone down an aggressive approach, but Romero should post a high average and on-base percentage, and he is likely to grow into average or a tick above power hitter. He is a strong defender at second despite underwhelming range and could get a look at third in the future.

5. Anthony DeSclafani

Anthony DeSclafani Miami Marlins
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5. Anthony DeSclafani

Anthony DeSclafani Miami Marlins
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After posting consistently solid numbers in the minors, DeSclafani made his MLB debut in 2014, making five starts with middling results. He has an above-average fastball and slider and a changeup that has developed into an average pitch. He is yet another Marlins prospect with solid control and command, which helps him get the most out of his package. DeSclafani is a budding mid-rotation starter, and he should impact the Marlins in 2015.

4. Justin Nicolino

Justin Nicolino Miami Marlins
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4. Justin Nicolino

Justin Nicolino Miami Marlins
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Nicolino continues the trend of Marlins control specialists, but his is the best of any Marlins' pitching prospect, and possibly of any pitching prospect in baseball. His fastball, changeup and curveball are all solid, but his 4.3 K/9 in 2014 was concerning. Despite that, he still posted a 2.85 ERA at Double-A. With some more development of his stuff, Nicolino could be a very good No. 3 starter, and he could impact the Marlins in 2015.

3. J.T. Realmuto

J.T. Realmuto Miami Marlins
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3. J.T. Realmuto

J.T. Realmuto Miami Marlins
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The 23-year-old catcher put things together in 2014, hitting .299/.369/.461 at Double-A and getting a cup of coffee in the big leagues. He had shown offensive potential before, but he finally has the results to show for it. He could be a tick above-average hitter when all is said and done. He has solid athleticism, which helps make him an above-average defender. Put everything together and he could be an above-average everyday catcher soon.

2. Tyler Kolek

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2. Tyler Kolek

Miami Marlins
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Kolek, the second overall pick in this year's draft, was labeled by some as the hardest-throwing pitcher ever drafted. Just 18, Kolek has consistently topped 100 mph with his fastball and easily sits in the upper-90s. His curveball and slider have both shown plus potential, but both remain fairly raw, as does his changeup that is behind those two pitches. His command and control also need refinement. He is a project, but has clear ace potential.

1. Andrew Heaney

Andrew Heaney Miami Marlins
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1. Andrew Heaney

Andrew Heaney Miami Marlins
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Heaney made his big-league debut in 2014, making five starts, and he posted a solid 3.28 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A. The lefty has a well above-average fastball, plus slider and an above-average changeup that developed quickly. He also has good command and control, and he knows how to pitch. Heaney may not have quite the stuff to be an ace, but he should be a No. 2 pitcher and has little left to prove in the minors.

 

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