Results tagged ‘ Miami Marlins ’

Extra Marlins stuff

Last blog post of the day, with my extra stuff from Marlins camp.

Check out the Spring Training report as well as their Top 20 list. And Bernie Pleskoff has been looking at each team’s system and how it addresses the team’s needs. Here’s the video piece from camp:

And now for the extras from my visit to Jupiter. First, from my conversation with Colin Moran.

What has big league camp been like for you?

Moran: It’s been a great experience. I think I’m learning a lot, just being around all the coaches like [Perry Hill], all the veterans, all the guys. It’s been a blast. I’ve learned from everybody, really. I try to pick their brains, but I try not to bother them too much. I’ll try to ask them questions and everyone has been awesome.

In the Fall League, you got a glimpse of what the upper levels are like. What did you see there that made you say, heading into the offseason, “This is what I need to work on so I can hit those levels this year.”?

Moran: I don’t know, it wasn’t one thing. It  was a little weird, having so much time for the first time during the offseason. It was nice, I got a lot of work in. I didn’t take too much time off after the Fall League. I just did everything I could to get ready.

And here’s some more stuff from my chat with farm director Brian Chattin:

How did you guys end up with so many lefties? Was it by design or just happened that way?

Chattin: I think it just happened naturally. There’s always a premium on left-handers. If you look at the guys we have at the upper levels, Brian Flynn, Justin Nicolino, Andrew Heaney, Adam Conley – Conley and Heaney were out of the Draft, first and second rounders, Nicolino and Flynn were in trades. When you’re going to be acquiring players via trade, there’s always going to be a premium on pitching and if you can find left-handed pitching, that’s always a plus.

Chattin also had another candidate for breakout player candidate: J.T. Riddle, a 2013 13th-round pick out of the University of Kentucky. Here’s his take on the infielder:

Chattin: He spent the year in short-season, out of last year’s Draft. He really showed signs of taking off in instructs last year. He’s a very athletic left-hand hitting middle infielder who is going to play every day in either low a or high a. We’ll let camp sort that out. He has the chance to really open some eyes within the industry this year. I don’t know that he made an out in instructs. He was just on a roll. The first month and a half of pro ball, he really struggled. There were a few adjustments made with his approach at the plate and he started to show signs in the second dhalf. Then he got to instructional league, granted those games don’t count, you can’t put a lot of stock in performance, but the way he swung the bat, the way he played, you started to see the tools he came in with, started to apply to his performance on the field. I think this is a guy we’re really going to hit on here from a later round pick.

And, finally, my One More Guy:

I’m going to take a little bit of an easy road here because I’m going with the guy who was my Breakout Candidate in the Spring Training report — Jarlin Garcia. Another young lefty about to hit full-season ball. A strong 2014 should put him firmly on the map and I could see him easily reaching Top 20 status at some point during this season.

Marlins looking for a third baseman? There’s one in their system

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — One of the bigger rumors that’s been floating around the lobby here has been that the Marlins are looking to 1. Trade Logan Morrison and/or 2. Bring in a third baseman.

Juan Uribe has been mentioned, though he’s reportedly looking for a three-year deal. No specific names have surfaced in terms of trade returns for Morrison, though there has been some talk of them wanting a big-league ready, or close to big-league ready third baseman in return.

One thing, though, that the Marlins do need to consider, is that they have a pretty good third base prospect in their system already. Miami drafted Colin Moran with the sixth overall pick in the 2013 Draft with the hopes that he could be a fairly quick to Miami advanced college bat. He fared well in full-season ball during his debut, then went on to the Arizona Fall League and we named him the No. 14 prospect in the AFL after he started slowly, but adjusted and finished well. He’s currently the No. 72 prospect on MLB.com’s Top 100, No. 4 on the Marlins Top 20 and fifth among third base prospects.

The question is, of course, just how quickly he can be ready for the big leagues. There seems to be some debate over that. The Marlins took him that early clearly believing it would be a short trip up the ladder and they hope he can hit Miami in 2015 and that has entered into their internal discussions about moves to make. Does that mean Uribe and his three years are off the table? Not sure yet, but I bet it’s being talked about with Moran in mind.

