Each week, Fish Stripes will be recapping the past week’s performances throughout the Marlins minor league system. Highlighting the players who either had an outstanding week, or one they would like to put behind them.
All stats updated entering May 20.
Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes (4-3, 23-21 overall)
The’Cakes were competitive in all seven games this past week. Three of their victories came by big margins. In those games, the Baby Cakes scored a combined 19 runs and surrendered a measly five runs.
Even in defeat, New Orleans limited the opposition to five runs scored in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Unfortunately, their offense produced only eight combined runs in those games.
The No. 3 Marlins prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, Monte Harrison continues his impressive season. The 23-year-old outfielder hit 8-for-25 along with a home run, a pair of RBI, three walks and four stolen bases. While strikeouts were a concern once again for Harrison this past week, that didn’t stop him from being productive at the plate. He leads the PCL in 2019 with 16 steals overall, and even better, he has yet to be caught.
Infielder Yadiel Rivera caught most people off-guard with his performance this past week. The 27-year-old exploded for five home runs and 10 RBI along with just three strikeouts. Rivera struggled badly at the plate for the 2018 Marlins (.173/.269/.216/.485), but continuing on this tear could earn him serious consideration for another opportunity later in the summer.
Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (2-5, 15-29 overall)
The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp’s offense was held scoreless for three more games this past week, adding to their total of eight scoreless games of the 19 games played this month.
Meanwhile, the pitching staff is deserving of the highest praise. They surrendered a total of 20 runs over their seven games, which averages to just 2.9 runs/game. There are no weak links in the starting rotation right now. This team would easily have a much better record than they currently have if they could just get some decent support from their offense.
Outstanding Player: Robert Dugger
Congrats to RHP @robert_dugger, named today the @SLeagueBaseball Pitcher of the Week!— Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (@JaxShrimp) May 20, 2019
The @Marlins No. 22 prospect was 2-0 with 17 strikeouts in 14 innings last week!
Radio Interview w/ @Roger_Hoover: https://t.co/PXxsb5x9Xi
Story: https://t.co/iWPjqurzza#JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/e0QDzFhUcS
No. 22 prospect Robert Dugger is this week’s most Jacksonville outstanding player for leading the Shrimp to both of their wins. Through his two starts, Dugger pitched a combined 14 innings and surrendered eight hits, just three runs, a pair of walks along with an eye-popping 17 strikeouts. He’s trending up and gradually making the case for leaping to Triple-A.
Honorable Mention: Sixto Sánchez
The consensus top prospect in Miami’s farm system, Sánchez is among the youngest pitchers in the Southern League. You wouldn’t know it from his team debut last Tuesday, when the 20-year-old went six innings and gave up just a hit and a pair of walks, along with seven strikeouts.
All 7 of Sixto's strikeouts shown here. Picked up K's with each of his pitches (fastball, slider, change) https://t.co/jeLyxR1MoX— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) May 15, 2019
His encore on Sunday was less impressive. The right-hander exited after 4 2⁄3 innings, surrendering 11 hits, three runs and a walk, while only recording a pair of strikeouts.
The Marlins will likely be patient with Sánchez, focused on keeping him healthy rather than rushing him to the majors in a rebuilding year.
High-A Jupiter Hammerheads (2-4, 13-27 overall)
The Jupiter Hammerheads were hampered with terrible weather conditions to begin the week. Not many bright spots from the games they played, either.
The Hammerheads offense was held to just one run or fewer in three of their six games this week. The arms performed inconsistently, holding opponents to two runs or fewer in three of those games, but hammered—no pun intended—in the other three.
Disappointing Player: Will Stewart
Received along with Sixto Sánchez in February’s J.T. Realmuto trade, left-hander Will Stewart is enduring a very rough patch. Wasn’t long ago that he looked unhittable (and discussed that success on the Fish Stripes podcast).
However, in his latest start against the Florida Fire Frogs, Stewart exited after five innings and surrendered 10 hits, six runs (five earned), a home run and a walk. He owns a 7.79 ERA despite the Florida State League’s pitcher-friendly conditions.
This marks the fourth straight start where Stewart was extremely ineffective. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that his fastball velocity has dropped from its 2018 levels. Some time off could be beneficial.
Low-A Clinton LumberKings (3-4, 20-21 overall)
Despite having a losing record, the Clinton LumberKings made a lot of improvements this past week. Their offense was able to bounce back and produce more consistently than last week. The club recorded four runs or more in five of their seven games, averaging 4.7 runs/game this past week.
The LumberKings pitching staff, unfortunately, faded during the course of the week. They allowed a combined 30 runs over their final five games.
Outstanding Player: Will Banfield
Catcher Will Banfield is this week’s most outstanding player from the LumberKings. Banfield hit 8-for-25 along with three doubles, two home runs, seven RBI as well as a walk.
It was also an errorless week for the 19-year-old behind the plate.
Banfield has now improved his hitting line to .227/.270/.391/.661. Twelve of his 29 hits have gone for extra bases. We could see this young catcher shoot up the system if he continues to show he can hit for power while also reducing the amount of times he’s set down on strikes.