Florida Marlins Roster 2013: A Reason For Marlins Fans To Be Excited
I know, its three seasons away, and with the money Jeffrey Loria has that he isn't spending, it seems ridiculous that we'd even have to wait that long for a another playoff berth, and we might not, but by 2013 this team will be one of the most potent in all of baseball.
They will continue to compete this year and will have similar seasons for the next two years, be in it until middle of September but never really have a solid chance.
The Braves look like they might have a few years of power in them and the Phillies will continue to be a contender, but by 2013, look for the Fish to be a serious NL powerhouse.
By that time, they'll have moved into their fancy new ballpark and maybe actually draw some fans to their games. This is my ideal roster for 2013. Granted, they make make moves and lose/bring in names that could shake this up but just using the current roster and prospects now, take a look:
Starting Pitcher 1: Josh Johnson
Josh Johnson is the ace, and will continue to be the ace of this club for years to come. He started this season off a major Cy Young contender but fell off thanks to some bad bullpen breakdowns.
Expect him to continue to dominate for a while and be a consistent top-of-the-line starter for the Marlins. He will get between 15-20 wins a year depending on if he gets some run support and post-7th inning bullpen help as well. The Marlins 2013 ace will be Josh Johnson!
Starting Pitcher 2: Anibal Sanchez
He's Only 26, boasts an 11-8 record with a 3.14 ERA and is even better at home with a 4-3 record and a 2.45 ERA.
He has developing heat, a nasty breaking ball and a good changeup. Expect to see him continue to be a solid starter, and make the move from 4/5 starter to a top of the rotation 2/3 kind of guy.
He will be the guy you expect to throw seven innings, and get you a win after watching JJ go to work the night before.
Starting Pitcher 3: Chris Volstad
Volstad is young, only 23 (almost 24) and he is already putting up solid numbers in the majors. He is 9-9 on the year with a 4.82 ERA which, while not exactly good, isn't bad for such a young kid.
He desperately needs to develop some stamina and be able to carry games into the 6th or 7th innings because currently, the Marlins middle relief is, to say the least, bad. He stands an intimidating 6'8" on the mound and has good arm strength to go along with great fundamentals.
If the coaches can get him to keep developing and growing as a player, he will become quite a good pitcher.
Starting Pitcher 4: Alex Sanabia
Formerly Alejandro Sanabia, Alex has started in the Majors this year and is already showing signs of extreme talent.The power might not be there yet but his control definitely is with only 10 walks in 48 major league innings compared to 34 K's.
He is 3-2 with a 4.50 ERA but the average record is largely thanks to bullpen collapses, and the ERA is high because of a few rough innings. When you only have 48 innings under your belt a big inning can really corrupt your ERA.
He has shown flashes of dominance throughout the year and the power and arm strength will come with time. In three years this kid could be better than a 4th starter, he could have ace potential.
Starting Pitcher 5: Sean West
We need a lefty in the rotation and this 24 year old hurler could prove to be that lefty. He started 20 games in the majors last year and so far has tossed two games this year.
He hasn't been impressive putting up an 0-2 record with a 7.72 ERA but he's faced Cincinnati and Philadelphia, two tough starts.
He has a lot of potential, last year having an 8-6 record but an ERA of over 4.6. Expect to see him continue to work on control and arm strength and we might have a developing young superstar southpaw in the making. Or just a solid starter.
Bullpen: Closer: Leo Nunez
He, like the rest of the Marlins bullpen has had an abysmal year and is only clinging to the closer job because there is no one to take it from him. He has blown way too many saves to be a reliable closer but has also flashed bright spots.
If he could either develop one more pitch or work on the heat and change-up he already has, he could actually improve and be a decent closer.
The Marlins have some younger pitching talent that, while wont develop into starters, could be good in the pen but not as closers. Closers take a special talent and the Marlins hope Nunez has that.
Here's eight guys who could fill up that pen. The pen for the Marlins this year has been so poor that the only way to go is up, and these youngsters can help:
Catcher: Brett Hayes
Hayes has been solid in relief of the suspended Ronny Paulino and is a mere 26 years of age. He's hit a mere .208 with 2 HR's but has only appeared in 28 games.
Now he has a separated shoulder and is done for the year. He has been a clutch hitter and very good with RISP. If he can continue to grow as a catcher and a hitter, he may prove to be the future at Catcher for the Fish.
John Baker- currently 29 and recovering from Tommy John, not an everyday guy but a possibility
Brad Davis- currently 27 and not hitting well in the Majors but a solid fundamental catcher
Ronny Paulino - probably too old by 2013 but if he comes back hitting the way he was, he could get some games behind the dish. Better suited for a bench role
Chris Hatcher- currently 25 and hasn't done anything in the majors since being called up. Could probably be a solid hitter, we'll see how he turns out.
Kyle Skipworth: More young talent here, has very good power, not a good fielder and not likely to start.
Matt Dominguez (Best Option) He has converted to 3B for the most part but at the young age of 21 anything is possible. He played catcher early in his career and will look to be playing in the majors by 2013
1B: Gaby Sanchez
This kid and Mike Stanton could be the MVP's of the team by 2013. The pure contact is there as well as great contact and clutch hitting and patience.
If his talent hangs around and he keeps playing the way he did this season, he is gonna completely rake in 2013. He's currently batting .284 and has knocked 16 Homers and driven in 72 RBI's. That's a fantastic rookie year and that's why he is in the ROY chase.
He is an "old" rookie at 27 but he seems to have shown the staying power this year to make it in the majors and have a good 10 year career. That is of course if he can take the beating of several 162 game season in a row, with little rest because there isn't much in the system to back him up.
