The Miami Marlins have a total of six minor league affiliates.
There’s two of them that are considered “rookie” level. The GCL Marlins, in the stateside Gulf Coast League, and the DSL Marlins, stationed in the Dominican Republic with the Dominican Summer League. Those two don’t generally get started until just before (DSL) or just after (GCL) the yearly MLB draft. The other four teams each play 120 game seasons, starting this year in the first week of May.
To wit, the Low-A Jupiter Hammerheads, the High-A Beloit Snappers, the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos, and the Triple-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp service the Miami Marlins with prospects a-plenty. Generally speaking, those who are near-ready to join the big club will spend their season at the Double-A level, while the Triple-A level is home to players who in most cases have already taken some cuts at the major league level.
For Thursday’s game, I was lucky enough to check out the Blue Wahoos, and Admiral Fetterman Field at Blue Wahoo Stadium. The hometown Wahoos were decked out in red hats, bright blue jerseys (sporting the alternate, “Mullet” logo), and white pants, and ain’t that America? Their foes for this game, for the third time in six nights, was the Birmingham Barons, a Chicago White Sox affiliate. The Barons were wearing road grays and their customary black hats.
Pensacola came into the contest at 5-3, with a top-four in the lineup that may soon be seen in the majors (Peyton Burdick, J.J. Bleday, Jerar Encarnacíon, Lazaro Alonso). The Barons came into it with a 6-2 record. Things pretty quickly came off the rails for the junior fish, but we’ll get to that in good time. Marlins affiliates posted a 2-3 record overall.
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (6-3)
Jacksonville, on the road to play the Durham Bulls, got rained out Wednesday night. This resulted in a scheduled seven-inning doubleheader for Thursday.
Attendance: 2,901 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 7, Durham Bulls 2
In the leadoff game, the Shrimp scored in every inning except for the sixth. Eddy Alvarez opened the scoring in the first by driving in Jazz Chisholm Jr. for the early lead. Chisholm then drove home Brian Miller in the second inning on a fielder’s choice. Not to be left out, Lewin Diaz tatered his fourth of the season to right field in the third inning with what would prove to be the winning run.
In the bottom of the third, the Bulls got to Jacksonville starter Nick Neidert with a Josh Lowe RBI-groundout, but Neidert proved effective enough to notch his first Triple-A win of the year. He struck out five in as many innings, allowing six hits and two walks. In the fourth, Chisholm drove home Corey Bird with a single, then Díaz added an RBI-double to score José Devers. Devin Marrero’s bunt single in the fifth made it 6-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Bulls brought one home on a Neidert double-play ball, but that was as close as they got. Brian Miller stole third then took home on a throwing errorin the seventh inning to cap the scoring. Jacksonville’s collected in-game batting line ended up at .360/.500/.560. Jake Fishman pitched the last two innings for the Shrimp without allowing a hit or walk, also striking out four.
Jacksonville settles for doubleheader split Thursday in Durham— Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (@JaxShrimp) May 14, 2021
➡️ Brian Miller sets Jumbo Shrimp record with four stolen bases
➡️ Lewin Díaz blasts fourth home run of season
➡️ Nick Neidert earns game one win
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 0, Durham Bulls 6
The night-cap was a much different affair for Jacksonville. They were limited to three singles and a Diáz double, but were kept off the board. Daniel Castano gave up five runs in four innings for the loss, striking out five and allowing six hits and three bases on balls. Parker Bugg whiffed three in two frames, walking two and surrendering a solo home run.
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (5-4)
Attendance: 3,689 at Blue Wahoos Stadium
Pensacola Blue Wahoos 6, Birmingham Barons 16
Brandon Leibrandt topped out at 90 MPH, and got Lax Rivera to strike out swinging in the second inning. That was about the length and breadth of his highlights for the night, as he also gave up 10 runs (eight earned) in three innings of work, including two three-run Barons homers. The Barons later added another pair of three-run homers off reliever Tanner Andrews.
Aside from Leibrandt, Sean Guenther was largely effective in relief, pitching two shutout innings. He either assisted or putout each of the three batters he faced in the fifth inning, including on a red-hot comebacker. Andrews gave up his six runs in one inning of work, on four hits and a walk. Colton Hock was lights out in a mop-up role, striking out four over three hitless innings.
Offensively, the Wahoos were limited to six hits, including doubles from Peyton Burdick and Lazaro Alonso. No Pensacola player collected more than one hit in the game.
Beloit Snappers (5-4)
Attendance: 276 at Pohlman Field
Beloit Snappers 10, South Bend Cubs 1
Kyle Nicolas was effective in his start for Beloit, earning the victory to go to 2-0 for the season. He struck out four batters and allowed one run on three hits and a walk. Tyler Mitzel pitched 1 2⁄3 scoreless innings, followed by a scoreless frame each from Evan Brabrand and Dylan Bice.
