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Marlins young core players show star potential in 14-6 loss to Mets

Lewis Brinson, Brian Anderson, Isan Díaz and others did their best to compensate for a rough Road Chen start.

Lewis Brinson is our Player of the Game (again)
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

When you have 45-50 total players involved in these early Spring Training games, it’s impossible to find any significance in the final score. Focus instead on the young players trying to prove themselves, especially in their matchups with major league opponents.

The Marlins lost to the Mets 14-6 on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie, but it was easily the most encouraging game from them in Grapefruit League thus far.

Lewis Brinson delivered his best performance, and that’s saying a lot considering he had already been off to a hot start.

Brinson drilled a solo home run against Mets starter Steven Matz to lead off the second inning. As an encore, he took Walker Lockett deep to left in his next plate appearance.

Spring success is nothing new for the former top prospect—he slashed .328/.365/.586 with two homers last year en route to locking up an everyday job. That certainly didn’t translate to the regular season.

The potentially meaningful development here is his pitch recognition, laying off breaking balls low and away to create favorable counts. That’s critical to trimming down his strikeout rate.

Newly ranked as the No. 9 Marlins prospect, Isan Díaz battled veteran reliever Paul Sewald in the fifth. Sewald made this mistake in a full count and the toolsy infielder put it into orbit:

Yes, the Marlins lost. This vintage Road Chen outing (1.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) would’ve been difficult for an All-Star lineup to overcome. A disastrous eighth inning from Kyle Keller and Ben Meyer put things out of reach, anyway.

However, everybody that mattered looked like they belonged.

No. 4 prospect Monte Harrison got a good read on a low line drive, hustling from first to third to set up a run. No. 18 Jordan Yamamoto unleashed several nasty curveballs during his two hitless innings. Even with his bat still very much a question mark, Magneuris Sierra’s arm created an extra out, doubling off Mets Kevin Kaczmarski at the plate. September call-up possibility Tommy Eveld showed legitimate late-inning stuff (even though he was working the fifth in this case). The most established member of the young core, Brian Anderson drove in two runs and even stole a base.

There will surely be some lineup differences when Sandy Alcántara leads the Fish on the road to face the Astros for their final February game. The larger point still applies, though: keep an eye on the kids.

Marlins vs. Mets box score (