The Marlins’ best right-handed hitting option at first base isn’t currently on the roster, according to FanGraphs’ ZiPS projections.
Xavier Scruggs, who received playing time with the Marlins last season but signed with a Korean team recently, would have been Miami’s best option if he were still a member of the club’s 40-man roster, according to the projections.
Xavier Scruggs (475, 0.7) receives the top projection among right-handed batters who aren’t likely to start elsewhere… but was also just signed by a Korean club. Corner infielder Matt Juengel (520, 0.6) is the next-best option by those criteria.
FanGraphs’ ZiPS estimates only take into consideration players on the active roster, so the Marlins could sign a player who might end up being more productive than Scruggs. Mike Napoli could be a name to watch, though the Marlins don’t seem to be in a hurry to add a right-handed complement for Justin Bour at first base.
J.T. Realmuto, who FanGraphs projects will post a 2.5 WAR next season, will likely receive playing time at first base, but his estimate is almost certainly projecting his performance as a starting catcher. Still, adding another veteran right-handed hitter might be ideal.
Bour could receive more playing time against left-handed pitchers next season, but his .233 average against lefties last season isn’t encouraging. His career figure, .223, isn’t much better.
The Marlins could consider internal candidates as Manager Don Mattingly organizes his bench this spring. But according to FanGraphs projections, that won’t be the best option.