Miami Marlins 2019: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

How will things shape up in the NL East?

Let the process continue. After 24 rookie-eligible players saw time in 2018 for the Marlins in the first year of a rebuild, Miami aims to see progress from its core in ’19. CEO Derek Jeter has preached building a sustainable winner by infusing young talent into all levels of the organization. Some — like former top prospect Lewis Brinson — are hoping for bounce-back seasons, all while rocking a new look. The Marlins have ditched the former ownership’s rainbow color scheme for a more Miami feel.


But what matters most is what happens on the field. The Marlins avoided a 100-loss season by going 63–98. In the process, they saw Brian Anderson blossom into a National League Rookie of the Year candidate. Starting pitchers Trevor Richards and Pablo Lopez showed promise after being called up. Time will tell whether they take the next step in their development. 

 

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Marlins

Miami Marlins logo“They should’ve been looking for long-term answers last season, but I don’t know how many they found. Lewis Brinson strikes out all the time, never walks and doesn’t hit; same for Magneuris Sierra. Jose Urena is a serviceable starter, but for a guy with his stuff, he doesn’t strike out many hitters. Adam Conley made a reasonably impressive transition to relief. He’s a big kid with good stuff. He just needs a little more time to figure it out. From the right side, I’ll take Drew Steckenrider — good stuff, strong mound presence, doesn’t try to overthrow. Brian Anderson has a sound approach at the plate for a younger hitter; he doesn’t try to do too much, and you’re comfortable with him at third base or in right field. You know what you’re getting from Starlin Castro at second base, but at this point it’s safe to say he peaked early. I expect a lot of open competition in spring training as these guys try to figure out where they’re headed. I also expect about 100 losses this season in a division where everyone else is going for it.”


Beyond the Box Score

Fresh Threads The Marlins unveiled a new logo, colors and uniforms in November, with a focus on capturing the Miami vibe. The rebrand came after ownership asked fans to provide feedback. As Derek Jeter said: “We want to put our own mark on the organization.” As part of the marketing campaign, local artists painted murals around the community, and players made stops across the city.


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Ballpark Makeover Gone is the home run sculpture, which will be displayed outside the ballpark by 2020. In its place will be an upscale multi-tiered deck in center field, complete with a cocktail bar and standing view platform. The lime green outfield walls have been painted blue, with green ivy in left and palm trees in left-center. Three sections in right field will become a gathering spot for SRO Social Pass holders in foul territory.


Make That Money Despite having a young roster with pre-arbitration-eligible players, the Marlins owe more than $46 million to three veterans: Wei-Yin Chen, Martin Prado and Starlin Castro. Chen is set to make $20 million in 2019 and $22 million in ’20, with a $16 million vesting option in ’21. Both Prado ($15 million) and Castro ($11 million) will be free agents at season’s end. The latter does have a team option for ’20, with a $1 million buyout.


Party of Five Last year, the Marlins selected righthanders Elieser Hernandez and Brett Graves in the Rule 5 Draft. Both remained with the club through the entire season, though Miami did outright Graves over the offseason. This winter, the Marlins  claimed right-handed reliever Riley Ferrell from the Astros in the Rule 5 Draft and signed another righty, Julian Fernandez, just prior to the draft after he was let go by the Giants. Fernandez, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft by San Francisco, is recovering from Tommy John surgery and hasn’t pitched above the Class A level. Ferrell, previously Houston’s No. 17 prospect per MLB Pipeline, will compete for high-leverage innings.


Up for Competition Non-roster invites Pedro Alvarez, Gabriel Guerrero and Harold Ramirez have shots at making the roster. Alvarez is a left-handed option at first base and a two-time 30-homer player. Guerrero is the nephew of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, an outfielder with 24 doubles, five triples and 19 homers over two minor league stops with the Reds in 2018. Ramirez is an outfielder who impressed for the Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate and in the Venezuelan Winter League.


Long Time No See The Marlins will take on AL Central clubs during interleague play, hosting the Indians, Twins and Royals. Miami will visit Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago. The Marlins last played at Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City) and Guaranteed Guaranteed Rate Field (Chicago) in 2013.


Projected Lineup

 

LINEUP

RF  Curtis Granderson (R)
CF  Lewis Brinson (R)
2B  Starlin Castro (R)
1B  Peter O’Brien (R)
3B  Martin Prado (R)
SS   JT Riddle (L)
C    Jorge Alfaro (R)
LF  Austin Dean (R)

 

BENCH

INF  Miguel Rojas (R)
1B/OF Garrett Cooper (R)
OF   Magneuris Sierra (L)
C     Bryan Holaday (R)

UT  Brian Anderson (R)
 

ROTATION

RHP  Jose Urena
RHP  Dan Straily
RHP  Sandy Alcantara
RHP  Trevor Richards
LHP  Wei-Yin Chen

 

BULLPEN

RHP  Drew Steckenrider (C)

RHP  Sergio Romo

LHP  Adam Conley
RHP  Tayron Guerrero
RHP  Tyler Kinley
RHP  Riley Ferrell
LHP  Jarlin Garcia

 

2019 PREDICTION

5th NL East 

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