Miami Marlins prospects: Explaining Andrew Heaney's excellent 2013 season

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Former 1st round pick Andrew Heaney has been making waves with his continued progression with Miami's High-A affiliate. What kind of pitcher is Andrew Heaney and what could be his future impact on the overall landscape of the Marlins rotation?

With Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick now making waves at the major league level with the Miami Marlins, former first round pick Andrew Heaney now becomes the team's main minor league prospect as they continue to rebuild.

As mentioned in the following piece from the Sun-Sentinel's website, Heaney has been on fire since his debut with Miami's High-A affiliate (Jupiter Hammerheads) in late May after recovering from a from an injury he suffered in the off-season. Since returning, the former 1st round pick has been one of the more promising prospects in the minors with an absolute spectacular 1.04 WHIP. With a combination of three relatively solid pitches, Heaney has been able to take care of the talent in High A which is impressive because of his relatively low 9.85 K/9 ratio.

Similar to former Marlins righty Ricky Nolasco, Heaney appears to be a solid and reliable pitcher who won't blow you away with a spectacular and blazing fastball. Like Nolasco, Heaney thrives on his impressive ability to control his pitches inside the strike zone (2.7 walks per nine innings) which should make his path to the Marlins that much easier. The only real drawback towards Heaney is centered around his perceived issues with durability as he continues his big league career, which is a notable concern after his lat strain that could lead to future problems.

After his continued success in Jupiter, it does appear that Heaney will finish out the season with Double-A Jacksonville which has become a familiar landing spot for some of Miami's biggest prospects. As noted in a previous piece about Ozuna, the transition to Double-A is usually the place where young hitters get used to facing off against pitchers with a more expansive arsenal of pitches which allows them to quickly become more experienced. While that could lead to some initial struggles for Heaney, his pristine control should be able to help his progression through the minor league system.

While Fernandez and Jacob Turner thrive with Miami, Heaney is quickly on his way to joining the duo in the not-so-distant future. As per Jonathan Mayo's newest update to his list of the top 100 prospects, Heaney is projected to join the big league club next season alongside fellow left-handed prospect Justin Nicolino, who has recently moved to Jacksonville. Even though it might be too early to predict their potential with the Marlins, the endless possibilities surrounding Miami's starting rotation is extremely enticing when you look ahead towards the future of the team.

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