The injury bug continues to plague the Miami Marlins. Chris Valaika suffered a fracture to the tip of his wrist bone when Yonder Alonso slid into him during a steal attempt in last night's loss to the San Diego Padres.
The Marlins moved Valaika to the 15-day disabled list, raising the total number of players on the disabled list to eleven. The front office also shifted Casey Kotchman to the 60-day disabled list, allowing the team to add Derek Dietrich to the roster.
Dietrich was hitting .282/.408/.505 in 125 plate appearances for Double-A Jacksonville before his promotion. He is set to bat seventh in the lineup against the San Diego Padres this afternoon.
Originally selected in the second round of the 2010 draft, Dietrich signed with the Tamba Bay Rays for $457,200. The Marlins acquired him in exchange for Yunel Escobar this past December.
Fish Stripes ranked Dietrich as the 11th best prospect in the farm system this off-season. This website expressed concern over his lack of plate discipline and high strikeout numbers, but the 23-year-old has has walked in a career high 12.8 percent of plate appearances this year. His .408 On-Base Percentage ranks as the sixth best in the Southern League.
Dietrich spent most of his time the past two seasons at shortstop, even though his questionable range has always shrouded over him as a limiting factor. The Marlins have kept him off shortstop, confining him to second base, with the occasional start at third base. His strong arm might make him best suited to the hot corner, but his bat doesn't profile as above-average there.
The ZiPS projection system predicted that Dietrich would hit .246/.294/.400 in the majors prior to the start of the season. That triple-slash line projection exceeds Donovan Solano's and Chris Valaika's production for the year, and fails to account for Dietrich's strong performance this spring.
Dietrich makes the third prospect, along with Marcell Ozuna and Jose Fernandez, to receive an aggressive promotion to the majors in just two months. Both Ozuna and Fernandez have exceeded expectations, while simultaneously increasing fan interest in the Marlins. Dietrich will at the very least give Marlins fans interesting plate appearances to watch, though ideally he will achieve similar levels of success as his fellow Marlins rookies.