I talked to some scouts who saw him in the Fall League and got some different feedback. One scout thought back end of 2015 was reasonable. Another didn’t see him as quite a quick a riser, saying he thought it would take 2-3 years, with the more conservative projection more likely. Our own Bernie Pleskoff is more in line with that evaluation after having seen him multiple times in Arizona. It’s not that Bernie (follow him on Twitter @BerniePleskoff) doesn’t like him at all, but he’s skeptical about his ability to get there quickly and will need some development time to iron his game out.

Beyond the Top 100

After any Top 100 prospects list comes out, there’s going to be outrage, disbelief, dismay (there’s also some triumph, jubilation, celebration, but that doesn’t fit into the subject of today’s post). The list gets pored over and complaints about snubs come pouring in. You thought people were upset that Ben Affleck didn’t get a Best Director nod for “Argo”? You should talk to Astros fans about Delino DeShields Jr. Sheesh.

So, I thought it a good idea to throw out a Nos. 101-110 list. Yes, this could open a pandora’s box if guys aren’t on that list who you think should’ve been on the Top 100 to begin with. But I can deal with that. I’m happy to keep the conversation going. And keep in mind, the team Top 20s start rolling out on Monday, so there’ll be more fuel for the fire soon enough. Keep in mind, this next 10 isn’t a guaranteed list of who’ll be the first to move in when guys graduate as 2013 gets started, but clearly some names will come from this list onto the top 100 during the season. No time for expanding on this list, so here it is:

101. Dan Straily, RHP, A’s

102. Delino DeShields Jr., 2B, Astros

103. Luis Heredia, RHP, Pirates

104. Daniel Corcino, RHP, Reds

105. Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs

106. Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins

107. Michael Choice, OF, A’s

108. Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Brewers

109. Corey Seager, 3B/SS, Dodgers

110. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Cubs

Who’s Next: The Shortstops

You know the drill by now. The Top 10 shortstops story is up and you can look at the list directly as well.

There’s some depth at the position, and not just in Arizona (they now have Didi Gregorius, Chris Owings AND Nick Ahmed!). Here’s who would make the 11-15 list:

Adeiny Hechavarria, Marlins — He came over in the huge deal with the Blue Jays. The glove has never been a question. Now he’ll get to show if he can hit big league pitching.

Luis Sardinas, Rangers — Yup, that’s right, another shortstop prospect in the Rangers system. He’s taken a bit longer to develop, but has the chance to be a good one, too.

Jose Iglesias, Red Sox — He needs to stay on the field and he needs an opportunity to show he can hit big league pitching, especially with Xander Bogaerts charging up from behind him.

Trevor Story, Rockies — Very intriguing all-around skills. Even if he outgrows the position, should be enough bat for third.

Adalberto Mondesi, Royals — Raul’s kid is exceptionally young and exceptionally talented. Don’t be surprised to see him higher on this list in years to come.

AFL report: Red Sox and Mets

Thursday’s AFL Report was on the Boston Red Sox, focusing on Bryce Brentz, the system’s No. 4 prospect (No. 70 overall).

The video report features Brentz, Michael Almanzar and Brock Huntziger.

Today’s report is about your New York Mets, featuring outfielder Darrell Ceciliani. The video report focuses on him and fellow outfielder Cesar Puello, the Mets’ No. 6 prospect.

 

Got two Stars of the Day for you, one from Wednesday and one — witnessed in person! — from Thursday.

For Wednesday, I’m going to go with T.J. House of the Indians. This is the second Star of the Day nod for the lefty and for good reason. He’s been solid this fall. On Wednesday, he went four shutout innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out four. For the fall, he has a 1.59 ERA and .175 BAA over 17 IP. It’s been a pretty good way for House to cap off a successful 2012 season that saw him spend much of the year in Double-A.

For Thursday’s Star, I have to go with a guy I saw. Kevin Jensen has been mentioned here before, too, named the Star of the Day for last Thursday. I threw out some fun stuff from our friends at Trackman about how Jensen was among the leaders in hardest, and farthest, balls hit in the AFL. Well, he was at it again on Thursday at Salt River Fields. The Marlins’ outfielder went 3-for-3 in the game, driving in driving in a pair and scoring twice. His second hit was a laser triple to center field that hit the batter’s eye (without knowing the ground rules of the place, I thought at first it was gone). In his next at-bat, he crushed a ball out the opposite way. Not sure what Trackman would have to say about either, but they’d have to register somewhere on the hard hit balls list, I’d wager. I’m told that Jensen is more of a mistake hitter than anything else (he did strike out over 160 times in 2012 and his Double-A numbers weren’t great), but boy, he’s not missing any mistakes here so far this fall. He currently stands second in RBIs and SLG and he’s third in OPS.

