Friday, November 30, 2012

Florida Marlins Season 21 Outlook

Season 20
Won/Loss (place in division) & Playoffs: 70-92 (3rd), missed playoffs
Offense: 621 runs (15th)
Pitching:  3.89 ERA (8th)

Major Changes
FA Departures:
  C Donne Mercedes
Left via Trade:  OF Dave Diaz
Rule V: 
RP P.T. SaenzPromoted:  1B Rey Tamura (Sea 18 IFA), 2B Howie McLaughlin (Sea 18 #1 overall), SS Ricardo Ayala (Sea 17 IFA), SS Wilbur Kirby (Sea 17 #12 overall), SP Desmond Wengert (Sea 18 #14 overall)
Lurking in AAA:  OF Louie Chiasson (Sea 18 #23 overall)

Season 21 OutlookThe Marlins continue to accumulate young talent.   A good bit of it has found its way to the majors, especially on the pitching staff, and there's a healthy minor league pipeline in place.

The rotation has 2 young stud aces, Taylor Cashman (6th pick of the Sea 15 draft) and Vic Villalona (Sea 17's #1).  Both a big, hard-throwing righties with good pitches and particular toughness on righty batters.  Both are potential 20-game winners - they'll be anchoring this staff for a long time.

Behind those 2 are Grover Thames, a workhorse with a solid 4.01 ERA in 4 seasons; Desmond Wengert, who was the prime compensation in the Mark Payton trade last year; and Andy Brantley - 3.86 ERA in 163 IP as a rookie.

That's a damn nice rotation top to bottom.  The bullpen might not be up to those standards, but it's pretty good.  Jarred Cunningham posted a 2.99 ERA in 72 innings, and Julio Aviles notched a 1.59 in his 22 late-season innings.

The lineup has not caught up to the staff's talent yet, and at this point is incomplete.  C Jim Fasano is the top power source; rookies McLaughlin and Kirby look like they'll be at least decent hitters for infielders.  Florida has no OF's currently on the ML roster; I'm guessing Louie Chiasson in AAA will get the call shortly.  He'll strike out a lot, but has good power and should be a pretty good all-round hitter.

With their pitching, the Marlins might actually contend if they go out and get a couple of hitters.  Short of that, they'll still improve and maybe put a scare into the Cards and Braves if they slide any.

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