The Miami Marlins are banking on a few star players to make their run to the top, and that starts with the position player situation. All throughout the first part of the 2016 Miami Marlins Season Preview, we have detailed projections for all of the position players on the roster. How much will these players contribute to a winning ballclub? We put the totals together and see just how many wins Giancarlo Stanton and the rest of the Fish are expected to bring in.
Position Player WAR
The Marlins might be able to squeeze out 20 Wins Above Replacement with their position players. The team built this club with the intent to have starters who will provide most of their production. Meanwhile, depth was not the intended strength of the team, as the club claimed initially that it does not intend on featuring even presumed platoon partner Chris Johnson for significant amounts of time at first base.
On the plus side, the Marlins spread out their position player talent a little more than in seasons past. The team has six players out of the expected eight regulars who are about league average or better. One of those players, Stanton, is a bonafide star who is capable of dominating if he has a full healthy season, potentially adding another win to this projection. If Yelich, Gordon, and / or Ozuna deliver or bring star performances, it could get even better.
There is some small upside as well in platooning Justin Bour and Chris Johnson, as playing those guys in a platoon figures to improve the overall batting line of the first basemen on the team and would add value offensively. I suspect there could be something like half a win at stake there as well.
However, the overall projection stands at about 15th in baseball. Without a repeat of the fantastic infield defense Miami boasted last year, even some of the offensive improvements do not figure to bring Miami past league average from their position players. Miami did not maximize their bench, making it more prone to injury and less able to utilize every plate appearance to its fullest. Many of the players in this projection are not expected to play full seasons, particularly in the outfield. There is enough uncertainty about the heath or staying power of the outfield that a better backup should have been acquired; instead, the Marlins are sacrificing some amount of wins by just going with Ichiro Suzuki. The same can be said about turning to Johnson and not pairing him in a true platoon with Bour.
Nevertheless, the roster is complete as of now, and this group of position players is at least more capable than in some past seasons. Health will be a very important factor, as the roster has already seen, so we will see how Miami's position players cope with this campaign.