Bienvenidos a Miami, Víctor Víctor Mesa y Víctor Mesa Jr.
It’s official: Víctor Víctor Mesa and Víctor Mesa Jr. are the newest members of the Miami Marlins. In what is Derek Jeter’s biggest win as an owner, he signed two of the top international free agents.
Víctor Víctor receives a $5.25 million bonus and Víctor Jr. signed for $1 million, effectively using all of the Marlins international bonus pool. Considering the cost of typical major league free agents, this is a bargain.
Signing Víctor Víctor Mesa and Víctor Mesa Jr. ($6.25M total) costs less than Junichi Tazawa’s 2018 salary ($7M)— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) October 22, 2018
As a result, the Marlins don’t have enough money to sign right-hander Sandy Gastón. [UPDATE: Rays got him, as first reported by Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald.] Two out of three ain’t bad, though.
Shake up atop top prospects list
Here’s their take on him:
Mesa is considered an outstanding defender with a strong arm. He’s also a plus runner, and scouts like his upside and pedigree. Mesa profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter, although there are questions remaining about his hit tool and power potential because he’s not considered a pure hitter like fellow Cubans Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada were at the same age.
He’ll very likely spend some time in the farm system, but the Marlins are inviting him to big league camp in spring training initially.
The 17-year-old Víctor Jr. didn’t cracked the Top 30 list.
Monte Harrison playing well in Arizona
Monte Harrison has seemingly turned into a different player in the Arizona Fall League. The toolsy outfielder has cut down on his swing-and-miss tendencies and is hitting for average, something that he struggled to do at the Double-A level this past regular season. In 30 at-bats, he’s slashing an encouraging .367/.441/.400 with only five strikeouts. He’s yet to hit a home run and only has one extra-base hit, but the new swing mechanics are resulting in lots of hard contact.
If Harrison is able to make this adjustment stick, the Marlins future could include a trio of Mesa, Lewis Brinson and Harrison that contends for the Best Outfield in Baseball title. Never thought we’d be back in that conversation, right?
Inside the minor league lifestyle
Former left-hander Beau Wright is the guest on a new episode of The Sonbeek Podcast with Michael Sonbeek. The Marlins drafted Wright in the 48th round of the 2010 draft, even though he’d recently undergone Tommy John surgery. He posted a 3.38 earned run average—mostly as a relief pitcher—during his three seasons in the organization.
Wright is refreshingly honest about how pro baseball players at low levels must weigh to thrill of doing something they love with the uncomfortable living conditions and terrible pay.
Speaking of podcasts, Talking Ball Y’all landed an interview with outfielder Braxton Lee. He reflects on making the Marlins Opening Day roster and the improbable path from Picayune, Mississippi to The Show.
But wait there’s more
Couple of non-Mesa notes from Derek Jeter today. Says the HR sculpture isn’t “gone” but getting moved. He thanked county for the help. And says he hears rumors of new logo, but wouldn’t confirm. Just said news “coming soon”...(with a smile)— Will Manso (@WillManso) October 22, 2018
The Marlins are once again going to be the topic of conversation this offseason. Yesterday’s press conference may have just been the beginning of it all.
The team is expecting to relocate the home run sculpture outside in additions to other significant renovations to the ballpark. Also stand by for the announcement of their redesigned logo and team colors in early November. The winter meetings will be headlined by Miami’s handling of J.T. Realmuto (be it an extension or a trade).
Despite not playing in October, they’re sure finding a way to remain relevant in the offseason (and for once, it’s actually for good reasons).