AFL catchup — Rays, Marlins, Phillies, Cubs, Dodgers…

As could have been predicted, I’ve fallen behind on AFL updates in recent days. I’d love to blame Sandy for that, but that wouldn’t be fair. So… let’s catch up on team reports and Stars of the Day, shall we?  Oh, and stay tuned for news on the Rising Stars Game rosters, the exciting game being played at Salt River on Saturday (And I’ll be there in person to cover).

First, the team reports:

Tampa Bay Rays: Focuses on Tim Beckham

Miami Marlins: Focuses on Christian Yelich

Chicago Cubs: Focuses on Tony Zych

Los Angeles Dodgers: Focuses on Chris Reed

OK, now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to hand out some Stars of the Day for action from Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday.

Thursday: While there were some good hitting performances — Nick Franklin homered and drove in a pair for Peoria; Kyle Jensen homered and drove in two for Phoenix, Brian Goodwin went 3-for-4 with two doubles and Carlos Sanchez  went 2-for-3 with a triple and 4 RBIs, both for Salt River. But I have to give the tip of the B3 cap to Tim Crabbe of the Reds. He tossed four hitless innings for Peoria, walking one and striking out two. That brought his AFL batting average against down to .182.

Friday: It really comes down to two hitters from the Peoria-Salt River game. Vinnie Catricala of the Mariners had a nice day, going 2-for-4 with a homer and 3 RBIs. But the Rockies’ Kent Matthes one-upped him a bit, going 3-for-3 with a home run and 4 RBIs. Matthes is now fifth in the AFL with his .596 SLG and tied for fourth with 10 RBIs.

Saturday: It was tempting to give a rare star to a reliever. Chris Martin of the Red Sox went two perfect innings and struck out four for Surprise. But it was too hard to ignore Tyler Botnick‘s day for Salt River. The Diamondbacks’ infielder went 4-for-5 with a double, four RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base. Those were the first four RBIs of the fall for Bortnick, who is hitting .296 for the Rafters.

And, finally, Monday: A couple of good candidates, including another homer from Matthes. Ryan Perry of the Natinals went five scoreless, allowing just one hit while striking out three. But the Pirates’ Kyle Kaminska was just a smidge better. He also went five scorless, allowing just one hit. But he struck out six to earn the Star. He’s on a one good, one bad start pattern. In the two good starts, he’s gone 10 IP, allowing no runs on just four hits and no walks while striking out nine. In the not as good starts, he still isn’t walking anyone — just one free pass allowed all fall — but he’s given up four earned runs on 13 hits over eight innings. Kaminska came to the Pirates at the trade deadline along with Gaby Sanchez. He hasn’t started regularly since 2009, so it’ll be interesting to see if the fact that he is starting in the AFL means anything in 2013.

AFL Report: Cleveland Indians

Are you kids on the Twitter? Well, then, I suggest you take a look at a handy list compiled of the players in the Arizona Fall League who like to “tweet,” as you youngsters call it. It’s fun for the whole family.

So is reading the most recent  AFL team report. Today’s subject: Your Cleveland Indians (focus on T.J. House). And, as has been my custom, here’s the video report (featuring Ronny Rodriguez, Alex Monsalve and Shawn Armstrong):

As for the Star of the Day for Tuesday’s games, let’s give a big B3 cheer for…

Kyle Jensen of the Miami Marlins for his grand slam in what ended up a 7-7 tie between Phoenix and Mesa. Jensen’s had himself a fine AFL campaign so far, sitting fifth in batting average (.390), second in RBIs (10) and seventh in OPS (1.017). But I also wanted to use Jensen to highlight some cool stuff that the folks at Trackman are doing in Arizona. They measure all sorts of cool stuff, from good ol’ fastball velocity to fastball extension and breaking ball spin for pitchers to hardest and longest hits, including exit speeds for hitters. Why do I bring this up now? Because Jensen, at last check in, led the AFL in hard contacts at the plate. Of 15 contacts recorded off the bat by Jensen, 12 were deemed as hard contacts by Trackman (hard meaning 90+ mph). He has three of the top 20 hardest hit balls of the AFL, all three of which had speeds of over 106 mph. And as Trackman points out on that leaderboard, the MLB average on  balls hit over 105 mph is .722, so Jensen is clearly doing something right.

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