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Legends On Deck

LOD’s 2019 Offseason Top Prospects: Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins Top Prospects

Here at Legends on Deck our passion is prospects and the offseason presents an outstanding opportunity for us to showcase some of baseball’s top up and comers. Throughout the offseason, we will be bringing you the top ten prospects from all 30 organizations. We will start with the Arizona Diamondbacks and work our way alphabetically all the way through the Washington Nationals. This series is the opinion of Jake Berry, Senior Editor at Legends on Deck and does not reflect any official MLB rankings. 


#10 – RHP Jordan Holloway

2019 Opening Day Age: 22           ETA: 2021            Top Future Pitch: FB

2018 Stats (Rookie): 7.2 IP, 9 SO, 0BB

A lot of folks seem to have forgotten about Holloway after TJS, but you have a believer in me. The fastball hovers in the high 90’s and he spins a nasty breaking curveball for a devastating one, two punch. The stuff has never been the question around the former 20th round pick, it’s more about the injury and command concerns.


#9 – OF Tristan Pompey

2019 Opening Day Age: 22           ETA: 2021            Top Future Tool: Hit

2018 Stats (Rookie/Single-A/High-A): .299/.408/.397, 3 HR, 10 SB, 21 K%, 14.6 BB%

Pompey was the Marlins third round pick in 2018 and the switch hitting Canadian probably shouldn’t have lasted that long. The Marlins seem to be trending towards swings that produce ideal launch angles and Pompey possesses one of those swings. While he didn’t hit for a ton of power in his short sample pro debut, Pompey did showcase his advanced plate approach with a .408 OBP and a nearly 15% walk rate.


#8 – C Will Banfield

2019 Opening Day Age: 19              ETA: 2022          Top Future Tool: Arm

2018 Stats (Rookie/Single-A): .238/.308/.385, 3 HR, 29 K%, 7.5 BB%

Defensively, Banfield has a skill set that is matched by few backstops. Not only does the Georgia native have one of the best arms you will find from a catcher, he also has the advanced defensive skills to frame, and the intangibles to call a game. I like his offensive profile more than most and while the 19 year old won’t win any batting titles, the quick hands and lofty swing are evident to more future power.


#7 – LHP Braxton Garrett

2019 Opening Day Age: 21             ETA: 2022            Top Future Pitch: CB

2018 Stats DNP

I can’t say Garrett has a “safe” floor, the 2016 first round pick has only tossed 15.1 innings since getting drafted thanks to TJ.  But, I do think there is a lot to believe in with Garrett thanks to his stuff. The curveball is the top pitch in the repertoire with big break in the mid 70’s. He isn’t a guy that relies on the heater, but he can locate it and each of his other pitches well. While there are elbow concerns, he has the prototypical pitcher profile.


#6 – RHP Sandy Alcantara

2019 Opening Day Age: 23             ETA: 2019             Top Future Pitch: FB 

2018 Stats (Double-A/Triple-A): 127 IP, 3.90 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 96 SO, 43 BB

2018 Stats (MLB): 34 IP, 3.44 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 30 SO, 23 BB

The primary piece in the return for Marcell Ozuna, the 6’5 righty will make his money with the fastball/slider combo. A high 90’s fastball with significant arm side run highlights the repertoire and while he doesn’t necessarily need an “out” pitch, a pretty hard breaking slider poses challenges to hitters. With 42.1 major league innings between St. Louis and Miami, Alcantara barely falls under the threshold for our list and will be battling for a spot coming out of spring training.


#5 – 2B Isan Diaz

2019 Opening Day Age: 22              ETA: 2019              Top Future Tool: Power

2018 Stats (High-A/Double-A): .232/.340/.399, 13 HR, 14 SB, 27 K%, 13 BB%

Diaz is the poster boy for the way the game is trending. A high strike out, high walk rate guy, the Puerto Rico native is a power before contact hitter which is something you don’t usually see from a second baseman. One of many Marlins prospects with strikeout problems, Diaz alleviates that deficiency slightly by his high walk rate. I’ve seen the ball fly off of the left handers bat with little effort in the swing in the past and he may prove to be the long term solution at second base in the future.


