The Marlins feel like an organization that is stuck in a perpetual rebuild. After the tragic death of Jose Fernandez, the organization has never seemed to fully recover. Even without Fernandez, the organization still had several stars with Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, J.T. Realmuto, and Christian Yelich. The only two noteworthy players acquired for those stars are Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen (later traded for Jazz Chisholm Jr.). The shocking part is both players were acquired in the Marcell Ozuna trade meaning the other three were complete busts. Despite this, the Marlins have done an excellent job building a deep farm system with lots of exciting talent. Led by Eury Perez this system has multiple pitching prospects although many are dealing with health concerns. They also have several high-upside bats. The next wave of exciting Marlins players will be here before you know it.
Miami Marlins Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects
1. Eury Perez, RHP
Age:19/2022 Stats(A/AA):77 IP/3.97 ERA/1.14 WHIP/106 K
Few prospects that ascended prospect lists quite like Eury Perez. Signed back in 2019 by the Marlins, Perez has grown and developed into one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Over the past three years, Perez has added four inches to his already big frame. His professional debut in 2021 went about as well as anybody could have asked for posting a strikeout rate of over 35% and an ERA below 2.00. Being the youngest pitcher in Double-A, the ERA was not quite as sparkling in 2022, but the stuff looked just as electric. He posted the best swinging strike percentage in Double-A amongst pitchers with 70+ innings pitched.
Perez has four pitches in his repertoire. With increased size has come increased velocity on the fastball which now sits between 96 and 98. The fastball is not just thrown hard but is commanded extremely well for a 19-year-old. His curveball is especially effective against right-handed batters and the changeup is his go-to against lefties. The fourth pitch is a relatively new slider between 85 and 87 mph. If he can develop more consistency with this pitch his ceiling will get even higher. Perez is one of the best prospects in baseball, and profiles as a future ace for Miami.
2. Max Meyer, RHP
Age:24/2022 Stats(A/AAA):61 IP/3.69 ERA/0.97 WHIP/69 K
MLB Stats:6 IP/7.50 ERA/1.50 WHIP/6 K
Max Meyer was the third overall pick in the 2020 draft out of Minnesota. Miami moved him quickly through their system and he made his Major League debut in 2022. Meyer has proven up to the challenge at every level of the Minor League. He won the Double-A pitcher of the year award in 2022 while showing steady improvement in his command.
Meyer heavily relies on two pitches. The fastball sits between 93-95 mph but makes up for the lack of velocity with above-average spin. The slider is where Meyer originally made a name for himself, and this continues to be his best pitch. The break on the slider is virtually unhittable to righties and sits in the upper 80s. Meyer is still working on developing a feel for the changeup which is rarely used at this point. After just six innings, Meyer suffered a torn ligament in his arm, forcing him to undergo Tommy John Surgery. He will miss all of 2023 slightly lowering his dynasty value. If Meyer can develop the changeup, he is talented enough to get by with just three pitches. If not, there is a chance Meyer ends up in the bullpen featuring a plus fastball and plus-plus slider combination.
3. Kahlil Watson, SS
Age:19/2022 Stats(CPX/A):335 AB/.233/.306/.406/10 HR/16 SB/54 R/47 RBI
Originally viewed as a dark horse candidate to go number one overall in the 2021 draft, Kahlil Watson fell to the Marlins at 16th overall. Relatively small at 5’9”, Watson has always played beyond his size. Coming out of high school Watson was known for making hard contact and being able to hit moonshot home runs from the left side of the plate. Watson has 30- home run power although his tendency to use all fields might limit his totals. During the 2022 season, he stole 16 bases in just 83 games with plus speed.
Flaws in Watson’s hit tool were exposed at the beginning of the 2022 season. Through July 22nd, Watson was running a strikeout rate near 40%, struggling to make consistent contact, and rumors of character concerns were swirling. After that many analysts dropped Watson a significant amount in prospect rankings. Quietly from that point forward, Watson hit .265/.377/.490 with a strikeout rate of 25.4% and a walk rate of over 13%. Watson has the power and speed to be a 20/20 threat and showed solid improvement during his first professional season. Don’t give up yet on this exciting 19-year-old.
