Written By: Jake Taraska
Follow Him on Twitter: @Jake_Taraska
Follow Prospects Worldwide on Twitter: @ProspectsWorldW
**Right below is the Marlins Top 20 list simplified. Scroll further down for FULL Present/Future Grades, FV, ETA and summaries on EACH PLAYER ranked in the system! Tons of Statistics on each player as well! Some player highlights, future outlooks and more, enjoy!**
If you like Podcasts, Click here to take a listen to the Marlins Top 20 Pod where you can hear our prospect Analysts discuss the Top 5 prospects, and 5 others they find interesting in the system! Who doesn’t like more prospect analysis?
|1||Sixto Sanchez||RHP||Trade with Phillies – 2019|
|2||Max Meyer||RHP||1st Round : 3rd Overall – 2020 Draft|
|3||JJ Bleday||OF||1st Round : 4th Overall – 2019 Draft|
|4||Edward Cabrera||RHP||International FA Signing – 2015|
|5||Jazz Chisholm||SS||Trade with Diamondbacks – 2019|
|6||Lewin Diaz||1B||Trade with Twins – 2019|
|7||Jesus Sanchez||OF||Trade with Rays – 2019|
|8||Braxton Garrett||LHP||1st Round : 7th Overall – 2016 Draft|
|9||Kameron Misner||OF||Supplemental Draft : 35th Overall – 2019 Draft|
|10||Monte Harrison||OF||Trade with Brewers – 2018|
|11||Peyton Burdick||OF||3rd Round – 2019 Draft|
|12||Daxton Fulton||LHP||2nd Round – 2020 Draft|
|13||Jorge Guzman||RHP||Trade with Yankees – 2017|
|14||Jose Salas||SS||International FA Signing – 2019|
|15||Trevor Rogers||LHP||1st Round : 13th Overall – 2017 Draft|
|16||Jerar Encarnacion||OF||International FA Signing – 2015|
|17||Connor Scott||OF||1st Round : 13th Overall – 2018|
|18||Jose Devers||SS||Trade with Yankees – 2017|
|19||Kyle Nicolas||RHP||Competitive Balance Round B- 2020 Draft|
|20||Nick Neidert||RHP||Trade with Mariners – 2017|
1. Sixto Sanchez RHP – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (AA)
22 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’0″ 235 lbs. – ETA 2020
Sanchez was not a big-time prospect when he was signed in 2015. The Phillies took a chance on him and signed Sixto to just $35,000. Sixto Sanchez was the key prospect that was sent to the Marlins by the Phillies in the J.T. Realmuto trade. Getting Sixto is one of the few good moves that the Miami Marlins had done in the last few years. Sixto has the ability to become the Marlins future ACE. He has been dominating the minor leagues and should get called up this year.
The right hander pitched 115 innings with a 2.79 ERA. He posted a solid 23.6 K% and an outstanding 4.6 BB%. His elite combination of both electric stuff and command could be the best combination from any pitcher in the minor leagues. As a 21 year old, Sixto has incredible maturity as a pitcher and demonstrates a strong ability maintain velocity deep into starts.
Not only does Sixto show incredible maturity and command for his age, but his stuff could be the best out of any pitching prospect. Sixto shows a fastball sitting around 97-99, has one of the best changeups in the minors, and has shown an ability to throw a wipeout slider. Sixto has the ability to pitch in the MLB today, but the Marlins may want to wait until they have a better lineup and better bullpen to surround him with.
2. Max Meyer RHP
21 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’0″ 185 lbs. – ETA 2022
**Did not play in 2019 Professionally**
The Marlins recently drafted Max Meyer in the first round of the 2020 MLB draft and they drafted a good one. Meyer is electric and has all the potential to become a future Marlins ACE alongside Sixto Sanchez. The one thing that Marlins have going for them in their farm system are starting pitchers; with the combination of Alcantara, Sixto Sanchez, Max Meyer, Edward Cabrera, and others.