2B: Dan Uggla
I am hopeful that Uggla can be the veteran presence on such a young talented team. If his power sticks around, he can continue to be a slug and that will be important on a team that will have questions as to who will be the 30-40 home run guys.
If Uggla isn't the guy, or the Marlins cant hang on to the will-be 33 year old (currently 30) then look for Emilio Bonifacio to be the starter or possibly someone like Chris Coghlan, who is established and has experience at 2B or a youngster like Jake Smolinski if he can convert from 3B.
3B: Chris Coghlan
While almost all of the time in the majors for Coghlan has been spent in LF, with his injury and the arrival of Logan Morrison, he will likely have to convert to 3B.
Hector Luna, Chad Tracy, and Wes Helms don't seem to be the answers while they are fine off the bench. Clearly the team is missing Jorge Cantu, but his departure was due, and now the Marlins can move on.
Coghlan did spend time in the minors at 2B, so while moving to the hot corner wont be easy, he will be fine. He is a great lead-off man for years to come, with phenomenal speed, great contact hitting and a good eye for the strike zone.
In his rookie-of-the-year campaign Cogs went off and while cooling off as a sophomore and tearing a meniscus in his knee in a freak accident, is still young and will come back hopefully better than ever.
Jake Smolinksi: Young minor leaguer who has been a disappointment so far, still plenty of time to improve
Matt Dominguez: Great youngster, probably in the Majors by 2013, the question is what position?
SS: Hanley Ramirez
Hanley Ramirez is the face of the Marlins. He is one of the best players in the league and the best young shortstop in the business. Expect Hanley to continue to rake and compete for MVP year in and year out.
He will be the superstar of the Marlins to go along with developing studs Mike Stanton and Gaby Sanchez among others.
He did have a mid-season debacle with former manager Fredi Gonzalez that some believe led to the "former" in Gonzalez's name but has manned-up since, hustled and looked like that superstar the Marlins know him to be.
Barring any stupid moves by Loria to clear up cap, he's the go to guy for years to come. He can crush bombs to straight away center or spray line drives all over the field, this guy is a superstar.
LF: Logan Morrison
Morrison, or LoMo, will be the guy out in left for a while. He came into the league with a bang and the 3B convert is already hitting well, showing a fantastic knowledge of the strike zone, and flashing some leather in left.
The power that we haven't seen yet will undoubtedly come, and if he keeps showing that kind of patience at the dish, then we really might have something special.
The 23 year old rookie has bat .313 in 37 games but his OBP is .421 having drawn 26 walks. He has been clutch when needed too, batting .381 with RISP. If he continue to develop the way he has so far, then we have a future superstar in Left Field, and a leader for the Fish in the future years.
CF: Cameron Maybin
The Marlins are giving Maybin one more shot to be the stud that they think he can be with the letting-go of Cody Ross. He has taken over center field as of late and has been very good.
He started the year slow and was sent down to the minors but has since shown that he has power, is a fantastic fielder in a big center field in Miami, and can hit for contact too.
Originally expected to be similar to Hanley, a 30 HR, 30 SB guy, Maybin has to say the least been a let down. But there is still time for the 23 year old to turn it up and all signs point to that he will, and be the guy for the Fish in center field.
RF: Mike Stanton
Pure Power. He's a mere 20 years old, has 18 crushed home runs in 77 games and the vast majority of those have been moonshots, flying over 430 feet.
He has hit for power very well since being called up on the same day as Stephen Strasburg, and his contact will come. His batting average was looking fine until he dropped into an embarrassing slump where he went more than 30 AB with only one hit but now he is back on a tear, looking like a young Barry Bonds.
He is an intimidating player to face standing 6"5" and weighing 240 pounds. He is and will continue to be very exciting to watch, and has the raw power and ability to be a true superstar in the years to come.
Utility: Emilio Bonifacio
Current and probably future manager Edwin Rodriguez really loves this kid.
He's lightning fast, can spray line drives across the diamond, and provides a real spark top the offense and defense. He fits best at 3B but is very flexible, and can play in the Outfield, SS, or 2nd Base.
Rodriquez is young enough, and if the speed stays will make the perfect utility guy who can pinch hit, go in defensively or ideally fit perfectly in a double switch. Keep Running Bonny!
Where Do They Fit?
Guys Who Ought To be Traded, or Possibly Fit Into a Bench Role
Nolasco is one of Marlins best pitchers but seems to be the odd man out in the future of the organization. Most teams would give something up for a potential # 2/3 starter so a trade is the best answer, because we definitely want to get something for him.
John Baker can serve as the Marlins backup catcher which leaves the currently suspended Ronny Paulino out of a job. He isn't exactly worth much but has been very good behind the dish and adequate at it.
27 year old outfielder, never really done much, probably should stay in the minors.
Great Talent that the Marlins Have No Room for
A phenomenal young talent, who would be forced to serve as a 4th outfielder if he isn't traded, because he isn't going to spend much more time in the Minor Leagues, having already come up and made a difference.
I'd feel bad to lose him but it isn't right to him to force a 25 year old into a 4th outfielders role if he can start somewhere else.
Dominguez, as I stated earlier, started the Minors as a catcher but the Marlins seem to have an abundance of those and at the ripe old age of 20, switched from Catcher to 3rd Base or maybe just a general Corner Infielder.
Unless Coghlan can't play third, or Dan Uggla is dealt forcing Coghlan to go back to 2nd, Dominguez seems to be out of luck in Miami. Granted, he isn't very old and still wont be in 2013, if he keeps developing the way he has been, in three years her will deserve a spot in the majors.