As part of the new rules for the 2020 Major League season, each of the 30 organizations will maintain a 60-man player pool for the duration of the campaign. Some members of the player pool will feature on the active Major League roster while others will work out at an
As part of the new rules for the 2020 Major League season, each of the 30 organizations will maintain a 60-man player pool for the duration of the campaign. Some members of the player pool will feature on the active Major League roster while others will work out at an alternate training site in the hopes of staying fresh for a potential callup or getting in much-needed development time.
The MiLB.com staff is rounding up the notable prospects in each organization’s 60-man player pool and analyzing what the new system will mean for their 2020 seasons.
A system and team on the rise, the Marlins' roster pool follows suit with a bevy of the team's best prospects. Every single one of the club's top-10 prospects are included in Summer Camp, which includes five players on MLB.com's overall Top 100.
And to put the icing on the cake, Miami also officially inked its top Draft pick, Max Meyer, and expect him to join the club at camp. Nine of the team's 10-best prospects already have been -- or were expected to be -- at the two highest levels of the Minors, so there is a strong possibility multiple prospects could make their Major League debuts for the Marlins this season.
Sixto Sanchez, RHP: An easy add to the player pool, the club’s current top prospect is expected to work out in Jupiter with many of the other young players at the alternate site. The right-hander, acquired from the Phillies in the J.T. Realmuto trade, has overpowering stuff that easily makes him the best hurler in Miami’s system and the fifth-best righty prospect in baseball. Sanchez spent the bulk of his time with Double-A Jacksonville in 2019, where he posted a 2.53 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP across 103 innings. The Dominican Republic native has near-impeccable command; his 19.0 strikeout-to-walk percentage was ninth-best in Double-A among pitchers with 100 innings. In an ordinary year, Sanchez would have likely seen a callup to the Majors. In a shortened season if injury help is needed, he should be on the short list of hurlers.
Max Meyer, RHP: Even without throwing a professional inning yet, Meyer was signed and added to the Marlins' roster pool this summer. The right-hander was taken third overall in this year's First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Minnesota, wielding a fastball that can regularly hit triple digits. He has pitched out of the bullpen before, but Miami views Meyer as a long-term candidate for the starting rotation. In college, Meyer whiffed 187 batters in 148 innings and kept a 2.13 ERA. If the Marlins decide to give him a crack in a few innings -- whether it’s out of the bullpen or starting -- he does nearly have big league-ready weapons with his fastball-slider combination. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reported that Meyer will likely work out in Jupiter. He's not ranked yet, but will undoubtedly check in at or near the top. Don't be shocked to see him make his debut in The Show this year.
JJ Bleday, OF: The first-round pick from 2019 is also in the prospect-laden pool party. A college hitter with an advanced approach, Bleday showed flashes of that in his stint with Class A Advanced Jupiter, batting .257/.311/.379 in 38 games. Miami's second-ranked prospect did get 13 at-bats in the Grapefruit League this year, but without any at-bats in Double-A or above yet, it’d be hard to imagine Bleday seeing game action at Marlins Park in 2020.
Jazz Chisholm, SS: In a short period of time, Chisholm became the Marlins’ No. 3 prospect and solidified his chance to one day be an everyday shortstop in Miami. Acquired last summer from the D-backs, Chisholm hit three dingers and amassed an .877 OPS over 23 games in the system. Well known for the power he brings, the middle infielder has 56 Minor League homers -- 21-plus the past two seasons -- since 2016. A solid glove in tow, the big knock on Chisholm has been his penchant for strikeouts, whiffing at a rate over 25 percent. Swings-and-misses aside, though, and with the wide range of skills, he should compete with Miguel Rojas for time at short.
