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2014 MLB Spring Training Preview: Miami Marlins

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2014 MLB Spring Training Preview: Miami Marlins
Julio Cortez/Associated Press
As we draw closer to spring training, what can we expect out of the Miami Marlins in 2014?

The countdown has begun.

For the Miami Marlins, the calendar shows there are six days left until pitchers and catchers report and 10 days before the full squad reports, which is now at 66 players after Reed Johnson became the Marlins' 26th non-roster invitee by signing a minor league contract nearly two weeks ago.

While the organization probably doesn't have enough in the  arsenal to make a run for its first playoff berth since 2003, Miami might have what it takes play .500 ball in 2014. After all, the Marlins spent last season laying the foundation for a brighter future.

Jose Fernandez turned in a rookie year for the ages, won the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year Award and is expected to throw more innings in 2014, per MLB.com. Despite a subpar 2013, Giancarlo Stanton is still a Marlin, where his powerful bat has produced 117 home runs in four seasons. And reinforcements are on the way.

The Marlins have more prospects in the pipeline, particularly an abundance of affordable, young arms such as Andrew Heaney, Justin Nicolino and Anthony DeSclafani. Although the Marlins aren't as rich in prospects when it comes to position players, they went out and bought a few players who can swing the lumber this past winter to try to fix the worst offense in the major leagues.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and the same logic holds true for the Marlins. Let's face it: What the Boston Red Sox did last season—going from the basement to World Series champs in the span of a yearis not the prototypical blueprint to molding a championship-caliber squad, especially one in the Marlins' situation.

At the end of the day, it is of the utmost importance that the Marlins take a step forward in the rebuilding process after losing exactly 100 games in 2013.

That said, let's take a peek at what they have in place in the next phase of their plan, as players are about to convene in preparation for the 2014 season.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.

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