7. Anthony DeSclafani, RHP
Acquired: 2012 blockbuster trade with Toronto, selected by the Blue Jays in the 6th Round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of Florida.
Age: 23 Height: 6'2'' Weight: 195 lbs.
Last year, Anthony DeSclafani wasn't even considered to be one of Fish Stripes Top 20 Marlins prospects. Now, he's jumped to seven after a huge first year in the Marlins organization. DeSclafani has established him as a legitimate prospect and another player that could make the Marlins trade with Toronto look like a steal five years from now. Even if DeSclafani never becomes the #3 starter which I believe he easily has the potential to be, he is going to excel in whatever his role becomes down the line in the Majors.
DeSclafani throws an impressive fastball in the low 90's, a rapidly improving but still not all that exciting changeup, and an average slider. Part of the reason the Marlins were able to steal DeSclafani away from the Jays was that with an arsenal like this, most would expect DeSclafani to be bound for the bullpen. However, the way DeSclafani gets results has little to do with his repertoire, and much more with his makeup, knowledge, and control of his pitches. DeSclafani has fantastic control of pretty much all three of his main pitches and he has great confidence in his fastball to get outs. DeSclafani is a prototypical ground ball pitcher who, when he is most successful, pitches low in the zone.
In 2012, with Toronto A-ball affiliate Lansing, DeSclafani posted a 2.70 FIP in 123 innings, but still he seemed to fly under the radar. In 2013, DeSclafani started 12 games for High Class-A Jupiter and 13 for Double-A Jacksonville. At both levels, he dominated, but perhaps what finally got him some attention was that his strikeouts were starting to go up. Overall, combining the two levels, DeSclafani posted a 2.67 ERA and struck out 115 batters in 127 innings. Not bad for a pitcher who was seemingly an afterthought in one of the biggest trades of 2012.
To start off the 2014 season, I would expect to see DeSclafani to start back in Jacksonville. With the Marlins plethora of pitchers that are close to ready to contribute in the Majors, the Marlins have absolutely no reason to rush DeSclafani. Besides, he could definitely use another year in the Minors to develop his changeup. DeSclafani has a bright future with the Marlins, and with the way he's exceeded all previous expectations, who knows how far DeSclafani will be able to go?