The Miami Marlins sacrificed a lot of the present that they bought in 2012 for the future after the fire sale trade of November 2012. But the payoff has been that the team's farm system is restocked, and combine that with good recent drafts, and the team's reputation as a strong developmental system is back intact for the time being.
This is evident when we looked at organizational rankings before the season, and it is more evident now that the Marlins are boasting top prospects once again. The most recent update of top 50 prospect rankings comes from Baseball America, who released their list today. One search of the word "Marlins" reveals two names in this year's update.
8 Christian Yelich of Marlins Injuries have ruined his first half of the season, but they haven’t screwed up his excellent swing.
33 Andrew Heaney lhp Marlins On strict pitch counts as he comes back from strained lat, but has dominated in short stints.
The Marlins boast two top prospects in Christian Yelich and Andrew Heaney. Heading into the season, Yelich already made a lot of ground, punching through a number of top ten lists, but ranking 15th on Baseball America's list. Heaney also found his way on the list, but he was ranked 43rd before the start of the season, and many thought that was too high for a player with a supposed low-ceiling / high-floor type.
Both players moved up in the rankings, in part because a few prospects were promoted off of the list. Jurickson Profar, Wil Myers, Jose Fernandez, Shelby Miller, and Gerrit Cole were all top-ten players who received enough Major League playing time to push themselves off the list. Meanwhile, the demotion of Dylan Bundy thanks to Tommy John surgery opened the way for a number of jumps forward, including that of Yelich's into the top 10.
How have the Marlins fared on other midseason top 50 prospect lists? I took a look at the lists from Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law of ESPN to see if any other names were listed. Here are the three prospects that showed up in those rankings.
|Prospect||Baseball America||Baseball Prospectus||Keith Law||Average Rank|
All things considered, this is not that bad. Consider that the Marlins promoted one of the top 10 prospects heading into the season in Jose Fernandez, and that the team promoted another top-100 player in Marcell Ozuna (ranked 75th by Baseball America going into 2013), and the Fish are suddenly doing quite well for themselves. Add on another player in Justin Nicolino who was considered a lower-half top 100 player, and the team has six top-100 promising young talents in the organization at various levels.
What does this mean for the organization? It means that the franchise's immediate future within the next year or two should be significantly brighter. Provided the Marlins sign Colin Moran as well, the franchise should have a new, talented core ready to take over the franchise entirely in 2015. The future of Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison may still be in doubt, but the Marlins will have talent coming from the minors once more after a half-decade of minor additions from their talent-starved system.