While anxiously awaiting the day pitchers and catchers report, I came up with what I think is a brilliant idea. During Spring Training, each major league team should form a prospect All-Star team, filled with their top prospects not at major league spring training. While I have no say with the commissioner, it is fun to dream about something like this happening. Anyways, I came up with the idea to compare the Marlins prospects with other teams in the N.L. East and their top prospects. I will be doing all five teams in the division, starting with the New York Mets.
DISCLAIMER: This is in no way to determine which team has the better farm system.
Catcher: The Marlins and the Mets are both looking pretty good at catcher after a couple of trades. The Mets had to give up R.A. Dickey to get Travis d'Arnaud, who is without a doubt their catcher of the future. Neither Rob Brantly nor J.T. Realmuto on the Marlins' side is as talented as d'Arnaud, but there is something to be said for having two extremely talented catchers in the minors.
Kevin Plawecki is another talented catcher in the Mets' system, but he is not at the same level as the rest of these guys. If Realmuto had not been such a disappointment in 2012, I would say the Marlins have the better assortment of catchers. However, because d'Arnaud has the chance to be an All-Star, unlike any of the Marlins' catchers, I am going to have to give New York the win here. Advantage: New York
First Base: First base prospects are few and far between. Neither the Mets nor the Marlins have any highly talented first base prospects that are playing first base in the minors as of right now. Miami does have Mark Canha (about whom I wrote for Fish Stripes here.) but ne is neither an impact bat nor above-average defender. If New York has to move Wilmer Flores to first, which in my opinion will happen sooner rather than later, he could be a pretty special first baseman. This is an underwhelming position in the minors for both teams at the moment, so because he is the best current first base prospect on either team, Mark Canha leads Miami to the win here. Advantage: Miami
Second Base: Second base is not a position where most top prospects start out at. For this reason above all, the Marlins and Mets do not have any second basemen that would be in either team's top ten prospects. Nonetheless, Miami does have two prospects that play second base and at least one of them will have a very bright future. Out of Noah Perio and Austin Barnes, Miami will likely find their second baseman of the future. For New York, the closest thing they have to a second base prospect is Wilmer Flores, who I am listing at third right now. The winner of this category is fairly clear compared to the others. Advantage: Miami
Shortstop: The shortstop position is a great matchup because the position is one of both team's strengths. For New York, 2012 first round pick Gavin Cecchini has the talent to become an above-average regular, but right now he is still learning to incorporate more of his lower body into his swing and is a couple of years away. Miami boasts Adeiny Hechavarria and Derek Dietrich. Hechavarria is never going to hit much, but he plays tremendous defense. Dietrich has awesome raw power, but he is going to have to move off shortstop at some point. Simply because Miami has two elite prospects currently at this position instead of one, they win this position. Advantage: Miami
Third Base: All the Marlins really have at third right now is Zack Cox, of whom Fish Stripes readers know I am not a big fan. Cox is no more than a second-division starter at third. If you dig deeper, Miami has Ron Miller (about whom I wrote about for Fish Stripes here.) but he's way too raw to project yet. Aderlin Rodriguez and Matt Reynolds are both talented young 3B prospects for New York, but neither will become a Major League starter at third base. Overall, New York has to win this category just because of Wilmer Flores. Advantage: New York
Outfield: Both teams have talented outfield prospects, but not many teams can match up with Miami's top three. Christian Yelich, Jake Marisnick, and Marcell Ozuna are three players who are so good, it is impossible to not like at least one of them. Are you interested in an outfielder that can hit for average, has average power with the potential for more, and is a fantastic athlete? Well, then there is Christian Yelich. Perhaps you prefer excellent defense and raw power that an outfielder can flaunt with his hitting ability, which has improved a ton since that player was drafted? For that desire, Jake Marisnick fits the mold. Do you love crazy raw power and one of the best outfield arms in the minors? Marcell Ozuna is the man for that. My point is, the Marlins' top three outfielders often get overshadowed by the team's pitching, but they are just as much a part of the future in Miami.
For New York, Brandon Nimmo is their only current outfield prospect that can be a first-division starter. Nimmo is still years away, but he looks like a player that could hit .300 with average power down the road. Overall, the Marlins dominate the outfield prospect competition. Advantage: Miami
Pitching: Instead of doing a separate category for starters and relievers, I decided to combine the two, with a huge emphasis on starters. Starting pitching prospects is one area in which both of these teams are far ahead from the rest of the pack.
The top five pitching prospects in Miami in no particular order are as follows; Jose Fernandez, Justin Nicolino, Andrew Heaney, Adam Conley, and Jose Urena. The top five pitching prospects in New York (not in order) are Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Michael Fulmer, and Rafael Montero. Miami has the clear advantage among these five, but I actually think New York has more depth. Time will tell as to which system will produce the best pitchers, but right now, it looks like Miami has the best combination of high-ceiling talent and probability in their pitchers. Advantage: Miami
Final Tally: Miami 5, New York 2