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The Signs Of Life In Florida: Rebuilding The Marlins


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He should have proof read the article before posting it, but either way here it is:


For all the Marlins? fans out there, I just want to say sorry for the tough winter and eventual bitterness you will are destined to feel during the dog days of summer. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, there is a light at the end of this rebuilding tunnel that you traveled down only eight short years ago and it is right up the middle of the 2006 Florida Marlins.


One of the old songs in baseball is to if you want to play championship level ball, you have to be very good up the middle of the defense. While the Marlins still miss a few pieces of this middle component, they have a solid double play base in second baseman Dan Uggla and shortstop Hanley Ramirez and to a lesser extent in centerfield with Reggie Abercrombie.


First, Uggla at second base, is already one of the better hitting second basemen in the National League. He is hitting .312 on the young season and has deceptive power for a second baseman. He is third in the National League in slugging percentage at .461, behind only Craig Biggio and Chase Utley. On defense, he has been a rock for the Marlins, committing only two errors in his 38 games played thus far and has a .990 fielding percentage, which is good for a tie for second in the National League behind Jose Vidro and tied with Orlando Hudson. When thinking of Uggla, think of Marcus Giles of the Atlanta Braves behind Uggla is a perfect number 2 hitter who can hold down the second base position from both a fielding and batting standpoint.


His double-play counterpart, Hanley Ramirez, came to Florida with much fanfare, being a superstar prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization. Like some of his numbers in the minor leagues, Hanley Ramirez can flat rake the ball for both power and average, but can have his struggles in the field. He is currently hitting at a .331 clip, just 2 points behind Edgar Renteria of the Braves, leader for all National League shortstops, and sits atop NL shortstops in slugging percentage with a .481 mark.


However in the field, he has lapses in judgment, which leads to errors on his part. Probably best suited for 3-spot in the order because his bat is too good to go any lower, but his patience at the plate isn?t good enough for the leadoff spot. Think Miguel Tejada of the Baltimore Orioles when thinking of Ramirez down the road.


Finally, the Marlins also have a quality centerfielder in Reggie Abercrombie, who is the polar opposite of Juan Pierre, their starter last year. Abercrombie has serious power and a good build at 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds.


Still, he has good athleticism so that he can cover the ground necessary of a centerfielder. He is still a little too inconsistent right now, but down the road, he should be a mainstay in the middle of the line-up.


Add these young, budding stars to the two-punch combo of Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis and the Marlins have a starting place in their rebuilding quest. Until they reach the final goal Marlins fans, just sit back and watch the development, even at the pain of multiple 100 loss seasons on the horizon.



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