Sadly for prospect nerds such as myself the minor league season has been over for a few weeks now. Greensboro and Jacksonville were the only Miami Marlins affiliates to make the playoffs with Jacksonville bringing home the Southern League Championship. With not much to watch and evaluate I thought I would take a look at few Marlins prospects in the upper levels of the minor leagues who could spend time with Miami next season. Some of these guys are done for the year, but a few have already found their way into the lineup thanks to the expanded September rosters.
These are not players I would currently project as stars, but if Miami opts to shake things up by trading Garrett Jones, Casey McGehee, or Jarrod Saltlamacchia then some of them could find themselves competing for everyday roles. More than likely if pressed into major league action these players would serve as bench help and in one case a spot in the bullpen.
Bour is a big first basemen who has spent his September getting some at-bats with the big league squad. He had a fantastic season with New Orleans batting .306/.372/.517 with 18 homeruns and 72 RBI in 385 at-bats with the Zephyrs. During his brief time with the big league club Bour has acquitted himself well. Heading into the September 23rd game against the Phillies Bour was hitting .291/.371/.382 with one homerun during this stint with the Marlins. If the aforementioned Garrett Jones is dealt Bour and Mark Canha could compete for the first base job in Spring Training. I would obviously give the edge to Bour because of his success at the major league level.
Canha can play in either outfield corner, first base, and third base. He primarily played in the outfield this season with Bour as the primary starter at first. Canha has some pop, he slugged 20 homeruns for New Orleans this season while hitting .303/.384/.505. He’s definitely a candidate for the bench or the starting lineup if Jones or McGehee is traded.
The man they call "Kike" was acquired in the Jarred Cosart trade and should start the 2015 season in Miami. Hernandez can play several position and really started to come into his own as a hitter this season. Between New Orleans, the Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate, and the Astros Double-A affiliate he hit .319/.372/.484 this season. Between Houston and Miami at the big league level he hit .262/.333/.408 in only 103 at-bat as of September 23rd. He has played primarily played second base during his professional career, but he has gotten innings at every position except catcher at some point in his minor league career. If he is not given the chance to win the second base job he could serve as a super utility guy, getting starts at several positions a week to give guys days off.
Barnes become one of my favorite players in the Marlins system as I followed along and saw him play more. He may not have a high ceiling as a prospect, but he brings versatility to the table. He plays catcher, second base, and third base. I’m sure if you asked him to wash your car, make you a four course dinner, and play you the saxophone he could probably do that too. Between Jupiter and Jacksonville in 2014, Barnes compiled 464 at-bats while hitting .304/.398/.472 with 13 homers. I’ll reiterate that he did this while playing three VERY different positions. At 5 feet 9 inches and 185 pounds Barnes reaches David Eckstein levels on the grit scale, which would surely make him a fan favorite at Marlins Park. With him and Enrique Hernandez on the roster next season the bench would be extremely versatile.
Redman has progressed nicely through the Marlins system since being converted from an infielder to a relief pitcher. He started the season at Jupiter and proved he was figuring things out from the mound. In 48.2 innings pitched in A-ball Redman had an ERA of 2.22 with 58 strikeouts and only 9 walks. His performance with the Hammerheads was good enough to earn him a promotion to Double-A to finish out the season. There he still found success in a small sample. In 13 innings he posted a 1.38 ERA with 10 strikeouts. If he pitches this way to start 2015 Redman could find himself in the major league pen in no time.
Other more high profile players such as Andrew Heaney, J.T. Realmuto and Justin Nicolino will also probably see some time on the Marlins major league roster. As the season winds down there is sure to be discussion about free agency, trades, and Arizona Fall League coverage. Stay tuned to Fish Stripes for the latest updates!