Max Meyer has both a plus-plus fastball and slider. His fastball sits at 93-97, tops at 100, and an average spin rate of 2515 rpm. His slider was the best slider in the 2020 draft. This slider is a wipeout breaking ball that sits 87-90 mph, topping out at 93 mph, and an elite spin rate of 2756 rpm. The beauty of this pitch from Meyer is that he can add or subtract vertical break to this pitch pretty much whenever he wants. When he wants to throw a true slider, he vertical break is only around 3.5 inches. When he wants more depth, he can add an additional 3-5 inches of vertical break. This shows his tremendous feel for this breaking pitch and will be a huge part of his MLB success.
His changeup isn’t anything special at the moment, but it has improved dramatically over his collegiate career. His changeup isn’t really a strikeout a pitch, as it’s more of a pitch to miss barrels and create weak contact. However, it has the potential to become another put-away offering.
Max Meyer’s command is also very good as he’s only walked 41 batters in his 3 years in college. The main reason to be optimistic about Max Meyer future is his pure stuff and his ability to compete every time he pitches. Meyer projects to reach the MLB before the end of the 2022 season, possibly sooner than that. He will also be the Marlins top prospect once Sixto Sanchez reaches the MLB. In my opinion, Meyer projects to be a future top of the rotation starter or even a dominant closer for the Marlins. His competitiveness and his pure stuff can be an incredible asset in the bullpen. However, for now, I think the Marlins will lean more towards him becoming a starter.
3. JJ Bleday OF – Jupiter Hammerheads (A Adv)
22 Years Old – Throw: L – Bat: L – 6’3″ 205 Ibs. – ETA 2021
JJ Bleday was the 4th overall pick for the Miami Marlins back in 2019. JJ played college ball at Vanderbilt and essentially dominated the NCAA. In his last year of college at Vanderbilt, JJ’s slash line was .347/.465/.701 and hit 27 home runs in the process. Bleday is a solid all-around player with both promising potential on both sides of the ball.
Bleday has high baseball IQ with good baseball instincts. He has shown very good range in the outfielder despite his lack of speed and quickness. He has also shown to be a very smart base runner, taking the extra base when the opportunity presents itself. Lastly, Bleday has a very strong throwing arm. Given what we know about Bleday’s lack of elite speed and his very strong throwing arm, he is projected to be a right fielder when he gets called up to the big leagues.
In regards to Bleday’s first year in the Marlins system, his statistics were a little disappointing. He hit .257, a below average .121 ISO, 19.2 K%, and only hit 3 home runs for the year. With one professional season under his belt, we should see these statistics improve. He has all the hitting tools necessary to compete in the big leagues. He just needs more at-bats, gain more confidence, and make some minor swing adjustments. I would be surprised if he is not in the big leagues by the end of the 2021 season.
4. Edward Cabrera RHP – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (AA)
22 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’4″ 175 lbs. – ETA: 2021
Edward Cabrera has exceeded expectations after signing as an international prospect back in 2015. Cabrera has always shown tremendous stuff, but lacked the ability to pitch early on in his career. However, Cabrera gets better every year and has incredible long-term potential.
To show how good Cabrera’s stuff is, just look at the strikeouts. Edward Cabrera struck out 116 hitters in 96.2 innings. A 30.3 K% is incredible. Cabrera also posted a 2.23 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and a 2.77 xFIP. These are all great numbers and the Marlins must be happy with what they are seeing. However, the concern with Cabrera is pitch-ability. He may have gotten away with some command issues in the past, but he won’t at the big league level. His 2016, 2017, and 2018 years were not spectacular even though he’s always shown above-average stuff. This year was a huge step forward for him and I cannot wait to see if he can duplicate last year’s season.
His 8.1 BB% is a bit concerning. However, if he can learn to command all of his pitches better and becomes more comfortable pitching deep into games, then I believe Cabrera will have tremendous success in the MLB. A young pitching rotation of Alcantara, Sixto Sanchez, and Edward Cabrera should be a very promising sign for Marlins fans.
5. Jazz Chisholm SS – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (AA)
22 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: L – 5’11” 185 lbs. – ETA: 2021
After the Marlins first 4 prospects, this is where the Marlins farm system struggle. This is not necessarily about Jazz Chisholm, but more about the Marlins prospects. With that being said, Jazz Chisholm’s statistics definitely do not look great. Jazz hit .221 in his first season in Miami and a horrific K% of 31.4%.