4. Yiddi Cappe, SS
Age:20/2022 Stats(CPX/A):276 AB/.290/.328/.438/9 HR/13 SB/41 R/40 RBI
After delays in the posting process, Yiddi Cappe signed with the Marlins in January 2021. Cappe is tall lanky and projectable standing at 6’3”. He has excellent bat speed from the right side and has posted above-average exit velocities since joining the organization. Pairing aggression at the plate with high-contact rates Cappe rarely walks but also rarely strikes out. Cappe loves to hit and between the complex league and Low-A, he batted .290 with a 112 wRC+.
The hit tool is solid, but his patience needs refinement as he starts to face tougher competition. The power is what could really take Cappe to new levels. He has excellent exit velocities and has already demonstrated an ability to pull the ball. As Cappe continues to develop he could see a major uptick in his home run totals. He also is a plus runner allowing scouts to envision the possibility of a 20/20 season. Cappe has all the tools to put together a breakout season and is a player to watch closely in 2023.
5. Jacob Berry, 3B
Age:21/2022 Stats(CPX/A):141 AB/.248/.343/.362/3 HR/1 SB/20 R/26 RBI
Jacob Berry was taken sixth overall out of LSU by the Marlins in the 2022 draft. The switch-hitting third baseman was often referred to as the most polished hitter in the draft. He hit .370 in his final collegiate year and walked more than he struck out. Although he hits the ball well from both sides of the plate, his swing generates more power from the left side of the plate. Berry posted good fly ball and pull percentage numbers during his professional debut indicating an ability to tap into his raw power.
Despite the power projections, he has never posted great exit velocity numbers. His best attribute is his plate discipline. Berry understands the zone and makes contact at a good rate keeping his strikeout numbers down. There are major defensive concerns and a move to first base or DH could lower his fantasy value. I am skeptical of his home run output which is crucial when playing either of those positions.
6. Jose Gerardo, OF
Age:17/2022 Stats(DSL):176 AB/.284/.417/.551/11 HR/18 SB/44 R/31 RBI
Jose Gerardo signed with the Marlins in January of 2022 for $180,000. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Gerardo is just 17 years old and stands at 6’1”. In the DSL, he swatted 11 home runs in 218 plate appearances good enough for a 30/600 pace. Strong pull tendencies help fuel Gerardo’s power. Amongst hitters 20 years old or younger with 200+ plate appearances, Gerardo posted the highest HR/FB% in the Minor Leagues with the highest pull percentage by over five percent. On top of this, Gerardo has plus speed with a willingness to run.
The determination to pull the baseball could get Gerardo in trouble at the plate. He will need to be content in taking pitches the other way if he wants to lower his 30.3% strikeout rate or 36.1% swinging strike rate. Both are alarming numbers and create considerable risk in Gerardo’s profile. With lots of room for projection, Gerardo has a chance to be special and a huge fantasy asset providing both power and speed. With any projection of a 17-year-old player, there is also the chance he never adjusts and fails to hit as the competition gets tougher.
7. Jose Salas, SS
Age:19/2022 Stats(A/A+):412 AB/.250/.339/.383/9 HR/33 SB/69 R/41 RBI
The Marlins made signing 16-year-old Jose Salas out of Venezuela a priority back in 2019. He made his professional debut in 2021 dominating the complex league to the tune of a 162 wRC+. Salas is constantly praised for his quick bat speed which allows him to get through the zone and tap into pull-side power. He has more power from the left side of the plate, but his contact skills are better from the right. The exit velocity numbers have not been anything to write home about (85.02 in 2022), but he should see this increase with continued growth. Part of tapping into his game power will be making sure to find consistency in his swing mechanics. With his quick bat speed, Salas sometimes pulls off the baseball leading to more groundballs than are desired.
With inconsistencies in his mechanics, the hit tool is yet to shine as brightly as many scouts thought. Despite mediocre averages, Salas has managed to post good contact rates with a solid understanding of the strike zone. With plus speed, he is an easy threat for 20+ stolen bases. Salas has five category upside if he can put it all together. The raw skills are evident, but he needs to prove that he can translate this into game success.
