Preliminary rosters were announced Thursday afternoon for the 2018 Arizona Fall League and six Marlins prospects are included.
Outfielder Monte Harrison has spent this entire regular season with Double-A Jacksonville, slashing .243/.317/.408 with 19 HR. He’s had severe swing-and-miss issues, but still ranks as the organization’s No. 1 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Harrison is no stranger to this prestigious circuit of elite young talent.
Jacksonville teammate Brian Miller leads all Marlins farmhands with 37 stolen bases in 2018. The 23-year-old owns a .293/.335/.355 line overall, though his production has waned since the promotion from Jupiter. MLB Pipeline considers Miller Miami’s No. 11 prospect.
Infielder Bryson Brigman (No. 26) and right-hander Tommy Eveld (unranked) were both acquired at the MLB non-waiver trade deadline in exchange for Cameron Maybin and Brad Ziegler, respectively. Fall League participation provides the team an extra opportunity to evaluate their skills in a live game setting. They’re currently playing with the Jumbo Shrimp, too.
Right-hander Chad Smith is a former 11th-round draft pick. He’s been limited to 34 1⁄3 innings with High-A Jupiter (3.67 ERA, 1.37 WHIP). This would appear to be an assignment geared toward increasing his workload after a spring injury.
It’s a similar story for right-hander Jordan Yamamoto. Miami’s No. 16 prospect has thrived when healthy (1.83 ERA, 85 K in 68.2 IP). The Hawaiian native now gets a few extra starts to make up for time he lost due to shoulder issues.
Melissa Hampton, a trainer in the Marlins organization, has also been assigned to the Salt River Rafters. That’s the AFL roster they share with four other MLB teams (Diamondbacks, Nationals, Rockies and Twins).
As explained on their website, these are the AFL’s eligibility rules:
- All Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible, provided the players are on at least a Double-A level roster no later than Aug. 1.
- One player below the Double-A level is allowed per Major League team.
- One foreign player is allowed, as long as the player does not reside in a country that participates in winter ball, as part of the Caribbean Confederation or the Australian winter league.
- No players with more than one year of credited Major League service as of August 31 are eligible, except a team may select one player picked in the most recently concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.
To be eligible, players on Minor League disabled lists must be activated at least 45 days before the conclusion of their respective seasons.
In 2017, the Marlins had seven representatives in the AFL. Two of them—Braxton Lee and Ben Meyer—went on to earn their first major league opportunities this season, while infielder Peter Mooney has impressed enough at Triple-A New Orleans to be considered for a September call-up in the coming days.
No offense to them, but there ought to be more excitement surrounding this 2018 delegation. Harrison, in particular, has the potential to be a legitimate building block for the Marlins. Eveld could crack the active roster early next season given the lack of reliable major league relievers. The team will feel even more confident about their potential with a strong showing in the desert.
The AFL season runs from October 9 through November 15 with the championship game on November 17. You can get play-by-play coverage of the games on MiLB.com. The league typically draws a large scouting presence, so expect to find player highlights and analysis posted to social media and YouTube.