Jazz employs an extremely aggressive approach at the plate and is far from being disciplined at the plate. His 15.9 SwStr% and 31.4 K% is not a good stat at all for Jazz and the Marlins. The last thing I saw from Jazz as a hitter was that he was very pull-happy. Almost 50% of his hits were to the pull-side. If Jazz wants any chance at having MLB success, he needs to work on his hitting maturity and discipline at the plate.
With all of this being said, Jazz still has hope and potential to be a very good player for the Marlins. He did manage to hit 21 home runs, an above average 11.4 BB%, and a solid 121 wRC+. Jazz has very good speed on the base paths and has shown the ability to steal bases. Lastly, Jazz is also a solid infielder and projects to remain at shortstop for his hopeful MLB career. He displays the range, the footwork, the hands, and the arm talent to play the position at a high level.
Jazz has a very low floor, but a very high ceiling. He has incredible potential and all the tools necessary to be a good MLB player, but he needs to improve his in-game production if he wants to last in baseball.
6. Lewin Diaz 1B – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (AA)
23 Years Old – Throw: L – Bat: L –
6’4″ 220 Ibs. – ETA: 2021
Although Diaz is the 3rd best position player in the Marlins farm system according to this list, he is my favorite Marlins position player in their farm system. The only reason why Diaz is 5th instead of 3rd is due to his age and his overall consistent power numbers. Diaz is soon to be 24 years old, which limits his overall potential compared to players like Bleday and Chisholm.
Diaz hit a whopping 27 home runs this past year, a .259 ISO, and an incredible 143 wRC+. The power is there and he showed it this past season. However, in his previous 5 years, Diaz hit a total of 36 home runs combined. I think everyone, including the Marlins, wants to see more of his 2019 season instead of his 2014-2018 seasons before he gets called up to the MLB.
Diaz demonstrates exceptional bat speed, raw power, and strength to his game. Lastly, Diaz moves very well for his size and is a solid fielder as well. Let’s hope Lewin Diaz takes his 2019 season into his 2020 season and beyond. If he does, Diaz will not only be in the big leagues, but I believe he could be one of the top first baseman in baseball in a few years.
7. Jesus Sanchez OF – New Orleans Baby Cakes (AAA)
22 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: L – 6’3″ 220 lbs. – ETA: 2022
The Marlins gave up 2 very good relief pitchers to get Jesus Sanchez last year. In a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Marlins traded Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards for Jesus Sanchez and Ryne Stanek. At this point in time, it obviously looks like the Marlins lost this trade. However, that is not a knock on Sanchez and his potential. It’s more of a knock on the Miami Marlins.
Sanchez has above average physical tools in every category at its best. He has plus-plus bat speed, he has enough running speed to play the outfield at a high level, and has a very good arm from the outfield. Sanchez has a smooth, left-handed swing and has proven that he’s capable of having success in professional baseball. He did not play great in 2019, but has shown that he has the ability to hit at a high level. His career professional batting average in 5 season in .296, which is much better than his 2019 batting average of .260.
My biggest cause for concern with Jesus Sanchez is that fact that he doesn’t hit the ball in the air enough. I believe Sanchez has a lot of raw power, but it is very hard for him to maximize that power when he hits the ball on the ground 50% of the time. Just like most inexperienced hitters, I’d like to see Sanchez become more disciplined at the plate and get better at damaging pitches when the opposing pitcher makes a mistake.
I believe Sanchez should get called up to the MLB this year and he mainly projects as a corner outfielder. In my opinion, Sanchez should have gotten called up before Monte Harrison did.
8. Braxton Garrett LHP – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (AA)
22 Years Old – Throw: L – Bat: L –
6’2″ 200 lbs. – ETA: 2021
Braxton Garrett has always shown all the makings of a first-round MLB draft pick. Garrett has a fastball that sits 90-93 mph and topping out at 96. His curveball is one of the best curveballs in the minor leagues at its very best. Lastly, his changeup is a bit inconsistent, but has shown an ability to make that a solid third pitch. The major cause for concern for Garrett is his injury history. He blew out his elbow four starts into his career and had Tommy John surgery in 2017.
The one thing that Garrett has going for him compared to other pitchers in the minor leagues is his pitch-ability and maturity. The left-hander knows how to pitch, knows how to sequence hitters, has the ability to locate all of his pitches, and has shown an ability to pitch multiple times through a lineup.
