Miami’s minor league system has been among the worst in baseball the last few seasons, and that didn’t change entering 2017.
ESPN’S Keith Law ranked the Marlins farm system No. 29, the exact spot he had Miami in ahead of 2016. Here’s his rationale:
They’ve already traded their first-rounders from 2012, 2013 and 2015. Their 2014 first-rounder is out after Tommy John surgery, and they have only had one pick after the first round produce even 5 WAR on his career since 2007’s draft produced two. They also don’t spend much internationally, with their top three Latin American prospects right now including one acquired in trade and two who signed for a total of $350,000.
Braxton Garrett, currently Miami’s top-ranked prospect per MLBPipeline.com, could emerge as the front-end starter the Marlins anticipate he will become, and Tyler Kolek could be a valuable addition to the rotation if he is able to remain healthy. Still, the Marlins don’t have much position player depth and notably parted with outfielder Isaiah White in this week’s trade with the Reds.
The Marlins are clearly in “win now” mode, which justifies the low ranking. Miami recognizes it has just a few seasons to maximize the production of its core, which led to the construction of a “super bullpen” this offseason. However, if the Marlins struggle this season, they could begin to make trades with the intention of receiving prospects in return.