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Marlins' top five prospect tools: Hit tool

A glance at the top five Marlins minor leaguers based on their hit tool.

Where will 2013 first-round pick Colin Moran fit on the list of the Marlins' top five prospect hit tools?
Where will 2013 first-round pick Colin Moran fit on the list of the Marlins' top five prospect hit tools?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

DISCLAIMER: Players eligible for this list had to have finished the 2013 regular season in the Minors.

5. Cameron Flynn

Cameron Flynn is an athletic left-handed hitting outfielder who spent the 2013 season in Greensboro. Drafted in the 23rd round of the 2012 draft out of Kentucky, Flynn has improved his stock year by year on a consistent basis. In his college years, Flynn seemed to be hitting more for power than for average, but that's changed over his last couple seasons in the Minors. In 2013, Flynn hit .308 in 396 plate appearances. Hopefully, Flynn's statistics will carry into Jupiter next season in the rocky Florida State League.

4.Jesus Solorzano

Jesus Solorzano has good bat speed, he can hit pitches on the outside half of the plate, and he can line the ball into the gap on a fairly regular basis. Once he improves his pitch recognition, his overall hitting ability should jump across the board. Solorzano, 23, spent the 2013 season at Greensboro, where he hit an almost disappointing .285. Solorzano was old for the level and he hit .314 in Jamestown the season before, so it was reasonable to have expected a little more from Solorzano. 2014 will be a key season for this speedy outfielder, as one would presume he should be able to reach Double-A before the end of the season.

3. Avery Romero

Avery Romero, 20, was a third-round pick out of high school in the 2012 draft. A right-handed hitting infielder standing under six feet tall, Romero isn't exactly physically imposing at the plate. Nonetheless, Romero does have an aggressive approach at the plate and his ability to square the ball up should pay off for him in the long run. He makes contact at the plate look effortless due to his solid bat speed and quick path to the ball. In 2013, Romero's first real season, he hit .297 in 235 plate appearances at Short-Season Batavia. Look for Romero to have a breakout season as he transitions to Low-A Greensboro in 2014.

2. Colin Moran

Colin Moran, the Marlins' first-round pick in the 2013 draft, went into the draft with the reputation for being the most proven and best all-around college hitter. Moran hit .335 and .365 in his two years at the University of North Carolina thanks to his mature approach and his ability to make solid contact with balls on either side of the plate. With a sweet left-handed stroke, Moran should move fairly quickly through the Minors. It will be exciting to see the day that the Marlins lineup includes Avery Romero and Colin Moran anchoring the infield.

1. Brent Keys

Brent Keys is one of the most impressive pure hitters in the Marlins farm system and he doesn't get nearly close to the credit he deserves. Over the last two seasons, Keys has hit above .335 and he's walked more than he's struck out. Keys has very good plate discipline and knows how to work the pitcher until he gets a pitch to hit. His skill set may never transfer completely to the majors, but Keys should be able to hit for average anywhere he goes. Brent Keys has the top hit tool in the Marlins farm system because of his combination of being able to hit line drives to all fields, his sharp eye at the plate, and his impressive results in the Minors so far.