Another week has passed, and while the major league club toils on amid another less-than-thrilling month of August, turn your sights to the minor leagues for a fresh injection of hope and optimism. This piece is going to take a different shape than usual weeks. We will cover all MiLB promotions, go into depth on a few of those, and round off with Marlins players of the month at each MiLB level.
- Promoted to Jupiter: LHP Manuel Medina, RHP Natanael Polanco, RHP Marcus Johnson, RHP Jared Poland
- Promoted to Beloit: RHP Gabe Bierman, LHP Caleb Wurster, RHP Jorge Mercedes, LHP Patrick Murphy
- Promoted to Pensacola: LHP Dax Fulton, LHP Chandler Jozwiak
- Promoted to Jacksonville: RHP Eli Villalobos, LHP Josh Simpson
- Promoted to Miami: LHP Jake Fishman
Of all prospects to move in this past week, the two standouts of the bunch would be Dax Fulton and Marcus Johnson. Fulton occupies the #9 slot and Johnson the #29 slot on MLB Pipeline’s recently updated Marlins top prospects list.
Fulton earns this promotion on the back of a full year’s worth of starts in Beloit (117.0 IP, 4.31 ERA, 138 SO in 25 G). For much of the 2022 season, the former second-round pick was quite unlucky statistically, with a .383 BABIP that would rank .100 points above the MLB league average from the 2021 season. That luck finally began to turn during his last four Sky Carp outings in which he threw a total of 21 innings to the tune of a 1.71 ERA and 2-0 record. As Fulton moves up to Pensacola, with the aid of a superior defense as well as BABIP regression to the mean, expect good things.
Johnson has only made three starts so far in his professional career and he isn’t being pushed deep into games yet. An elite reliever during his first full-length season at Duke, the tall right-hander made a transition to their rotation the following year where he struggled with a nearly 6.00 ERA. However, there is something in Johnson’s mechanics that Miami and their pitching development team seem to think could be worked with to unlock his full potential as a pro.
- 1B Garrett Cooper sent on rehab assignment to Jupiter (8/23)
- SS Kahlil Watson activated from 7-day IL (8/23)
- SS Osiris Johnson activated from 7-day IL (8/23)
- SS José Salas activated from 7-day IL (8/23)
- RHP Zach McCambley placed on 7-day IL (8/24)
- RHP Justin Evans placed on 7-day IL (8/24)
- RF Avisaíl García sent on rehab assignment to Jacksonville (8/26)
- C Peyton Henry placed on 7-day IL (8/27)
Players of the Month
Jupiter: OF Jake Thompson
Jake Thompson has had a banner month of August. After going undrafted out of Oklahoma State in this past draft, he’s been doing his best to make teams regret passing on him. Thompson is tops in OPS for the Hammerheads amongst those that played at least 20 games this month, sitting at .861. His eye for the zone appears remarkable so far, with 14 walks in 95 PA. With an OBP at .411 and 11 doubles in 23 games, Thompson could be an under-the-radar guy to keep an eye on.
Beloit: LHP Dax Fulton
Well, this is a name you’ve heard recently. The aforementioned promotion of Fulton was certainly earned on the field in August (16.0 IP, 3 ER, 12K in 3 GS). Fulton’s ERA of 1.69 was the best of any Sky Carp pitcher with at least 15 IP on the month.
Pensacola: SS Demetrius Sims
Demetrius Sims is a 27-year-old, 14th-round draft pick from the 2017 draft, and he is hitting very well in the month of August. Over the span of 18 games, he posted a slash line of .327/.441/.469, good for an OPS of .911. Sims has drawn nearly as many walks (seven) as he did in Triple-A this season (eight) despite only half as much playing time. A BABIP of .500+ would indicate that Sims is getting more than a bit lucky this month, but results are results.
Jacksonville: UTIL Willians Astudillo
I’m hoping everyone is familiar with what La Tortuga is doing in AAA this month. He is to AAA baseball what Aaron Judge is to MLB (and then some). Astudillo is slashing .362/.458/.681 in August for a 1.139 OPS. He has walked more than he’s struck out, hit for power, hit for average, doing everything to facilitate run production during the month of August.