In my weekly spot in doing the Fish Bites links post for this site, I scour the baseball blogosphere in search of the best pieces of the past few days. One of the pieces that initially caught by eye was a pretty genuine post where Baseball Nation's Rob Neyer asked the question of whether Angels' outfielder Mike Trout or Tigers' corner infielder Miguel Cabrera was the most ''unmissable" hitter in baseball.
That aforementioned word is probably the polar opposite phrase that you would use to describe the current iteration of the Marlins. While last year's 100-loss season definitely pulled a good amount of fans away from the team, there is still a handful of solid players that are currently wearing a Miami Marlins uniform. From veteran sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to youngsters Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich, there are a good amount of players that a good amount of people will be excited to see play on a night-by-night basis when the 2014 season gets underway.
So, to help build up some excitement and raise a good discussion, I must ask the following question: Who's the biggest "can't miss" player on this current Marlins team.
While Yelich didn't put up stats that would immediately compare him to the rookie version of Mike Trout, he still was one of the most effective players on the Marlins team. With a batting line of .288/.370/.396, Yelich put up similar numbers during his short stint with the Marlins that he did in AA Jacksonville which is extremely impressive for a 22 year old prospect. While those numbers aren't the sexiest stats that you'll see, the promising Christian Yelich is still a high quality prospect who's going to keep on improving as he continues to grow as a player which could be extremely scary for the rest of the NL East.
Will Marlins fans be packing Marlins Park because the team signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the offseason? Absolutely not. With that said, the signing of Saltalamacchia brings an extremely solid offensive bat that South Beach hasn't seen since the days of Ivan Rodriguez. Saltalamacchia definitely has the potential to putter out like so many Marlins signings from the past (i.e anybody from 2011) but there's also an opportunity for him to be that one big puzzle piece that could push the team closer to respectability. There's also a chance that he could reach that middle ground of just being an above-average hitting catcher. But that's a whole lot better than spending five months watching Jeff Mathis and Rob Brantly share the position for the entirety of the 2013 season.
Before his less than stellar 2013 season, Giancarlo Stanton was one of the scariest offensive players in the National League. With a Slugging Percentage that elevated past .600, Stanton was one of the premier power hitters in the world of baseball. With that said, Stanton combined his superhuman power ability with an extremely scary knack of hitting for average which helped lead to the .290/.361/.608 stat line from 2012.
Despite his un-Stanton like performance during the 2013 season, Giancarlo Stanton is still one of the finest young hitters in the league. While there are continued rumors circulating around his future with the organization, he's still one of the most intriguing prospects because you're going to have to cherish his abilities before a possible move in the future.
While this poll is directed towards the 2014 season, NL Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez was definitely one of the "can't miss" players during the 2013 season. With numbers that were simply awe-inspiring and his continued energy and enthusiasm while on the mound, Fernandez quickly became one of the top young faces of the Marlins organization. As he embarks on his sophomore season, eyes around Miami and the rest of the baseball world will continue to be glued onto Jose Fernandez to see how he can possibly improve on his outstanding rookie season.