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Things We Love to See: July 23, 2018

Sierra called up; Rogers impresses; Nelson stays hot

Monday was again a very exciting day for the Marlins system as another major promotion was made. The Marlins #6 prospect, Magneuris Sierra, was called up to the big boys yesterday and got the start in CF today in a game that has already wrapped up. Sierra went 0-4 with 2 K in a frustrating debut with the Marlins.

From a logical standpoint this move makes sense, a top prospect in AAA with minimal MLB experience who fills a need at the highest level, but his performance this season is what calls this move into question. Sierra is hitting in the high .250s, while a guy like Austin Dean is hitting above .300 and has been a real solid piece all year in New Orleans. Because of this I believe he could have used a little more time in the minors to work on taking more walks and getting on base more. Even though I give Sierra a lot of flack, it’s still important to note how exciting of a move this is for him, the organization and Sierra’s family, and I send out congratulations to them.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the action around the system from Monday.

System’s Top Performance: James Nelson, 3B (Jupiter Hammerheads)—Nelson continued his extremely hot hitting in a wild game in Jupiter last night, which included three separate Hammerhead comebacks and a walk-off hit via Nelson. On the night Nelson was 3-6 with a double, two runs scored and three RBI. Nelson won the game for Jupiter last night and continues to tear the cover off the ball, something we will continue to follow in the coming days and weeks.

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (AA)

Exciting game in Jacksonville with lots of offense as the Jumbo Shrimp racked up 7 runs on 10 hits and used a walk-off hit-by-pitch to top the Montgomery Biscuits 7-6.

Top Performers: Brian Miller (Marlins #10) and Braxton Lee (Marlins #14)—Lee and Miller are two of the quieter mid-level prospects that have been really solid for the organization. Lee was great with Jupiter this year, then struggled in AAA New Orleans, but has been better with Jacksonville so far hitting .250 with a .322 OBP in 13 games. That includes his 3-5 performance last night in which he added a double and two runs scored. Miller set the world on fire in High-A with Jupiter, and has been a really solid option for Jacksonville so far in left field with a .288 average and has added nine stolen bases in 28 games. Miller was 2-4 with an RBI and a walk on Monday, and is a guy that’s rising quickly and could continue to progress deeper into the system this season.

Monte Harrison, CF-1-4 RBI BB K. Harrison is on five-game hit streak right now which included a homer on Sunday and his first game without a strikeout in nearly 20 games on Friday.

Nick Neidert, SP-Neidert didn’t have his best outing last night, allowing four runs (via two homers) on six hits in five innings pitched while only striking out three. This was Neidert’s first start shorter than seven innings since June 13, so even though this wasn’t his best start, it’s really nothing to be worried about.

Jupiter Hammerheads (High-A)

Sandy Alcántara, SP—Alcántara was on a rehab assignment in Jupiter on Monday and showed some rust in two innings of work (he was scheduled to throw three). Alcántara let up five runs (four earned) on four hits, allowing two walks and only striking out one. Alcántara worked a quick first and got two quick outs in the second, but then started losing his control and then gave up a walk, which sent his start snowballing. I expected Alcántara would need to make more than one start in Jupiter, but that’s certainly evident after Monday. That being said, this really isn’t anything to worry about.

Greensboro Grasshoppers (Low-A)

Top Performer: Tristan Pompey, LF—Pompey is off to a nice .263 start in 15 games in Greensboro, and continues to walk at a great pace. He went 2-3 last night with two walks, and added his first professional home run to his line as well. Pompey hit well in the SEC in college so it’s no surprise he’s hitting well in the lower levels of the system. Rising fast, expect Pompey in the Marlins Top 15 or so prospects when the Top 30 is released sometime this week.

Trevor Rogers, SP—I gave up on Rogers way too quickly after his first bunch of starts were insanely mediocre, but in his last five or six outings Rogers has shown that he can ball. He had another great performance last night going six strong innings allowing only two runs on three hits, racking up seven strikeouts in the process. Rogers did give up four walks last night, but walks haven’t been a huge problem for him so far this year so I wouldn’t read into it too much. Every start Rogers continues to make me eat my words more and more, and I hope it continues to happen.

GCL Marlins (Gulf Coast League)

Top Performer: Jorge Caballero, DH—Time to start paying some attention to Caballero. The 18 year old Dominican international signing is off to a tremendous start in the GCL hitting .315 with a .426 OBP ( ) in 25 games. He added to that great start today with a 2-4 performance in which he added a triple, a walk, and an RBI. He’s been one of the better hitters among organizational rookies this year.

Connor Scott, CF—Scott has hit in four of his last five games and he continued that today with a 2-4 performance in which he drew a walk and drove in a run. Scott is slowly working out the kinks at the plate and the past week has been great for him as he’s racked up a few multi-hit games. Scott could crack the Marlins Top 5 when the new Top 30 is released.

Will Banfield, C—Yesterday I said Banfield was a guy that could use a big week and so far so good for him. He went 2-4 today with a triple, a walk, and an RBI. Banfield is hitting .273 in the GCL, which is solid for an 18-year-old catcher in his first pro ball experience, especially one who already shines on the defensive sides. Look for him as well in the Top 10-15 prospects when the new Top 30 is released this week.