#4 – RHP Nick Neidert

2019 Opening Day Age: 22               ETA: 2019           Top Future Pitch: CH

2018 Stats (Double-A): 152.2 IP, 3.24 ERA, 1,13 WHIP, 154 SO, 31 BB

I’m a big Neidert fan thanks mostly to a pretty dangerous changeup and pinpoint command. The fastball lives around 90, but he can put it pretty much exactly where he wants. Due to the lack of repertoire, I don’t place a high ceiling on Neidert, but I do believe he can be a consistent arm at the back of the rotation.


#3 – OF Monte Harrison

2019 Opening Day Age: 23              ETA: 2019           Top Future Tool: Arm

2018 Stats (Double-A): .240/.316/.399, 19 HR, 28 SB, 37 K%, 7.5 BB%

I was pumped when Harrison came over from the Brewers organization because I had seen a ton of him in Single-A and I loved what I saw. I’m a sucker for a good power/speed combination and the former 50th overall pick has just that. I’d also rank him as a plus defensive outfielder with a double plus arm. He can mash, he can run, he can field, he can throw, what he needs to do to take the next step is lower the K rate. Harrison has a wide stance, doesn’t have a huge load and virtually no leg kick, and it seems like most of the power comes from the upper half. If he can hone in the mechanics, the right handed hacker can really tap into his potential.


#2 – OF Victor Victor Mesa

2019 Opening Day Age: 22             ETA: 2020             Top Future Tool: Field

2018 Stats DNP

It is rare that you see me rank a defense first player this high on a list, but the most highly touted international prospect of 2018 has the defensive ability to be an elite center fielder at the major league level right now. The speed allows Mesa to not only be a threat on the bases, but it lets him cover an amount of grass in the outfield that is rivaled by few in the game today. Offensively, the speed is the carrying tool, but the 22 year old has some work to do with the bat. I’d throw an Ender Inciarte comp on him although I think Mesa may have a stronger arm.


#1 – RHP Sixto Sanchez

2019 Opening Day Age: 20               ETA: 2020           Top Future Pitch: FB

2018 Stats (High-A): 46.2 IP, 2.51 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 45 SO, 11 BB

The Marlins got a new number one prospect in return for the highly desired J.T. Realmuto. Sanchez is one of the most coveted pitching prospects in all of baseball and the front office obviously thought enough of the 20 year old right hander to exchange the biggest trade asset in the game for him (and some others, of course). The Dominican has made a name for himself thanks to the blazing fastball that ranks right up there with the best in the minors. Considering we live in a time where nearly every pitcher can throw mid 90’s to triple digits, it’s not surprising some fans are conditioned to see the velocity and view it as the norm. Fast will always be fast, sure, but the best fastballs in the sport not only have the velo, but also need movement, and most importantly, command. Sixto’s 80 grade heater has all of that. He couples the primary pitch with two more above average offerings in his changeup and curveball, both of which seem to be improving everyday.

I do love the stuff from Sixto, but I am also a fan of the delivery. There isn’t much to it, but I’ve seen him speed it up, slow it down, take a pause, and throw all kinds of nuances into it to disrupt the hitter’s timing. When you factor in that there can be as much of a 15 mile per hour difference between one pitch and the next, it is easy to see why he has given hitters fits at the lower levels of the minors.

I would be remiss if we discussed the former prized Phillies prospect and didn’t mention the injury history and bullpen concerns. Some have doubts about the 6’0 185 pound frame holding up for a high number of innings as he threw 95 frames in 2017, but hasn’t thrown more than 54 in any of his other three seasons. The 2018 campaign ended early due to elbow inflammation and there was shoulder pain before the year as well. With that being said, while Sanchez may be considered “undersized”, the guy is extremely athletic and in a lot of cases athleticism makes up for stature. Either way, if health allows it, Sanchez will be a great addition to this Marlins staff whether it be in a rotation role or a dominant late inning guy where his nasty stuff plays up even more.

Featured Image: Monte Harrison (Courtesy of Mathew Carper/Legends On Deck)

Jake Berry
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Jake Berry

Contributing Writer at Legends On Deck®
Jake resides in Carrollton, GA and loves everything baseball. He is a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan and enjoys traveling to watch their Minor League teams. He graduated from the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management. Jake is also a certified personal trainer and has a passion for fitness and weight lifting. You can find his personal site at berrysbaseball.com

You can also reach out to Jake at jberry@legendsondeck.com
Jake Berry
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