Jesús Sánchez, OF: Another player who came over in a deal (with Tampa Bay) at last year’s trade deadline, Sanchez already has reached Triple-A and could potentially vie for some playing time in Miami’s outfield. The club's fourth-ranked prospect was hitting .275 with a .736 OPS with Double-A Montgomery last year before a promotion to Triple-A Durham, where he struggled to hit slightly north of the Mendoza line. He did pick things up in the Pacific Coast League after the trade, mashing four homers over the final 17 games. He has a propensity to strike out (100 whiffs last year), but possesses the potential to be an impact player when he’s on his game.
Edward Cabrera, RHP: Cabrera had a breakout campaign, at least statistically, in 2019 between Jupiter and Jacksonville. Miami's No. 5 prospect recorded 116 strikeouts in 96 2/3 innings, maintaining a 2.23 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. He wields a plus-plus fastball and a strong slider that enables him miss bats. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see Cabrera get a few innings for the Marlins at some point this year when a need arises.
Braxton Garrett, LHP: It was a tumultuous debut for Garrett, who needed Tommy John surgery four starts into his professional career in 2017. But the southpaw returned to action last year and displayed why he was a first-round talent in the first place. The sixth-ranked Marlins prospect racked up 118 strikeouts in 105 innings with a 3.34 ERA (3.73 FIP) over 20 starts. He pitched just 1 2/3 innings at the end of the year at Double-A, so he will likely need more seasoning before seeing the big league mound.
Lewin Diaz, 1B: Diaz was in the middle of his best season as a pro before getting traded to the Marlins last July. The slugging first baseman crushed a career-high 27 long balls, eight of which were hit for Double-A Jacksonville after the deal. Miami's No. 7 prospect was having a nice spring with an .826 OPS in 13 games before the shutdown, and if the club needs a lefty-swinging power bat, it might look internally toward Diaz to fill that role.
Trevor Rogers, LHP: He had some ups and downs in his pro debut in 2018, but Rogers was plenty consistent in 2019. Largely with Jupiter, the left-hander finished the year second in the Florida State League with 122 strikeouts and his 2.53 ERA ranked fourth among those at the Class A Advanced level. The eighth-ranked Marlins prospect is still likely a little bit away from making his big league debut, but Rogers has made his above-average command his calling card.
Monte Harrison, OF: With all of the tools in the world to be a successful outfielder, Harrison has as good a chance as any to crack the squad’s Opening Day roster. He has a combination of power and speed, belting 28 homers since joining the Marlins organization in 2018. But the 24-year-old has had issues making consistent contact and has whiffed 677 times in 520 Minor League games. The team's No. 9 prospect had 18 extra-base hits and a .792 OPS in 58 games, but missed over two months last summer with a wrist injury. Even taking his strikeout issues into consideration, Harrison could very well spend this year with the big club.
Nick Neidert, RHP: Had he not injured his right knee early last year, Neidert likely would have made his pro debut by now. He amassed nine starts with Triple-A New Orleans and 13 overall. When healthy, Neidert has plus command and a changeup that helps him get outs without overpowering stuff. In 2018, Miami's No. 10 prospect proved to be a force with a 3.24 ERA and 154 strikeouts in Double-A. He’s right on the cusp of cracking the roster and is a viable option in the back end of the rotation.
Outfielder Jerar Encarnacion is coming off a season in which he lofted a career-best 16 homers between Class A Clinton and Jupiter. He’s slated to work out with the prospects at the alternate site. … Jorge Guzman has an electric fastball and has accumulated 399 punchouts through 396 2/3 innings in the Minors. He could make his debut in the rotation or bullpen. … Jordan Holloway (who possesses a 70-grade fastball and a 60-grade curveball) compiled a career-high 95 innings in 2019, and probably will remain in Jupiter. … Catcher Will Banfield, known for his defense and arm, will attend the camp at the alternate site. He’ll be joined by unranked backstop Brian Navarreto. … Robert Dugger already has Major League service time and will compete for a slot in the rotation … Sterling Sharp and Alex Vesia are options to round out the relief corps.
Andrew Battifarano is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, @AndrewAtBatt.