His 2019 season was very promising. Garrett pitched 106.2 innings with a 3.54 ERA and a solid 1.27 WHIP. That 3.54 ERA is actually a lot better than it looks. The left-handers xFIP was a 2.80 which shows that Garrett may have gotten a bit unlucky last year. Regardless, Garrett had a very solid year and if he stays healthy, then the Marlins may have found a solid middle of the rotation starter for years to come.
9. Kameron Misner OF – Clinton LumberKings (A Full)
22 Years Old – Throw: L – Bat: L –
6’4″ 220 lbs. – ETA: 2022
Kameron Misner was the 35th overall pick in 2019 by the Miami Marlins. Misner has the incredible combination of both athleticism and raw power. Misner can hit the ball out of any stadium and at any part of the field. Misner is also incredibly quick as he showed last year both in the outfield and in his base stealing abilities. Last year, he produced an above average 126 wRC+ and drew a 15.3 BB%, which is excellent. Misner shows outstanding plate discipline and very rarely chases pitches out of the zone. He sees a lot of pitch and works a pitcher’s pitch count frequently.
Even though Misner has very good raw power, he only hit 2 home runs last year. He has shown an ability to put the ball over the wall at ease in batting practice, but he needs to do more of that during games. His plate discipline is very impressive, but some times can hurt him when he takes pitches right down the middle. I would like to see Misner to be a bit more aggressive instead of worrying about “seeing” pitches or working a pitcher’s pitch counts. In my opinion, I’d rather see him chase more pitches out of the zone instead of taking fastballs right down the middle. It will help his overall production and give him more confidence to be more aggressive early in counts.
Misner has only completed 1 year of professional baseball and has a lot of room to grow. His physical capabilities are good enough to become an MLB outfielder, but needs to improve his hitting. The potential for him to be a good hitter is absolutely there. He has a nice swing, shows great plate discipline, and has great speed to challenge opposing defenders. I believe Misner is good enough to be a starting outfielder in the MLB.
10. Monte Harrison OF – Miami Marlins (MLB)
24 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’3″ 225 lbs. – ETA: 2020
Monte Harrison is one of the most athletic and gifted athletes in the entire MLB and minor leagues. He was recruited to play wide receiver at Nebraska, he averaged 16 points a game in basketball for one of the best high school teams in the state, and he got drafted in the second round of the MLB draft. He demonstrates incredible raw power as he can hit for power to any part of the stadium. He has an incredible arm in the outfield and he uses his athleticism very well both on the base paths and in the outfield. His physical capabilities and tools are definitely not a problem in his professional baseball career.
His biggest problem, which is a huge problem, is that he’s not a good hitter. That’s honestly probably the nicest way that I could put it. His career batting average is .245, he has 677 career strikeouts with only 195 walks. This past year, his K% was a very bad 29.5%, with only 9 home runs, and a below average 94 wRC+.
The only reason why Monte Harrison is in the top 20 is because of his athleticism. He stole 23 bases last year and only got caught stealing twice. His arm in the outfield is one of the best arms in all of baseball. And his speed and quickness allows him to track down balls in the outfield that other outfielders cannot track down. With all this being said, his athleticism is pointless if he doesn’t hit in the near future. In my opinion, Harrison should not get called up to the big leagues until his hitting stats get better.
11. Peyton Burdick OF – Clinton LumberKings (A Full)
23 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’0″ 210 lbs. – ETA: 2022
Peyton Burdick first season in professional baseball was a success. After being selected in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft, he hit .308/.407/.542. He also had great power numbers as his OPS was .949, his ISO was .235, his wRC+ was an impressive 173, and he hit 11 home runs in 69 total games. Burdick shows great strength and demonstrates very good raw power. Lastly, he has a strong throwing arm as he made 11 assists this past year.
Some weaknesses that Burdick has is his overall athleticism on the bases and in the outfield, his fielding tools, and his inconsistent discipline at the plate. His 23 K% and 12.8 SwStr% is not concerning by any means, but it looks like he doesn’t do a good job of getting his pitch to hit. Only 15% of the balls he put in play were line drives. I believe if he matures as a hitter and learns how to consistently get his pitch, he can be a very solid starting outfielder for the Marlins in the near future.
