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Offseason Fish—10/29/19

Full recap of how Marlins prospects fared in the 2019 Arizona Fall League.

Marlins outfielder Jerar Encarnación showed off his extraordinary power in Arizona. His grand slam on Saturday proved to be the turning point in the AFL Championship Game.
Photo by Buck Davidson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

For many players within the Marlins organization, baseball never stops. Just like last year, Fish Stripes will be consistently updating the whereabouts of your favorite Fish during the offseason. At, you can find updates on them, including stats, highlights and (small sample size) analysis.

Arizona Fall League (final 2019 stats)

During the AFL, the Marlins were big winners on the field...

...and also off the field:

After falling short in the 2018 AFL Championship Game, Salt River got over the hump this time with a 5-1 victory over Surprise. Encarnación made all the difference with a two-out grand slam in the top of the fourth:

Wait wait wait, you gotta see the bat flip!

Encarnación blasted that ball at 109.6 miles per hour, the highest exit velocity of the game. And it wasn’t an isolated incident: he consistently made some of the most consistent quality contact among all participating players in the desert. Let’s not gloss over his flaws, either. Encarnación committed five outfield errors during the short AFL season and struck out in more than 35% of his plate appearances. All in all, though, he put himself on the map this year.

Mesa very briefly contended for the fall league batting title, but came back down to Earth over the last few weeks. Hopefully, new offensive coordinator James Rowson can stop him from pounding the ball into the ground all the damn time. On the flip side, Devers finished strong upon returning from a sore hand. He stole four bases—without getting caught—in six regular season games post-injury while slugging .455.

Fish Stripes is the only outlet bringing you 2019 AFL average velocity readings from each of the four Marlins pitchers as tracked by Statcast.

  • Aiello—93 mph four-seamer, 84 mph slider; rarely used two-seamer, changeup and curveball
  • Carter—86 mph slider, 76 mph curveball; his fastball/changeup kept fooling Statcast, as the system couldn’t really distinguish between them from one game to the next, both averaging around 86 mph
  • Neidert—90 mph four-seamer, 91 mph two-seamer, 84 mph slider, 84 mph changeup, 74 mph curveball; his fastball maxed out at 93 while the curve had a very broad velo range (70-78)
  • Vesia—93 mph fastball, 85 mph changeup, 83 mph slider

Neidert put a special emphasis during the AFL on developing his breaking balls, as detailed by Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline. The slider is further along than the curve from what I observed. Vesia became the first Marlins pitching prospect on record—since at least 2008—to participate in the AFL and not allow any runs (12 scoreless frames when you include the Fall Stars Game and Championship Game).

Dominican Winter League

  • C Wilkin Castillo—.400/.412/.400, 3 RBI, 1 SB, 4 K in 15 AB
  • 1B Lewin Díaz—.275/.333/.490, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 6 K in 51 AB
  • 3B/SS Joe Dunand—.118/.211/.235, 2 RBI, 5 K in 17 AB
  • OF Gabriel Guerrero—.167/.167/.167, 2 RBI, 6 K in 12 AB
  • RHP Tayron Guerrero—0.00 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 6 K in 4.1 IP
  • RHP Kolton Mahoney—2.61 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 11 K in 10.1 IP (2 GS)
  • 1B/OF Peter O’Brien—.333/.491/.548, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 12 K in 42 AB
  • RHP Cody Poteet—13.50 ERA, 2.55 WHIP, 4 K in 6.2 IP (3 GS)
  • OF Magneuris Sierra—.385/.385/.429, 1 SB, 2 K in 13 AB

Trying to hype up Poteet turned into somewhat of a jinx. Águilas Cibaeñas gave him the early hook when he (once again) allowed way too much traffic on the bases in the early innings. Winter ball has done nothing to boost his stock thus far.

Díaz is doing just fine, though:

Gabriel Guerrero (Estrellas Orientales) and Magneuris Sierra (Toros del Este) each made their season debuts this week. You’ll remember that Sierra’s September stint with the Marlins ended prematurely due to a hamstring strain, but he has shown no ill effects from that so far.

Mexican Pacific League

You couldn’t possibly dream up a better month of October for Kickham in Mexico. Every qualified starting pitcher in the league has allowed multiple runs...except for him.

The most important offseason update of all...Congratulations to right-hander Jordan Yamamoto and his fiancé Madison Ahearn on getting engaged!!!