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Best Marlins prospect performances through 3 weeks of 2022 MiLB season

Start off every week by checking out these updated minor league leaderboards.

Left-handed pitcher Josh Simpson playing for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the Miami Marlins organization Courtesy of Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Fish Stripes will be starting off every new week of the Minor League Baseball season by posting updated leaderboards for Marlins MiLB players. I have selected a handful of key categories for hitting and pitching prospects. Beneath the stats, I have embedded homemade highlight reels of players who performed particularly well during their previous series.

The threshold to qualify for the leaderboards is determined by the number of weeks we are into the regular season multiplied by 10 plate appearances/batters faced.

Hitting Leaders (min. 30 PA)

Who’s Hot?

Jerar Encarnación (Double-A Pensacola) had a disappointing 2021, missing time due to injury and striking out in 38% of his plate appearances. The 24-year-old is excelling this time around, spraying sharp line drives to all fields. As has been the case for much of his professional career, Encarnación is producing even better against fellow right-handers (.372/.449/.744 slash line) than lefties (.353/.421/.471).

Similarly, Charles Leblanc (Triple-A) has dramatically upped his game while repeating a MiLB level. The Rangers were so underwhelmed with Leblanc last season that they left him unprotected for the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. That selection is already looking great for the Marlins.

As Jacksonville’s main third baseman, Joe Dunand has reached base safely in eight straight games. He’s been locked in defensively, too.

Who’s Not?

Right out of the gate in 2021, Bryson Brigman (Jacksonville) was playing outstanding all-around baseball. However, he’s now at the other end of spectrum (.180/.212/.260, 26 wRC+). Brigman’s swinging strike rate has nearly doubled. It’s going to get increasingly difficult for him to find consistent opportunities in a crowded Triple-A infield.

Will Banfield (High-A Beloit) is splitting catching duties with newly converted backstop Bennett Hostetler. Even on a Sky Carp team that’s been competing in frigid, pitcher-friendly conditions, Banfield’s combination of contact issues and limited power stick out. Moreover, he has caught stealing rate of only 17.6% (career rate of 39.0% entering 2022).

Pitching Leaders (min. 30 BF)

Who’s Hot?

You don’t see the name Josh Simpson (Pensacola) listed above because he is one batter faced shy of qualifying. The former 32nd-round draft pick has been practically untouchable. He’s pairing impressive fastball command with a wipeout breaking ball.

After getting beat up in the Florida Complex League last season, Sandro Bargallo (Low-A Jupiter) is finding himself in much better counts and reaping the benefits. The left-handed starter mixed in a handful of changeups during his most recent outing—let’s see if that becomes a real weapon for him.

Who’s Not?

Courtesy of Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Eury Pérez (Pensacola) was cruising through the first few innings of his Double-A debut on April 8. Since then, he’s been humbled by the much older competition. Still inducing lots of swinging strikes, but lefties are feasting against the teenager (1.343 OPS against).

For the first time in Pérez’s MiLB career, he has allowed home runs in consecutive starts.