The Marlins outfield looks very promising in a few years if guys like Burdick, Bleday, and Misner play as well as they are projected to.
12. Daxton Fulton RHP
18 Years Old – Throw: L – Bat: L –
6’6″ 225 lbs. – ETA: 2022
** Did not pitch in 2019 Professionally**
The main reason why Daxton Fulton wasn’t selected in the first round of this year’s draft was because of his recent Tommy John Surgery, the fact that he couldn’t pitch in 2020, and the fact that he’s still in high school. None of these reasons have to do with his talent and his ability to pitch. In my opinion, Daxton Fulton was a first-round talent.
Fulton already has a nice frame for his age. He is 6’6″, 225 pounds, and has a long wingspan. In the next few years, look for him to add on a few pounds. His fastball will sit in the mid-90’s, has a power curveball, and a changeup that has nice depth to it. His changeup is currently a pitch that not many people have seen given the fact that it is his 3rd pitch and he hasn’t thrown in a game for over a year. However, the changeup has shown that it could be a good pitch, but needs some development.
Fulton’s fastball and curveball combination is already MLB caliber, with improved command. His curveball is a power curve that he throws at over 2600 rpm. He does a great job of repeating his delivery and controlling his long frame. Fulton has the ability to fill up the strike zone and also has the ability to get swings and misses at a high level.
Fulton projects to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter. With the surplus of young Marlins starting pitchers, it may be take a little longer for Fulton to reach the big leagues. However, if he puts up good numbers his first year in professional baseball, I don’t see how the Marlins would keep him in the minors.
13. Jorge Guzman RHP – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (AA)
24 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’1″ 245 lbs. – ETA: 2020
Guzman is higher on my list than most other prospect lists across baseball. In my opinion, Guzman has all the necessary physical traits and overall stuff to become a good MLB pitcher. Guzman’s electrical fastball sits 95-98 mph and tops 103 mph. He has shown the ability to maintain this fastball velocity deep into starts which is a very good sign going forward. His changeup and slider are both wipeout pitches that can create a lot of swings and misses. Guzman’s slider is similar to a power curve and he has thrown it at speeds close to 90 MPH. Lastly, Guzman’s changeup could be his best off-speed pitch as it creates nice downward action.
The biggest concern with Guzman is his command and his overall ‘feel’ as a pitcher. His xFIP was a 4.43 which means he was a bit lucky this year compared to what his 3.50 ERA states. Guzman tends to get behind in too many counts which results in hitter counts and even walks. His 12.6 BB% is not great and this is something he needs to improve if he wants to create consistent outs in the big leagues.
Like I said above, Guzman’s electric stuff and physical capabilities is not the cause for concern. He has everything you want from that aspect of pitching. However, if he does not improve his pitch ability, command, and consistency then he will have a tough time succeeding in the MLB. Guzman should get called up in the next 2 years. He projects as a middle of the rotation starter and even a future closer given how good his stuff is.
14. Jose Salas SS
17 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: S – 6’1″ 150 lbs. – ETA: 2024
***** NO PROFESSIONAL STATS ****
Salas is a difficult player to analyze due to the fact he has not played yet. Salas was an international signee last year and he signed for $2.8 million. Jose is only 17 years old so he has a lot of time to improve and get more professional baseball experience.
Salas needs to get stronger and needs to improve his arm strength a bit more. Salas is only pounds. As a 17 year old, he has time to fill out and work on getting stronger (especially during the 2020 Covid-19 season). His arm strength isn’t terrible and he still has the ability to make throws from shortstop. However, if he wants to project as a future starting MLB shortstop, then he needs to be able to make difficult throws at short.
Salas is very quick and has excellent defensive skills. He has good hands, quick first step, high defensive IQ, and shows good range. From a hitting standpoint, he projects to be a very good hitter, but right now, he is limited given his lack of size. When he signed with the Marlins last year, he put on a show in BP. He was hitting home runs with ease and proved that he could hit for power once he puts on more strength. He has a smooth swing, is a very disciplined hitter, puts together quality at-bats, and has the ability to hit for average.
