Stock Up, Stock Down for Miami Marlins' Top 10 Prospects for Week of April 29
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With each passing day, the Miami Marlins look more like a minor league team.
Earlier this week, the Marlins promoted another promising prospect to the majors, which means four of their top prospects have already started their big league service time. On the bright side, some of those prospects have contributed to the Marlins winning five of their last eight after a dreadful 5-19 start.
Without further ado, in ascending order, here's the latest stock report of the Marlins' top 10 prospects.
1. Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami Marlins
Stock up: Finally.
It took six starts, but Jose Fernandez picked up his first major league victory in his best performance yet as he threw a one-hitter in seven innings of a 2-0 win Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies. Fernandez walked one and struck out nine in 82 pitches.
"He's going to be a really great pitcher for a really long time," Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels told The Philadelphia Inquirer after a strong performance of his own. "He's going to learn how to pitch, if he doesn't already know how to. He's got a power heater, a power curveball, and a pretty good change-up. He's not afraid."
Earlier in the week, Fernandez turned in a solid, albeit short, performance as he received a no-decision in a 4-3 extra-inning victory Monday against the New York Mets. Fernandez yielded two runs on three hits in four innings.
Fernandez is 1-2 with a 3.48 ERA in six starts this season.
2. Christian Yelich, OF, Jacksonville Suns (AA)
Stock up: After a slow start, Christian Yelich has heated up.
In four games this week, Yelich had six hits in 15 at-bats, including a two-run homer to center field in a 7-6 win Saturday against the Jackson Generals.
Yelich is now hitting .281 with one home run and 11 RBI in 13 games this season.
3. Jake Marisnick, CF, Jacksonville Suns (AA)
Stock up: This positive review isn't about stellar play, but more about the fact Jake Marisnick has returned from injury and is slowly rounding into form.
He returned less than two weeks ago and played in a couple of rehab games with the Jupiter Hammerheads before making the move up to Jacksonville last week. In three games with the Suns, he has three hits—all on Thursday—in 13 at-bats.
4. Justin Nicolino, LHP, Jupiter Hammerheads (Advanced Single-A)
Stock down: Justin Nicolino's rocky season continues.
Against the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs, Nicolino yielded four runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings, but Nicolino received a no-decision as Jupiter rallied for a 7-4 win.
This season, Nicolino is 0-1 with a 4.25 ERA in six starts, which doesn't seem bad. However, opponents are hitting .325 against Nicolino, and he has a measly 12 strikeouts in 29.2 innings. Last year, Nicolino was 10-4, had a 2.46 ERA and struck out 119 in 124.1 innings.
5. Andrew Heaney, LHP, Greensboro Grasshoppers (A)
Stock down: Andrew Heaney has yet to see the field this season, as he's sidelined with a strained lat muscle, which he injured within the first couple of days in spring training.
Last month, Heaney started to long toss, according to the Bradenton Herald, and once he's fully recovered, Heaney will join the Hammerheads rotation.
6. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Miami Marlins
Stock up: Adeiny Hechavarria flew to Philadelphia on Thursday to rejoin the Marlins. The Phillies are probably glad to see him leave.
Hechavarria, who had a bruised elbow, was activated off the disabled list Thursday. While he wasn't great, overall he made an impact Sunday as the Marlins split a four-game series with the Phillies.
Hechavarria hit a grand slam and a bases-loaded triple off an ailing Roy Halladay, tying a team record with seven RBI, in the Marlins' 14-2 victory. Hechavarria finished the series with three hits in 14 at-bats.
Despite the great performance Sunday, Hechavarria still has plenty of room to improve, as he's hitting .190 with two home runs and 10 RBI.
7. Marcell Ozuna, RF, Miami Marlins
Should Marcell Ozuna stay with the Marlins once Giancarlo Stanton recovers from his hamstring injury?
Stock up: One man's injury is another man's opportunity.
Marcell Ozuna was promoted to the big leagues Tuesday after the Marlins placed Giancarlo Stanton on the 15-day disabled list with a Grade 2 strained right hamstring. All Ozuna has done since he joined the Marlins is hit.
In his first week in his new job, Ozuna had a hit in each of his first six games as he batted .478 (11-for-23) with one home run and four RBI. Ozuna's first career home run helped Fernandez earned his major league victory.
“I’ve been overly impressed with the way he’s composed,” first-year manager Mike Redmond told The Miami Herald about his impressions of Ozuna. “He looks confident. He looks calm. He doesn’t look nervous at all.”
8. Rob Brantly, C, Miami Marlins
Stock has not changed: Maybe it was the 15-inning game. Maybe it's the cut on his right index finger. But he's going to get a few days off after scuffling a bit.
Rob Brantly had three hits in the Marlins' 15-inning win Monday against the Mets, then he got two days off. When he returned, Brantly went hitless in seven at-bats over two games. When outfielder/first baseman Austin Kearns was placed on the bereavement list for family-related reasons Sunday (per MLB.com), the Marlins recalled catcher Kyle Skipworth, giving the Marlins three catchers on the active roster.
While his offense hasn't been so hot, Brantly's currently hitting .218, the 23-year-old's defense and handling of the pitching staff are still works in progress.
"He's got a lot of responsibility," Redmond told MLB.com. "There are some nights where he looks really comfortable back there and some nights there isn't. That's kind of where we're at."
9. Adam Conley, LHP, Jacksonville Suns (AA)
Stock down: It's been a bad week for Adam Conley.
The southpaw picked up his first loss of the season when he allowed six runs on five hits with four walks in just three innings of a 7-1 loss Monday to the Mobile Bay Bears. Then on Saturday, Conley surrendered six more runs, five earned, on 10 hits in five innings. The good news was he did earn the win in Jacksonville's 7-6 win.
Thanks to his last two starts, Conley's ERA has jumped from 3.00 to 5.88.
10. J.T. Realmuto, C, Jacksonville Suns (AA)
Stock has not changed: J.T. Realmuto's season has been anything but inspirational, and he didn't do much to change that outlook this week.
Realmuto had four hits in 16 at-bats this week to raise hit batting average to .216. Realmuto also has two home runs and six RBI this season.
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