The Marlins gave us something to discuss on Saturday, announcing that outfielder Monte Harrison and right-hander Nick Neidert have been optioned to their Triple-A Wichita affiliate. Harrison and Neidert ranked No. 7 and No. 12, respectively, on our newly updated Fish Stripes Top 30 prospects list.
The 24-year-old Harrison slashed .364/.481/.500 during Grapefruit League action. He led the Fish in games played (15) and stolen bases (six).
Under normal circumstances, the Marlins had intended to open the regular season with Jonathan Villar as the everyday center fielder. That still seems likely if/when the season eventually begins, though reports of expanded active rosters for 2020 may help Harrison’s case for an Opening Day role versus repeating Triple-A.
Neidert, the former Marlins Minor League Pitcher of the Year, made three appearances in spring games (1.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 6 K in 6.0 IP). Like Harrison, his 2019 campaign was interrupted by injury. He’s highly likely to debut in The Show at some point this summer.
Prior to these two, the Marlins optioned numerous 40-man roster players to MiLB affiliates:
- To Wichita—SS Jazz Chisholm, 1B Lewin Díaz, RHP Jorge Guzman, OF Jesús Sánchez and RHP Sixto Sánchez
- To Jacksonville—RHP Edward Cabrera and RHP Jordan Holloway
- To Jupiter—RHP Humberto Mejia
In other news, we have learned of another low-key transaction that took place prior to Spring Training. The Marlins inked right-hander Preston Guilmet to a minor league deal (wasn’t invite to major league camp).
The 32-year-old is what you’d call a journeyman, splitting his 33 career MLB innings among six different clubs:
Guilmet posted an impressive 30.2 K% with Triple-A Rochester last season, primarily as a reliever. He would likely join Harrison and Neidert on the inaugural Wichita Wind Surge roster.
MLB owners and players have agreed to implement an indefinite “transaction freeze” beginning now, meaning we are several weeks (or months) away from any more moves like these.