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Top 15 Prospects: Florida Marlins


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1. Cameron Maybin CF Age: 21 Minor League Level last year (MLL): AA


Obviously the most well known Marlins prospect. Maybin was the centerpiece of the Willis/Cabrera trade. He may be the best prospect possessing all five tools. In 2008 he put up numbers of .277/.376/.456 (BA/OBP/SLG), those certainly are not great numbers, but I am not going to drop him because of them. He hit 13 HRs, but should still develop more power than that. He is a good fielder, and has already begun to turn his speed into stolen bases, with 21 in 2008. Maybin does strike out a lot - but, like many Marlin's prospects he also has a high walk rate. Personally, I feel as though Maybin would benefit from a full year in AAA during the 2009 season, but do not expect it to happen. If Maybin can cut back on the strikeouts, and start finding his power, he is going to be a superstar, hopefully starting in 2010.


2. Mike Stanton OF-RF Age: 19 MLL: A-


Stanton is so hard to evaluate. There are three numbers that really stick out on his stat sheet: 1. he hit 39 HRs in 2008 2. 153 strikeouts 3. He is only 19 years old. I am going to choose to ignore the strikeouts. Why? .293/.382/.611 No player in any minor league system has a line that good. His .611 SLG% was 90 points higher than the next player's (Frederick Freeman) in the South Atlantic League. Now the strikeouts could end up being detrimental as he rises to higher levels, but I believe his other numbers support my belief that Stanton will become a real special player, and one of the best corner outfielders in baseball.


3. Matt Dominguez 3B Age: 19 MLL: A-


You will not find a someone bigger on Dominguez than me. He is a complete stud. He was drafted due to his great fielding ability - future gold glove like ability. But, in his first pro season Dominguez smashed the ball for 18 HRs while hitting for a .296 BA, and .853 OPS (on base + slugging) in low A ball. Dominguez also has the fourth highest slugging % in the South Atlantic League at just a tick under .500. He also struck out only 68 times all season. The bad, he only walked 28 times, but that is because he is still an undisciplined hitter, which makes his other numbers unbelievable. Dominguez has a bright future in front of him, and will certainly be one of the stars of this team when they go for their next championship... maybe 2012?


4. Ryan Tucker RHRP Age: 22 MLL: AA


Tucker is the Marlin's closer of the future, and with Kevin Gregg likely headed out the door that future could be in 2009. Tucker was only recently converted into a reliever, but certainly has the stuff to be an excellent late innings guy. He commands his fastball well, and has a good developing slider that he throws in the low to mid 90s.


5. Kyle Skipworth C Age: 18 MLL: R


The #6 pick in the 2008 draft. Skipworth has an incredible amount of raw power, he can hit the ball to either poll from the left side of the plate. Skipworth also possesses a great arm behind the plate, but need work receiving back there. He struggled in his first taste of pro ball, but should improve next year.


6. Chris Coghlan 2B Age: 23 MLL: AA


Another Marlin's prospect I like a lot. He has great plate patience with a K/BB ratio of 1:1. Coghlan stole 34 bases in 2008, and is good fielder at second base. If Uggla is traded during the offseason Coghlan may be able to step in immediately, and I would bet he would be solid from the start.


7. Sean West LHSP Age: 22 MLL: A+


With the graduation of Chris Volstad, Sean West becomes the Marlins' best starting pitching prospect. West had an effective season in high A ball, striking out 92, in 100 innings with an ERA of 2.41. His biggest problem is that West does not go deep enough into games to be a starter in the major leagues. Nevertheless, there is a #3, or maybe even #2 pitcher in there.


8. Gaby Sanchez 1B Age: 25 MLL: AA


Up until recently Gaby Sanchez has been a catcher, but his bat plays at first. He hits for a good average, .304 in 2008, hits for pretty good power, 17 HRs in 2008, and best of all is Sanchez' 1:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Sanchez probably will not be a star, but he is a very developed hitter, and you know what you are getting with him. If Mike Jacobs is traded this offseason Sanchez is one of the likeliest candidates to replace him - assuming Uggla doe not make the switch.


9. Logan Morrison 1B Age: 21 MLL: A+


Morrison is a low ceiling first basemen. He has all the hitting tools, he finished 2008 at .322/.402/.494 (BA/OBP/SLG%). Morrsion hit only 13 HRs, but he has more power than that. It will be interesting to see Morrison, and Sanchez battle each other for the chance to play first base for the Marlins over the next couple of years -- then again Sanchez is four years older, and could spend some time with the major league team, and then get traded to avoid a salary jump in time for Morrison to take his spot.


10. Issac Galloway OF Age: 19 MLL: R


The biggest steal of the 2008 draft. Galloway slipped to Marlins in the 8th round despite having 1st round talent. Galloway is a 5-tool outfielder, unlike most his age Galloway's power, speed, and hitting ability are already well developed, although he does not excel at any one of them. Galloway should move through the system pretty quickly, he also does not seem like the type of players to have any hiccups along the way. A perennial 20/20 player with above average defense is certainly possibly.


11. Brett Sinkbeil RHSP Age: 24 MLL: AA


Last year Baseball America ranked him the Marlins' #2 prospect. Now, I do not expect much from him. I think he is best suited as a middle reliever, which is how he will start the 2009 season.


12. Jason Raynor OF Age: 24 MLL: AA


Raynor's greatest tool is his speed, as he stole 48 bags last season. He still strikes out an alarming 122 times - alarming at age 24 at least, especially since he does not have great power- however, Raynor also posted a .402 OBP. He does have some power, 13 HRs last season, and is a fine fielder. Raynor's biggest problem is the depth the Marlins' have in the outfield, with Jeremy Hermida, and Josh Willingham already stationing the corners, and Maybin likely to start in center in 2009, there is nowhere for Raynor to go, but the bench.


13. Gaby Hernandez RHSP Age: 22 MLL: AAA/AA


There are a lot of people who really like Hernandez, and feel as though he can be a solid #3 starter this upcoming season, but I am not among them. At best he's an adequate #4, or 5 starter, but nothing more. He just has not showed me the numbers at the higher levels, or in his time with the Marlins.


14. Aaron Thompson LHSP Age: 21 MLL: AA


I have not given up on Thompson yet, but he doe have a lot to prove next season. All of his numbers plummeted this season, especially his K rate. Thompson is still only 21, so, do not be surprised if he makes the necessary adjustments, and springs back up into the top ten next season.


15. Bryan Peterson OF Age: 22 MLL: AA/A


An unheralded player. Peterson had a great statistical year at three levels of the minors. Peterson hit .293, with a .370 OBP, and .848 OPS, slightly above average numbers. What really impressed me was his 23 HRs, and 23 SBs. I am not sure what to expect from Peterson, but he is someone I will keep an eye on the next couple of years.



Strengths: Every position is filled. A possible 2012 lineup could look something like this:


C - Skipworth

1B - Morrison/Sanchez

2B - Coghlan

SS - Hanley Ramirez

3B - Dominguez

LF - Stanton

CF - Maybin

RF - Galloway/Hermida


That is a lineup the Marlins can win a championship with. The Marlins have a large number of potential plus power guys in Maybin, Stanton, Skipworth, Dominguez, Morrison, Sanchez, and possibly Peterson.


Weaknesses: Pitching. There are only five pitchers on this list, and none of them equate to a front of the rotation type of starting pitcher. But, the Marlins did just graduate Chris Volstad, a #1 or 2 pitcher, and still have Josh Johnson, so they may be fine without much help from the farm. Otherwise the Marlins do not have any weaknesses.

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