The Fish Stripes preview of the 2015 Miami Marlins position players is complete, so we can get a reasonable sense of how much those players will be contributing in 2015. With our estimates, we can guess how many wins the Fish could expect from their position players. The total tally follows here:
The grand total we add up for the Fish here is 19 Wins Above Replacement. This is a little more than a win better than what the Marlins posted last year at 17.7 WAR according to FanGraphs. Regression for players like Yelich and Ozuna after their successful first campaigns held back the expected bounce back of Saltalamacchia and the addition of Martin Prado and Dee Gordon, legitimate upgrades to the roster.
The 19-win mark is not necessarily bad. According to FanGraphs, the teams closest to 19 wins from position players include the Milwaukee Brewers (20.3), Tampa Bay Rays (19.9), and the New York Mets (18.2). You might have noticed that these teams were around the league average in terms of wins, with totals between 77 and 82 victories. The Marlins are currently projected at 81 wins, so that would not surprise anyone.
We did discuss that there was some upside involved in these names. The outfield of Stanton, Ozuna, and Yelich is projected to be worth just about 11 wins in total, but last season that same cast was worth a whopping 14 wins as a group. If each player adds a win to their totals, they will repeat their 2014 seasons and end up boosting the Marlins in a big way. A 22-win position player campaign is equivalent to performances by teams like Oakland Athletics (23.3) and the St. Louis Cardinals (22.0).
At 19 wins, how many victories will it take for us to reach that mythical 90-win playoff mark? If we presume the replacement level baseline is at around 48 wins, the position players can get Miami to a mere 67 wins. To get to 90 wins, the Marlins' pitching staff would have to deliver 23 wins, which seems unlikely given their current construction. According to FanGraphs, not even the best staff from last season, the Washington Nationals, got more than 22 wins.
It would appear as though the Marlins' position players will have to play a little better to give themselves a chance at the playoffs in 2015. But the potential for upside is there, and this core of players is going to be exciting to watch this season.