Kameron Misner opened the seal on the scoreboard with a fourth-inning RBI-single. Griffin Conine followed with an RBI-double for the eventual winning run. After the Cubs scored the game’s only run in the fifth inning, it was all Snappers. Connor Scott scored in the bottom of the frame on a wild pitch.
That's four-in-a-row! #OhSnap pic.twitter.com/Yn4XiBED8O— Beloit Snappers (@BeloitSnappers) May 14, 2021
Ricky Aracena hit a bases-clearing double in the sixth, followed by a Thomas Jones RBI-single. Jones later drew a bases-loaded walk for the final RBI of the game, although Beloit scored twice more. Devin Hairston crossed the plate on a wild pitch, then Aracena scored on a sacrifice double-play. Conine, Misner, and Aracena finished the game with multiple hits.
Jupiter Hammerheads (3-6)
Attendance: 872 at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium
Jupiter Hammerheads 3, Palm Beach Cardinals 5 (10 innings)
Dalvy Rosario hit a single and a double to lead the Hammerheads offense, and Troy Johnston added a pair of singles to the effort. Chris Mokma started for Jupiter, and allowed four walks in as many innings. He also gave up three runs on six hits while striking out a pair. Andrew Nardi and Josh Roberson each pitched two one-hit innings, striking out three batters. Jackson Rose was charged with the loss despite striking out seven in two innings. Yes, that’s an in-game K/9 of 31.50. Beat that.
The Cardinals pounced early, scoring three on Mokma in the first inning. In the bottom of the second, Rosario drove Cameron Barstad home to get the Sharks on the board. Johnston drove Rosario home in the seventh, then Diowill Burgos drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth to tie the game. Rose allowed two runs in the 10th (one earned), and the Hammerheads couldn’t keep pace in the bottom of the frame.
Checking in with the Top 30 MLB Pipeline Prospects
The first set of numbers are the collective slash line for the respective player coming into this contest. The second set (in bold) is how they did in this game.
- Sixto Sánchez (JAX IL)
- J.J. Bleday (PEN) .185/.333/.296 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, .632 OPS
- Max Meyer (PEN) 1-1, 5.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
- Edward Cabrera (JAX IL)
- Lewin Díaz (JAX) /.310/.394/.690 3-for-7, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 SO, 1.178 OPS
- Jesús Sánchez (JAX) .571/.600/1.179
- Braxton Garrett (JAX) 1-1, 6.23 ERA, 1.38 WHIP
- José Devers (JAX) .333/.333/.444 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 SO, .846 OPS
- Dax Fulton (JUP) 16.20 ERA, 2.800 WHIP
- Nick Neidert (JAX) 0.00 ERA, 1.200 WHIP 5.0 IP, 6 H 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 60-of-91 pitches for strikes
- Victor Mesa Jr. (JUP) .263/.318/.263 0-for-4, 1 SO, .487 OPS
- Peyton Burdick (PEN) .087/.300/.261 1-for-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SO, .571 OPS
- Nasim Nuñez (JUP) .185/.353/.185 1-for-4, 1 SO, 1 SAC, 1 SB, .536 OPS
- Monte Harrison (JAX) .296/.321/.519 1-for-6, 1 BB, 2 SO, .769 OPS
- Kameron Misner (BEL) .154/.313/.308 2-for-4, 1 SB, 2 RBI, 2 SO, .686 OPS
- Connor Scott (BEL) .364/.400/.606 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, 1.008 OPS
- Kyle Nicolas (BEL) 1-0, 1.80 ERA, 1.000 WHIP 5.1 IP, 3 H 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 62-of-90 pitches for strikes
- Griffin Conine (BEL) .167/.355/.292 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SO, .729 OPS
- José Salas (rookie)
- Yiddi Cappe (rookie)
- Jerar Encarnación (PEN) .259/.394/.556 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, .911 OPS
- Jordan Holloway (MIA) 1-1, 1.98 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
- Zach McCambley (BEL) 1-1 1.64, 0.55 WHIP
- Jake Eder (PEN) 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.900 WHIP
- Eury Pérez (JUP) 1-0, 1.13 ERA, 1.000 WHIP
- Evan Fitterer (rookie)
- Paul Campbell (suspended)
- Will Banfield (BEL) .100/.125/.300 1-for-4, 1 SO, .433 OPS
- Jorge Guzman (MIA IL)
- Osiris Johnson (JUP) .200/.351/.467 0-for-4, 3 SO, .729 OPS