8. Xavier Edwards, 2B
Age:23/2022 Stats(AAA):349 AB/.246/.328/.350/5 HR/7 SB/48 R/33 RBI
Drafted back in 2018 by San Diego, this offseason marks the second time in his career that Xavier Edwards has been traded. The Rays seem to always be in a crunch for 40-man roster spots and Edwards was the odd man out this time being shipped to Miami. Always known for his plus-plus speed, Edwards has typically demonstrated an above-average hit tool. Entering 2022, Edwards was a .320 hitter with good a good BB:K ratio. The wheels fell off in 2022 as Edwards’ strikeout rate ballooned to 18.8%, the average dropped to .247, and the stolen bases dropped from 19 to seven. These drops all correlate with Edwards increasing his launch angle.
Edwards set a career-high with 5 home runs in 2022. With more fly balls come more home runs, but Edwards has well below-average power. His skills are best suited as a contact hitter. Edwards’ fantasy value is contingent on being an average and speed guy. Hopefully, a move to Miami’s system and player development team will get him back on track. Edwards is not a power hitter and trying to become one only dissipates his fantasy value.
9. Dax Fulton, LHP
Age:21/2022 Stats(A+/AA):118 IP/3.80 ERA/1.31 WHIP/150 K
Dax Fulton missed his entire senior season of high school after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but that did not stop the Marlins from taking him in the second round of the 2020 draft. Fulton is intimidating on the mound standing at 6’7” with a unique delivery from the left side. A high leg kick reminiscent of Max Fried helps provide deception in his approach to the plate. He pitched well between High-A and Double-A generating a 13.3% swinging strike rate. This ranking third highest in the Minor Leagues amongst pitchers 20 years or younger.
Fulton throws three pitches and showed improved command of all three in 2022. The fastball sits between 92 and 94 mph and has yet to show an increase in velocity that many predicted. The curveball is his best pitch which sits around 83 mph and is unhittable for lefties. He also throws a changeup to keep right-handed hitters off balance. The lack of velocity and a fourth pitch keep Fulton’s ceiling relatively low. He profiles as a mid-rotation starter at best and a fringe starter at worst.
10. Jake Eder, LHP
Age:24/Did not play in 2022
The Marlins took Jake Eder out of Vanderbilt in the fourth round of the 2020 draft. Throwing from the left side, Eder possesses two plus pitches that he throws right past batters. The fastball sits comfortably in the mid-90s and can touch 98 at times. He pairs this with a wipeout slider that sits in the low 80s with excellent spin and break. He also utilizes a changeup that profiles as an average pitch to keep righties off balance. In 2021, he trailed only Eury Perez for swinging strike rate in the organization. He dominated Double-A to a 1.77 ERA before blowing out his arm and requiring Tommy John Surgery causing him to miss the entire 2022 campaign.
So why not rank Eder higher? Part of the concern is his arm injury and the rust that comes with missing an entire season of Minor League development. The other reason is concern over his control. His 9.4% walk rate in 2021 is not terrible, but it is not great either. He struggled with command and consistency in college and walked at least three batters five times in 15 professional starts. The stuff is electric, but he will need to show more consistency in 2023.
11. Jordan Groshans, 3B
Age:23/2022 Stats(A/AAA):372 AB/.263/.359/.331/3 HR/3 SB/46 R/34 RBI
MLB Stats:61 AB/.262/.308/.311/1 HR/0 SB/9 R/2 RBI
Since being selected 12th overall by the Blue Jays in the 2018 draft, Jordan Groshans has been one of the bigger disappointments leading to his trade to Miami during the 2022 season. Coming out of high school, many scouts thought the 6’3” Groshans would become a power hitter, but he has failed to hit more than seven home runs in any season of his professional career. This is due to a high ground ball rate and mediocre exit velocities. The bat speed has been slow and while Groshans has been able to effectively hit the ball to all fields, he has been unable to tap into any type of pull-side power.
