The Marlins have one of the best farm systems in all of Major League Baseball, according to almost all outlets (looking at you, BA). And while we all know about the Marlins’ riches pitching wise, there’s an overlooked crop of minor leaguers with high potential that are creating a (small, but interesting) problem for the Fish: young middle infielders. This is, of course, a nice problem to have. Up the middle players are generally highly valued because they usually have high ceilings or because as they mature, they’re more easily able to move down the defensive spectrum. The Marlins, though, have an interesting logistical problem on their hands. They seemingly have too many players for too few spots, specifically at the Marlins’ Low-A affiliate, the Jupiter Hammerheads.
By my count, there are seven players that one could make a case for needing every day playing time with Jupiter in 2022. They are Kahlil Watson, Jose Salas, Ian Lewis, Nasim Nuñez, Cody Morissette, Yiddi Cappe, and Jordan McCants. To be fair, Nuñez and Morissette already have A-ball experience and could start 2022 at High-A Beloit, though both hit poorly enough (89 wRC+ and 73 wRC+, respectively) to warrant more time mastering Low A pitching. Conversely, Cappe and McCants may not quite be ready for the jump to full season ball yet as both had their struggles in their respective complex leagues last year, though Cappe finished with a 103 wRC+ (McCants finished with a 49 wRC+). But we know the Marlins have been aggressive with promoting guys they like, so it will be interesting to see where each of these guys starts in 2022 and at what position. It seems the Marlins are pretty intent on developing Nuñez, Watson, Salas, and Cappe as shortstops for now and will move them as necessitated by their maturation. Morissette has already spent time at third and second and projects well defensively at either spot. Lewis has also spent time at the keystone and that looks to be his defensive home for the time being. McCants could see time at second or even in center if he needs consistent at bats, and he’s certainly fast enough to cover a ton of ground at a position of now shallow depth for the Fish.
As the Major League Baseball season looks more and more likely to be delayed, it will interesting to see what the fish do with all of these young promising players. My guess would be
Nuñez at SS
Morissette at 2B/3B
Watson at 3B/SS
Salas at SS/3B
Lewis at 2B
(Or maybe all three rotate between the positions?)
Marlins FCL - Rookie League
Cappe at SS
McCants at 2B/CF
Would love to hear anyone’s thoughts on how the Marlins handle this young group of players!