After months and months of waiting, fans can finally lay their eyes on their favorite team's shiny new toys when spring training begins every year.
Some toys were imported from other markets; others took years to mold before hitting the showroom floor. When it comes to the imports, if the shiny new toy fails to live up to expectations, it can make fans rue the day their favorite team signed such a player in free agency. However, when it comes to the players the organization took time to develop, the payoff could be big or the team can always ship the shiny toy back to the production room for some refinement.
Today, we're going to take a peek at four of the shiny new toys the Marlins are developing that have created a buzz around the organization a week into spring training. Some of these prospects could break out and earn jobs with the Marlins, while others could see their time in camp cut short and be sent back to the minors.
For instance, take a look at last year's spring training, when the team's three top prospects heading into 2013 were Jake Marisnick, Christian Yelich and Jose Fernandez.
Marisnick began the spring with five hits in his first 11 at-bats, but a broken bone in his left hand after he was hit by a Trevor Rosenthal pitch in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals ended Marisnick's spring training. He was sent back to the minors.
Yelich, meanwhile, had a spring to remember. He hit .364 with a team-leading five home runs and 14 RBI, which included a two-run, walk-off homer as the Marlins scored seven straight runs to post an 8-7 victory against the Boston Red Sox. Unfortunately, Yelich also returned to the minors because that was the plan all along.
As for Fernandez, he was also re-assigned to the minors midway through spring training, but that plan changed the day before the season began. And the rest is history.
So, from the prospect with the least buzz to the one most-hyped, here are the Marlins prospects creating the most buzz thus far in spring training.