Fish Stripes 2014 Top Marlins Prospects: #19-20

Can Sam Dyson get enough strikeouts to have an effective 2014 season? - Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

An in-depth look at the two prospects that just barely made the Fish Stripes's list of top prospects in the Miami farm system. In 2014, Sam Dyson came in at #19 and Nick Wittgren nabbed the final spot.

20. Nick Wittgren, RHP
Drafted: 2012, 9th round out of Purdue University.
Age: 22 Height: 6'3''  Weight: 210 lbs.

The fourth reliever on this list, Wittgren had a breakout 2013 season in High Class-A Jupiter. In 54.1 innings pitched, Wittgren struck out 59 batters, walked only ten, and posted a 0.83 ERA and 1.93 FIP. Wittgren will likely start the 2013 season in Jacksonville, where he will still be on the younger end of the spectrum, despite being drafted out of college.

Wittgren will be heading into the 2014 season coming off of dominating the Arizona Fall League and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Marlins decided to start him in the Majors to start the year. Wittgren has shown the reliability and consistency necessary to be in a Major League bullpen that some of the Marlins other young relievers lack.

Wittgren's repertoire includes an average fastball in the low 90's, a changeup that has been making great strides in the last year, and a promising power curveball. The reason he experienced so much success last year was not necessarily because of movement or velocity on those pitches, but his pinpoint location. Overall, Wittgren has drawn a lot of mixed reviews in the baseball world. If Wittgren is able to succeed in the back of the bullpen for a competitive team down the road, it will be because he continues to miss bats. However, with his somewhat lackluster arsenal of pitches, I could see Wittgren struggle once he faces the highest competition. Nonetheless, with his repeatable delivery and ability to put the ball exactly where he wants it, I expect Wittgren to have a breakout season in 2014.

19. Sam Dyson, RHP
Drafted:
2010, 4th round (by Toronto) out of University of South Carolina
Age: 25 Height: 6'1'' Weight: 210 lbs.

I have said this many times before, but Sam Dyson was an absolute steal when the Marlins got him off of waivers before last season. Dyson is an experienced reliever who has the potential to be the kind of trustworthy pitcher the manager can call on with a runner on first and third and one out. Even though his fastball is in the upper 90's with late movement and he's able to keep his slider low in the zone, Dyson doesn't have a reliable out pitch to turn to. That's probably the only reason why he's not more suited for becoming a closer. Still, Dyson's sinking fastball generates a ton of ground balls and he could turn into an extremely useful pitcher to have as an option out of the 'pen.

Dyson's keys to 2014 will likely be staying on the field and finding creative ways to get strikeouts. He's always had arm and shoulder issues dating back to his days at the University of South Carolina. Dyson did pitch in over 100 innings between Double-A, Triple-A, and the Majors and he got solid results but the strikeouts were never there. There's a fairly good chance Dyson will start the year up in Miami but if he can't find a way to get more strikeouts he's going to struggle even in a middle relief role.

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