For the first time in recent memory, each of the leading national baseball talent evaluation outlets agree that five Marlins players rank among the sport’s top 100 prospects overall.
Be careful not to overstate the significance of these distinctions—the majority of ranked prospects never realize their full potential, and any major league contender relies on unheralded farmhands to surpass expectations. But yeah, it’s still encouraging for the Marlins’ rebuild to receive this kind of validation.
Here is the breakdown of how the Fish are represented on 2020 MLB preseason lists unveiled within the past week.
Baseball America (Top 100)
16. RHP Sixto Sánchez
46. OF JJ Bleday
58. OF Jesús Sánchez
68. RHP Edward Cabrera
88. SS Jazz Chisholm
Chisholm and both of the Sánchezes were acquired by the Marlins within the past calendar year via trades. Cabrera was a holdover from the old regime who made huge strides in his development in 2019 with High-A Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville. Bleday was drafted with the No. 4 overall pick in June and has received an invitation to Spring Training despite only 38 professional games under his belt—he’s that advanced.
Baseball America identifies first baseman Lewin Díaz and left-hander Braxton Garrett among the prospects who received consideration during their process of compiling the staff’s joint ranking. Díaz, in particular, is rapidly trending up.
I asked national writer Kyle Glaser why toolsy outfielder Monte Harrison wasn’t even in the mix after being a borderline top-100 guy in recent years. Here was his explanation:
“The swing and miss concerns and strikeouts just haven’t improved enough. There are very, very few evaluators who think he’ll hit enough to be more than a second-division regular. I actually still like Monte and he can do some special things, but the consistency of contact just isn’t there.”
MLB Pipeline (Top 100)
22. RHP Sixto Sánchez
28. OF JJ Bleday
66. SS Jazz Chisholm
80. OF Jesús Sánchez
85. RHP Edward Cabrera
Baseball Prospectus (Top 101)
27. RHP Sixto Sánchez
35. OF JJ Bleday
52. SS Jazz Chisholm
80. OF Jesús Sánchez
97. RHP Edward Cabrera
Chisholm is quite a polarizing prospect, as you can tell. There’s “very high variance” between his floor and ceiling because his aggressiveness at the plate. But he figures to stick at shortstop defensively and hit for a ton of power.
Evaluators Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen are still midway through the rollout of their 2020 preseason top prospects coverage. Their overall list will expand beyond 100/101 to include all eligible players with at least a 50 Future Value. Last year, for example, FG featured the top 132.
The Marlins will have seven representatives on the list: the consensus top five plus Harrison and Díaz.