Florida Marlins Top 5 Prospects
The Marlins have a pretty good farm system, but it has its holes. Of course, Cameron Maybin is a great flagbearer, but beyond him there is just a mix of either low-ceiling or high-risk types. However, this system could be on the brink of a significant facelift, as there are rumblings of yet another offseason Marlins firesale.
1. CF Cameron Maybin
Who?: One of the premier prospects in baseball. Maybin has always had top-shelf tools. He has great bat speed, plus speed with a lot of raw power and he’s a great defender. For the most part, the production has been there as well. He has excellent patience (161 walks in 1289 career minor league PA) and has had shown pretty good in-game power for someone who just turned 21 this April. The question mark that Maybin has always faced is: STRIKEOUTS. Maybin struck out 116 times in 445 PA in 2006, 91 times in 385 PA last year and started this year with 72 strikeouts in 229 April/May PA. Since then Maybin has made some strides, with a not great but much improved 51 K in 224 PA. (Maybin has missed some time with a back injury and, of all things, a spider bite).
Projection: Maybin could easily become a .300/.400/.500 CF with great defense. He’d need to cut back on the strikeouts, though.
2. OF Michael Stanton
Who?: Did somebody say strikeouts? Stanton has struck out in 28.9% of his PA this year. A number like that in Low-A would often cause me to completely disregard a prospect - so why is Stanton ranked #2 here with a high spot reserved for him in next year’s Pre-Season Top 100? He might be the #1 power prospect in baseball. As an 18-year-old - 18! - Stanton has hit 39 HR this year. Remarkable. 18 and 39 - why would you need to look past those two numbers?
Projection: Ceiling… how about Sammy Sosa? Be warned that with a prospect like this, there’s a lot of Jose Hernandez and Russell Branyan on the way to that, though - as Brandon Wood fans are aware.
3. 1B Logan Morrison
Who?: One who would belong under the ‘low ceiling’ column, but a good prospect nonetheless. Morrison is a complete hitter, above average in contact (14.4 K%), patience (10.3 BB%) with pretty good power - his 13 HR don’t do him justice. However, he certainly doesn’t stand out in any way, and it’s hard to see him turning into anything more than an above-average 1B.
Projection: Lyle Overbay is the first guy to come to mind, but Morrison should have a bit more power than that. Morrison will spend next in AA, and considering how thin the Marlins seem likely to be come 2010, he could easily see a lot of major league time in 2 years.
4. C Kyle Skipworth
Who?: A high-ceiling offense-first catcher who was ranked tenth on my value board. His pro debut this year was nothing less than terrible in every facet of the game, which is why he’s been downgraded. However, the list of all-star caliber plays who struggled in their pro debuts is almost cliché now and to write Skipworth off right now would be extremely foolish. His bat (and even his defense) have a lot of potential.
Projection: He could certainly be a guy who hits .300 with good power in the majors, but then again he might not reach AA. That’s the problem with these high school picks.
5. 2B Chris Coghlan
Who?: Coghlan is a guy who will likely do just enough to get by. His plate approach is excellent, but pretty much every farm system has at least one MIF guy with a K:BB of around 1:1; only a tiny fraction of them turn into anything worth mentioning. (Dustin Pedroia, Alexi Casilla types). Coghlan adds a lot of speed (34/44 in SB) and, the Marlins hope, enough power to be a productive hitter. He certainly isn’t a slugger, but 44 XBH is enough to put him a step in front of the cookie-cutter non-prospect MIFs.
Projection: An above-average 2B. If Uggla is traded in the off-season, perhaps he’ll even start Opening Day. The Marlins certainly aren’t afraid to start young players.
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