While Caleb Smith wasn't totally ineffective against the Brewers yesterday, it was far from the left-hander's sharpest start of the season. He allowed three runs and only struck out four batters over 5 2⁄3 innings. The main issue was that Milwaukee was patient, and Smith faced multiple full counts as he labored through 107 pitches.
Facing only a one-run deficit when they dipped into the bullpen, the Marlins were not able to build upon early RBI knocks from Miguel Rojas and Lewis Brinson. The Brewers would finish off the four game sweep by winning 3-2.
That third overall pick in next year's draft is now looking pretty secure, though.
Important to note that Marlins play 13 of their final 16 games on the road. Expect them to remain where they are and have No. 3 pick in the 2020 Draft, but based on schedule and active talent, moving up to No. 2 is more likely than moving down to No. 4.— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) September 12, 2019
Better Never Stops
Many of Miami’s top hitting prospects—including outfielders JJ Bleday, Jesus Sánchez and , outfielder Monte Harrison, shortstop Jazz Chisholm, and first baseman Lewin Díaz—will be joining the team's instructional league in Jupiter so that they continue to get as many reps at the plate as possible and further their development. All are candidates to make their major league debuts at some point in 2020, with Harrison and Sánchez being the most likely. They both missed chunks of time in 2019 through injury, while, Bleday, Chisholm and Díaz had inconsistent seasons despite their significant potential.
Playing winter ball after the instructional league concludes in October is also still a possibility for Harrison and Chisholm, according to Michael Hill.
Get Ready for the AFL
Forget the NFL, especially if you are a Dolphins fan. The Arizona Fall League—the AFL—is right around the corner, and the Marlins are sending seven players to the annual top prospect showcase, including outfielder Víctor Víctor Mesa and shortstop José Devers. Devers was laying the foundations for a breakout season before a forearm injury landed him on the IL for most of the summer. Playing in the AFL will allow the teen to partially make up for that lost time, and he will look to lead the Salt River Rafters once play begins on Wednesday.
Game 2 of the Midwest League Championship Series is headed to extra innings. You can thank José Devers for that...With Clinton down to their final out, he juuuuuust barely beat out an infield single.— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) September 13, 2019
Peyton Burdick drove in the tying run right after that. pic.twitter.com/2oeEYFfB1o
Under the Radar
A relative unknown to Marlins fans before the season began, pitching prospect Humberto Mejia put together a monster year, posting a 2.09 ERA over 90 1⁄3 innings across Single-A and High-A. Now considered a Top 30 Marlins prospect by MLB Pipeline, Mejia sat down and talked with Baseball America regarding his passion for the game and favorite baseball memory since signing with the Marlins out of Panama in 2013.
Mejia also earned an honorable mention on the Fish Stripes All-Minor League team. Expect to see him open up the 2020 campaign with the Jupiter Hammerheads.
Playing the Long Game
Although 2019 may go down in history as another losing season for the Marlins, extending their franchise-worst playoff drought to 16 years, there have been positives along the way. It now appears that there is a definite plan in place for how to move the organization in the right direction moving forward. A big part of that plan will be continuing to develop Isan Díaz, who is starting to show that he is not completely out of his depth in the majors. ZiPS projections seem to be in agreement that the young second baseman has a future in Miami.
The Marlins begin a six-game West Coast road trip tonight in San Francisco, and Sandy Alcántara (5-12, 4.04 ERA) is set to pitch opposite rookie Tyler Beede (4-9, 5.33 ERA). The game gets underway at 10:15 p.m. ET.