I believe Salas is a very good prospect for the Miami Marlins. Right now, he projects more as a second baseman. He is too small with not great arm strength to play shortstop right now. The good news is that he is only 17 and has 2-5 years to turns this weakness into a strength. With improved body composition, increased strength, and better arm strength then Salas would be able to project as a shortstop. Salas projects to get called up sometime in the 2023 or 2024 season.
15. Trevor Rogers LHP – Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (AA)
22 Years Old – Throw: L – Bat: L –
6’6″ 185 lbs. – ETA: 2021
Trevor Rogers can flat out pitch. The reason why Rogers is not ranked higher is because he has a low ceiling. If the Marlins want to play safe, then Rogers is your guy. He has outstanding composure and maturity out on the mound. He knows how to sequence hitter, knows how to pitch multiple times through a lineup, and is able to locate all of his pitches.
His statistics were very good this past season. Rogers pitched 136.1 innings in 23 games. His era and xFIP were both 2.90, his WHIP was 1.14, his K% was very good at 26.5%, and his BB% was also very good at 5.8%. The Marlins must be very pleased with how he pitched and how consistent he was all season long.
With that being said, Rogers lacks elite stuff and there are still some questions on whether or not that the 2019 season was a fluke. In 2018, his first MLB season, Rogers did not pitch very well. He had a 5.82 ERA in 72.2 innings pitched and almost walked the same amount of hitters that he walked in 2019. I believe Rogers projects to be a back of the rotation starter or a long reliever out of the pen. In my opinion, he needs to continue to work on his pitch design and learn how to create better stuff to compliment his 90-94 mph fastball.
16. Jerar Encarnacion OF – Jupiter Hammerheads (A Adv)
22 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’5″ 240 lbs. – ETA: 2022
Jerar Encarnacion signed as an international prospect back in 2015 and is an interesting prospect. Some scouts think he’s a Top 10 Marlins prospect, while others think that he falls outside of the Top 20 for the Marlins prospect list. I personally believe that Jerar is the fifth best OF prospect in the Marlins farm system.
Some of his strengths as a player is his raw power, his arm strength, and his consistent improvement over the years. Jerar’s raw power is something that gives the Marlins hope. He can hit home runs at ease to any part of the field. His arm power is another strength of his. Jerar threw 18 runners out in 2018. Lastly, his improvements each year is something that is encouraging. Every year it seems like he fixed a weakness from the previous year. This is a good sign and hopefully he can keep it trending in the right position.
Jerar projects as a corner outfielder or even DH. I think 2020-2021 will be huge for Jerar in terms of knowing how good he really is. If he posts poor numbers, I would be shocked if he even gets called up to the big leagues. If he has one good year, he could be a key piece in the Marlins MLB outfield rotation.
17. Connor Scott OF – Jupiter Hammerheads (A Adv)
20 years old – Throw: L – Bat: L –
6’4″ 180 lbs. – ETA: 2022
Connor Scott was a 1st round pick back in 2018 with the Miami Marlins. Scott has not matched up to his first round expectations. His career professional batting average is .240, he has 100 more strikeouts than he does walks, he only has 6 total home runs, and his OBP is at a .310. In his senior year of high school, Scott only hit .311 with 2 home runs against high school pitching which is also not a great sign for his future.
With that being said, Scott is only 20 years old and has only being in professional baseball for 2 seasons. With more experience and more professional coaching he may figure it out sooner rather than later. Scott has all the physical tools and traits to have success at the MLB level. He has plus plus speed and has shown this speed on the base paths and in the outfield. Scott also has a very good arm in the outfield. He touched 93 as a high school pitcher and drew some scouting interest as a pitcher. With the combination of Scott’s speed, arm ability, and his baseball IQ Scott is capable of playing any outfield position at a high level.
From watching film and looking at the advanced analytics, Scott needs to get into better hitting counts, needs to stop missing his pitch when he is in a hitters count, and needs to reduce the strikeouts if he’s not going to hit for power. Scott’s .310 OBP is unacceptable for a speedster with very little power in the minor leagues. Just like Monte Harrison, Connor Scott has all the tools and physical capabilities necessary to be an MLB outfielder. However, if he doesn’t start to hit, then he’s going to have a difficult time to even get called up to the MLB.
