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. Players who have an asterisk* next to their names are among my Marlins Top 30 prospects.
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. 130 PA)
- Weighted Runs Created Plus—Kyler Castillo (145 wRC+), Zach Zubia (135), Paul McIntosh* (134), Charles Leblanc* (130), Griffin Conine* (129), José Salas* (129)
- Home Runs—JJ Bleday* (17 HR), Lewin Díaz* (15), Jerar Encarnación* (14), Conine* (13), Cody Morissette* (13)
- Batting Average on Balls in Play—Erik González (.426 BABIP), Conine* (.393), Cameron Barstad (.386), Ynmanol Marinez (.383), Leblanc (.379)
- Stolen Bases—Nasim Nuñez* (32 SB), J.D. Orr (30), Dalvy Rosario (19), Salas* (19), Ray-Patrick Didder (18), Victor Victor Mesa (18)
- Strikeout Rate—Javier Sanoja (13.5 K%), Cobie Fletcher-Vance (14.1%), Davis Bradshaw (14.4%), Victor Victor Mesa (15.9%), Orr (16.0%)
It’s been a rollercoaster season for 19-year-old Javier Sanoja. He looked like he belonged at Low-A during his first few games in April, but then fell into a prolonged slump and was sent to extended spring training to regroup.
Sanoja is now owning the complex league against more age-appropriate competition. He has struck out only once(!) over his last 70 plate appearances with an OPS well north of 1.000 during that span. He’s rotating between second base, third base, shortstop and center field.
Smells like a Fish Stripes jinx for Troy Johnston (Pensacola). No extra-base hits over his last 11 games, pumping the brakes on any talk of him forcing his way up to Triple-A for the foreseeable future.
Kahlil Watson (Jupiter) merits a mention here for the extracurricular activities that have sidelined him since Friday. There has actually been a big improvement to his contact rate in recent weeks—let’s see if that sustains once he is permitted back on the field.
Pitching Leaders (min. 130 BF)
- Earned Run Average—Jake Fishman (1.98 ERA), Andrew Nardi (2.08), Tyler Eckberg (2.23), Robert Garcia (2.43), Jackson Rose (2.55)
- Innings Pitched—Bryan Hoeing* (83.0 IP), Matthew Kent (75.1), Luis Palacios (72.0), Chris Mokma (71.1), M.D. Johnson (71.0)
- Batting Average on Balls in Play—Eli Villalobos (.205 BABIP), Jimenez (.213), Garcia (.217), Fishman (.233), Rose (.236)
- Strikeout Rate—Josh Simpson* (44.2 K%), Nardi (38.9%), Jeff Brigham (36.5%), Jefry Yan (35.7%), Tyler Mitzel (34.9%)
- Walk Rate—Palacios (1.7 BB%), Matt Givin (3.1%), Mitzel (3.4%), Eckberg (3.9%), Kent (4.1%)
As MLB Pipeline notes on M.D. Johnson (Beloit), “he has recorded a 2.16 ERA with a .200 opponent average and a 31/3 K/BB ratio in his last four starts and 25 innings, and now ranks among the High-A Midwest League leaders in WHIP (0.94, first), opponents’ average (.203, third) and ERA (2.92, fourth).”
Jeff Lindgren (Pensacola) has made five straight starts of six-plus innings pitched.
Nick Neidert (Jacksonville) was designated for assignment, unclaimed, outrighted and moved to the bullpen, only to re-emerge as a possible rotation depth piece in recent weeks. The former Marlins Minor League Pitcher of the Year is showing great control of his stuff since being utilized as a starter again, throwing 70% strikes in those five games.
Yeuris Jimenez (Jupiter) allowed more runs last Thursday (six) than he has in his other 20 appearances combined. Then the next time Jimenez took the mound on Sunday, he allowed his first homer of the 2022 campaign.
Just when it seemed that Jeff Brigham (Jacksonville) was on the cusp of a return to The Show, he has slid backwards. Only one perfect relief outing for him since the beginning of June, struggling with both control and managing quality of contact.
Brigham this season has been excellent at home (.521 OPS allowed), but horrendous on the road (1.054 OPS allowed). His 20.5% groundball rate is the third-lowest among all minor league pitchers with 20-plus innings of work.