At this time of the year the Marlins name the minor league players of the year, and one comes as no surprise.
ORGANIZATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Mike Stanton, OF: Stanton repeats his Marlins Hitter of the Year honors, following up an outstanding 2008 first full season by emerging as the indisputable top prospect in the organization. His pure raw power once again translated into stats as he combined for 28 home runs and 92 RBIs, both tops in the system, between Advanced A Jupiter and Jacksonville. Though his average was just .255 on the season as he took time adjusting to Double-A pitching, the 6-foot-5 Stanton, who just turned 20, has a great future. His makeup and work ethic complement his tools, and his strong arm will play in right field. He left the Arizona Fall League after just a few games with a minor back injury, but is expected to be healthy for Spring Training.
Jose Rosario, RHP: In his first full season after spending '08 in the Gulf Coast League, the 23-year-old made the leap to spend most of his summer at Jupiter where his 3.46 ERA (combined with four early starts at Greensboro) ranked second in the system among full-season pitchers, while his 10-7 record and 105 strikeouts in 130 innings also placed him among the organization leaders. At Jupiter, he limited Florida State League hitters to a .221 average in 109 innings, walking just 25 while striking out 91.
Mike Stanton is no surprise. Jose Rosario is a bit of one. If the young Mr. Rosario wants to make it to majors with the Marlins, he needs to put it in high gear. At 23 and still in A-ball, it is not impossible, but he needs to start making a move. Yes, I know that things are bottled necked in Double-A but Rosario needs to advance as quickly as he can. If he can keep up doing what he is doing, he should be able to do that.
Congratulations to the both of them!