18. Jose Devers SS – Jupiter Hammerheads (A Adv)
20 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: L –
6’0″ 175 lbs. – ETA: 2022
Devers was one of the key prospects that was sent to the Marlins in the Giancarlo Stanton trade. Devers is a prospect that is a late developer but demonstrates incredible future potential. When he originally got signed by the Yankees, Devers was an inexperienced baseball player and was extremely underweight. Over the years, Devers has improved as a player and has put on weight. I personally think he needs to add more weight to give him a bit more power and control at the plate. However, he is a promising prospect that could seriously help the Marlins in years to come.
Even though Devers hit 0 home runs, he produced a very good 133 wRC+. He also hit .322 and his OBP was a solid .391. The biggest positive with Devers besides his consistent ability to put the ball in play is his defensive ability. Devers is incredibly smooth at shortstop, displaying exceptional range, quickness, and defensive IQ. Over the years, as he put on my size, his arm strength is continuing to improve significantly.
Besides his lack of size and lack of power, the other main cause of concern is his durability. This is probably a direct correlation to his lack of size, but he needs to be available if he wants more game experience. He has missed a good amount of time over the past 2 season with various injuries. The good news with Devers is that he is only 20 years old with a very high ceiling. In the future, he projects as a starting shortstop or starting second baseman in the big leagues.
19. Kyle Nicolas RHP
21 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’4″ 225 lbs. – ETA: 2023
**Did not play in 2019 Professionally**
Kyle Nicolas was the 61st overall pick in the 2020 MLB draft. Kyle was another pitcher that the Marlins took that has electric stuff and high spin rates. The Marlins did a great job in the 2020 draft accumulating pitchers will high ceiling and huge potential. Kyle has very good raw stuff and shows an electric fastball.
Kyle’s fastball sits in the upper 90’s and tops out at 101 MPH. His curveball and slider are both wipeout pitches that can be huge whiff pitches in professional baseball. His changeup isn’t that good and he should honestly remove that pitch from his arsenal if it doesn’t improve.
Kyle’s biggest cause for concern is his command issues. Yes, his fastball and two breaking pitches are elite in terms of velo, movement, spin rate, etc. However, the command for these pitches are not elite. Kyle has issues over 100 walks in his 2 and half year collegiate career. His freshman year at college, he posted a 5.21 ERA and allowed over 40 walks in his 57 innings pitched. The good news is that it looks like he is improving on this skill. In the COVID-19 college season, Kyle only walked 7 batters in 23 innings pitched.
Kyle has a very high ceiling, but a pretty low floor. He needs to improve his command and figure out his changeup or else he needs to remove it from his arsenal. Kyle projects to be a middle of the rotation starter or a back end relief pitcher. If his command doesn’t improve significantly, I believe that he would make a very good relief pitcher given his ability to compete, his lack of consistent command, and his electric stuff.
20. Nick Neidert LHP – New Orleans Baby Cakes (AAA)
23 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: R – 6’1″ 200 lbs. – ETA: 2020
Nick Neidert was a former 2nd round pick back in 2015 by the Seattle Mariners. His first 4 years in the minor leagues were actually very good and shown an ability to get hitters out on a consistent basis. Last year, he had a difficult year. He tore his meniscus early in the season and he simply wasn’t the same by the time he came back. In 2019, he ended up throwing 54 innings with a 4.67 ERA, 6.43 xFIP, a below average 18.9 K%, and an 11.1 BB%. He had a pretty disappointing year in 2019 to say the least, but his track record shows that he will most likely revert back to his 2015-2018 seasons.
Neidert is very similar to fellow Marlins prospect Sterling Sharp in terms of stuff. Neidert’s fastball isn’t electric, but it has similar action to Sterling Sharp. His fastball is a low spin rate fastball, which generates a good amount of sink and tops at 94 MPH. Neidert struggles when he throws up in the zone due to his low spin rate, but has tremendous success when he hits his spots down in the zone with all 3 pitches. He can locate his fastball very well and it plays well with his tumbling changeup as well. And just like Sharp, Neidert’s slider isn’t all that great and needs some improvement if he wants consistent MLB success. Nick projects as a late of the rotation starter or long reliever. I think Nick is good enough to start in the big leagues if his 2 off-speed pitches can be a little more consistent.
Links to all other Team Top 20 Rankings: CLICK HERE!