As we talked about in the Weekend Chum Bucket, Baseball America released its Florida Marlins Top 10 Prospects list.
Some of the players come as no surprise, others do.
Chad James being number three is a bit of a surprise. Now don't get me wrong, I wanted the Marlins to draft and sign Chad James, and cheered when they did. While I think he will be on the fast track to the majors, I don't think I would have placed him that high especially considering he has never thrown a pitch for any of the organizations baseball teams.
Second, I would not have included Kyle Skipworth. It is very rare when a catcher drafted out of high school is ever a major contributor in the big leagues. Not saying Skipworth won't be, but he off to a pretty rocky start and history is not on his side.
Probably my so called "favorite" on the list, for reason you will soon know is, Jhan Marinez.
Jhan Marinez, RHP -- In 2008, Marinez was scuffling in the Gulf Coast League. What I saw in 2009 was perhaps one of the best kept secrets in the minor leagues. At first it was curious why a a pitcher with an ERA north of 6.00 in rookie ball a season before would warrant such a big jump all the way to advanced Single-A ball with Jupiter (Fla.). The reason became clear the first time I saw Marinez enter a game. As he sat 96-99 mph, touching 100 in his first inning of work, it was apparent that the 21-year-old righty had experienced a tremendous velocity spike. In other outings, the velocity remained consistently around 95-97 mph, touching the upper 90s with ease.
Marinez also owns a slider, which at this stage is rather inconsistent, but has shown flashes of being an above average offering. When he has both pitches working, he is essentially unhittable at the minor-league level. He's still very raw and inexperienced, but with a superb breakout 2009 season, showing the type of explosive stuff he had on display, Marinez must be placed squarely on the prospect radar screen.
Had this been a former Braves scout or a former Marlins scout, then I might feel a whole lot better. But a former Rangers scout? That club isn't exactly known for their ability to evaluate pitching talent. But every now and then they get one right, hopefully that is the case here.
The other aspects of the BA's list is there is probably no stinking way Uggla will be with the club in 2012. Also, I don't think James will be the number two starter ahead of Nolasco. And they could be overlooking VandenHurk.
But projecting the Marlins future players is harder than picking the right six numbers for the lottery. It is pretty impressive someone stepped up to the plate to give it a try.
If you haven't looked at list already, click on the link, it is there for your perusal.