Miami Marlins prospects: Corner infield depth

Logan Morrison is 26 years old but the baseball world is still curious as to what type of a Major League first baseman he is. - Marc Serota

An in-depth look at the Miami Marlins first and third basemen in their farm system that have a chance at contributing to the team next year and down the line.

The Miami Marlins corner infield scenario in the majors is a mess. It would be a generous statement to refer to Logan Morrison and Ed Lucas as second-division starters considering how they have performed in 2013. As the Marlins starting pitching and outfield jumbles are starting to clear up, the Marlins should focus on figuring out what to do with their disastrous corner infield. Luckily, there are a few prospects not too far away from the Majors that could help and a few long-term projects that could develop nicely.

Currently, Placido Polanco and Ed Lucas are the Marlins only real third basemen at the Major League level. Polanco, 37, very well could be in his last season playing baseball and I would not only be shocked, but extremely disappointed if the Marlins brought Polanco back next year. Lucas, 31, scraped his way through seven years in the Minors to finally make his debut in 2013 and eventually win the starting job at third base. In 351 at bat's, Lucas has hit .250/.335/.334 with four home runs; that's simply not enough to hold a job at a position for multiple seasons. Logan Morrison, 26, is probably the best option the Marlins have at first base inside the organization down the line. However, over his last two incomplete seasons (Morrison has always had problems staying off the disabled list), Morrison is hitting a mere .239/.323/.397 with 17 homers in 638 at-bats. All in all, the Marlins options at these two positions in the majors are not consistent with any team that could possibly play .500 or better.

Unless the Marlins decide to move Derek Dietrich to third, they really have no prospects that are ready to play third in the majors next year. For this reason primarily, I believe the Marlins will chase after a veteran free agent or trade for a third baseman to hold the position until Colin Moran is ready. For first base depth, Joe Mahoney is definitely not a better option than Morrison but he has shown glimpses of consistent performance. Mark Canha is probably the most intriguing and promising first base prospect within a year of the majors. Canha, 24, was a seventh-round pick in the 2010 draft out of Cal. In 504 plate appearances in his first year in Double-A in 2013, Canha hit .273/.371/.449 with 13 homers and six stolen bases. I expect Canha to get a chance to prove himself in the majors at one point or another during the 2014 season, but I'm not convinced he's the long-term solution for Miami at first base.

Colin Moran, the Marlins first-round pick this year, had a fantastic start to his professional career in Greensboro. In 175 plate appearances for the Hoppers, Moran hit .299/.354/.442 with 4 HR and a 127 wRC+. Moran is looking exactly like the player the Marlins drafted, which is a first-division starter at third base with the potential to be even more. However, Moran likely won't reach Miami until 2015. First base prospects in the lower minors come few and far apart, but Carlos Lopez and Felix Munoz are two names to store away.

Overall, the Marlins depth chart at both first base and third base is far from impressive. With Colin Moran a couple years away and Logan Morrison struggling to get back to the exciting player he once was, the next couple years are sure to be rocky for Marlins corner infielders. Nonetheless, these two positions do have some talented players and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Marlins brought in one or two familiar corner infielders this offseason. The development of these two positions might be a ways behind the Marlins starting rotation or outfield, but that's not to say that the future at first and third doesn't look much brighter than what it has been this season.

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