Groshans’ has flashed an average hit tool throughout the Minor Leagues. His contact skills have been impressive and in his brief Major League stint he posted a whiff rate below 18% and a zone contact rate above 89%. Still just 23 years old and with above-average contact skills, Groshans has time to develop into a solid big-league player. He needs to fix his swing to get around on pitches and utilize his big frame to hit more home runs.
12. Sixto Sánchez, RHP
Age:24/Did not play in 2022
Yes, Sixto Sánchez is still on prospect lists. Talk about a roller coaster of a career for a player who is just 24 years old. Originally signed by the Phillies, Sanchez was traded to the Marlins in the J.T. Realmuto trade. He set the world on fire during the 2020 season and looked like a future staple in Miami’s rotation. Sanchez has five pitches in his arsenal including three different types of fastballs. He has a four-seamer sitting around 98, a sinker around 97, and a cutter at 90. The changeup is his best pitch and profiles as a plus-plus pitch and his go-to out pitch. Sanchez also mixes in a slider, but he does not have much feel for it and usually stays away from using it.
The issues with Sanchez are with his health. He has not pitched one inning of professional baseball since the 2020 playoffs. With several arm and shoulder injuries, many around the organization are wondering if he will ever pitch again. If he does make it back on the mound, there is a chance he is kept in the bullpen to limit his innings.
13. Joe Mack, C
Age:20/2022 Stats(CPX/A):148 AB/.243/.383/.385/5 HR/0 SB/20 R/15 RBI
Joe Mack was taken out of high school with the 31st overall pick in 2021. He hits from the left side with a pretty swing when all is going well. Mack is 6’1” and has considerable power upside to his profile. He possesses a powerful swing that helps to post above-average exit velocities. Mack has the raw power to be a 20+ home run catcher. However, in both high school and so far in the pros, Mack has been prone to slumping at the plate. His swing gets long, and he tends to hit the ball on the ground too much. A solid understanding of the strike zone helps provide a stable fantasy floor for on-base leagues, but there is a chance Mack never hits enough to make it there. The raw tools are there, but this profile carries a lot of projection in it.
14. Antony Peguero, OF
Age:17/2022 Stats(DSL):196 AB/.286/.355/.423/5 HR/7 SB/24 R/33 RBI
The Marlins signed Antony Peguero out of the Dominican Republic last January. He performed well in the DSL getting his first real taste of professional baseball. He has quick hands helping to generate projection in his power. Additional projection stems from his already consistent ability to elevate the baseball. The raw power is not quite the same as Jose Gerardo’s, but he has a chance for 20 home runs. Despite the relatively impressive 16.1% strikeout rate, Peguero posted a swinging strike rate above 29%. He will need to improve his contact rates as he moves through Miami’s system. His speed is fringe-average at best already and figures to regress as he continues to grow. Without speed, the ceiling is much lower for Peguero than for other players in this system. The best case best-cases likely 20 home runs and a .270 average.
15. Ian Lewis, 2B
Age:20/2022 Stats(A):185 AB/.265/.347/.368/2 HR/16 SB/21 R/21 RBI
Ian Lewis was signed out of the Bahamas in 2019 and instantly received comparisons to Jazz Chisholm Jr.. Both are switch-hitting middle infielders with quick bat speed and an athletic build. Lewis did nothing but impress during his professional debut in 2021 batting .302 with 9 stolen bases in 32 games. In 2022, he missed the beginning of the season dealing with a personal issue but returned to steal 16 bases in just 51 games. The speed is plus-plus and instantly raises his fantasy ceiling.
The bat speed is evident, but Lewis has yet to really tap into his power. Many analysts project that the power is coming, but lackluster exit velocity numbers in the minors lead to skepticism. He also hits the ball on the ground too often to be a power threat at this point. Lewis is still young, but it will take a swing adjustment to unlock his full potential. The hit tool is there, but the approach and pull tendencies leave him susceptible to breaking pitches, especially from the left side of the plate. There are more questions than answers right now but look out if Lewis can put it all together.