The Miami Marlins are hoping that 2015 is going to be a good number and a good year for them. The 2015 season hopefully brings promising things, including contention, for the Fish, but the players themselves have some numbers that they will be looking at this year. As part of the 2015 Miami Marlins Season Preview, we are going to go over an important number for every player on the team's current 40-man roster. We'll start with the position players right now.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, .143
The Marlins were expecting more power output from Saltalamacchia when they signed him in before 2014 to a three-year, $21 million contract. But he hit only 11 home runs and batted just .220, in large part because of his lack of power. That .143 ISO was the lowest he posted since he became a regular starter with the Boston Red Sox in 2011. Part of that is most certainly the change in venue in Marlins Park, but the slight disappointing season of Saltalamacchia had a large part to do with his drop in power. Let's see if he can recover some of that strength.
Michael Morse, 3
The number for Morse is three because Morse will be transitioning to playing the "three" for the first time regularly in his career. For a long time, he was miscast as an outfielder with the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants. The one time he was placed in a more appropriate position as a mostly-DH with the Seattle Mariners, he had one of the worst seasons of his career. Miami is hoping putting him at an easier position will let his bat flourish, but they are also hoping he can actually play the position well after years spent away from first base.
Dee Gordon, 65
Gordon has a lot of questions going into 2015, but one thing that is not a question is his prowess on the bases. Gordon stole 64 bases last season in the best year of his career. Even in seasons when he was less effective, however, Gordon still had fantastic basestealing numbers. Despite a .280 on-base percentage in 2012, he stole 32 bags in 330 plate appearances playing as a part-timer and injury replacement. Here in 2015, he is going to get a chance to play full-time at the top of the lineup and potentially break a Marlins record. The most steals for any Marlin in any one season was Juan Pierre's 65 swiped bags in 2003, and Gordon has a shot at that record.
Adeiny Hechavarria, +5
Defensive statistics will play a huge role in how good Adeiny Hechavarria is in 2015. Very few of the advanced defensive stats have him as above average, but he has a strong fielding reputation dating back to his prospect days. Even with a regression of his offensive numbers, an above-average Hechavarria would at least a one-win player for Miami. But if he cannot maintain a positive contribution on the fielding side, the team will see yet another replacement-level performance from him that can hurt their chances at the playoffs.
Martin Prado, 2.5
Prado's skillset is dependent on BABIP at the plate, but somehow he has remained a constant in terms of production the course of his career. Prado had one bad season in 2011 but in each year beyond that, he has been worth at least two wins. The Fish traded for two cheap season of Prado to get guaranteed league-average or better production, so the hope is that he can provide 2.5 wins again in 2015 at third base.
Christian Yelich, .341
Yelich has maintained a perfect .341 wOBA in his first season and a half in the majors, and he posted that exact number in each of those seasons. Last year, Yelich increased his power production slightly, maintained a high BABIP, and continued to walk and work patiently at the plate. He remains one of the leaders in pitches per plate appearance, he is still walking at a close to 11 percent rate, and he dropped his strikeouts a bit last year as well. Yelich has some roadblocks towards improvement at the plate, but the early consistency of performance bodes well for his future career.
Marcell Ozuna, 10
Last year, Ozuna only threw out 10 baserunners while working in the outfield, both in center and left field. Interestingly, that was worse than what he did in 2013, when he threw out eight guys in less than half of the innings. But given the newfound reputation for Ozuna, combined with his work more extensive in center field, this may still be a good thing. By FanGraphs, Ozuna was worth eight runs better than average with his arm, and part of that might be in dissuading runners from even trying to run on Ozuna. Can he keep up that performance in 2015?
Giancarlo Stanton, 40
The golden mark for home runs right now is probably 40 long bombs at this point. Since the run environment started decreasing in 2009, there were only two 50-homer seasons and 18 campaigns with at least 40 homers. Stanton is perhaps the most prodigious power hitter in baseball, but he has yet to surpass that 40-homer plateau. He has twice reached 37 home runs, which is his career high, and was on pace to reach 40 last season before the hit-by-pitch injury in Milwaukee. Can Stanton stay healthy enough and continue blasting moonshots in 2015 in order to reach that new power benchmark?
Jeff Mathis, .197: That is Mathis's career batting average. I find that impressive enough.
J.T. Realmuto, .374: In Realmuto's second season in Double-A, he managed a .374 wOBA with a strong .299/.369/.461 line. Can he prove that his bat has returned from the depths of his work from 2012 to 2013?
Jeff Baker, .358: Baker had an ugly year last season, but he still managed a .358 wOBA (.319/.362/.462) line against left-handers. This is his one redeeming quality that earned him his two-year deal.
Justin Bour, .370: Bour hit .370 on balls in play in limited playing time last year, which led to his acceptable but still unimpressive .284/.361/.365 batting line in the bigs last year. He will need to re-impress at Triple-A in 2015 to prove his mettle.
Derek Dietrich, -14.4: UZR has Dietrich as worth a whopping -14 runs per season at second base. It is too small a sample to judge, but he has not looked good at the position thus far in parts of two years. The team should consider a move if he works in Triple-A.
Miguel Rojas, .344: That was Rojas's wOBA in 173 Triple-A plate appearances. It was the only time he had attained any level of success, but it did not follow him to the bigs in part-time with the Dodgers.
Donovan Solano, .290: That is Solano's career wOBA in 1051 plate appearances. Much like Rojas, he's not good hitting either.
Ichiro Suzuki, 156: That is the number of hits Ichiro needs to reach the coveted 3000-hit mark in his Major League Baseball career. Can he reach that before retiring, and will it be with the Fish?