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Main Takeaways from a Visit to Jupiter

Kevin Barral/Fish Stripes

JUPITER, FL—With the Miami Marlins on a long road trip, I decided to take a small trip to Jupiter to watch some of the Low-A prospects battle it out with the Daytona Beach Tortugas.

Marlins number eight prospect Jacob Miller was expected to start, but was a healthy scratch and will pitch at some point next week. Instead, the Hammerheads went with 19 year-old prospect Jhoniel Serrano who gave up five runs (four earned), struck out two, and walked six. Velocity wise, Serrano looked good as he topped at 92-93 MPH. Aside from that, Serrano used his Cutter, Curveball, Changeup, Sinker, and Slider which showed his deep pitch-mix, but aside from that, nothing truly impressive from the Hammerheads starter.

Despite struggling thus far in the season, Pensacola native Jordan McCants had himself a nice game. Going three for five with two singles and a double, McCants is a small, but quick player, so seeing him run at 28.9 feet per second was no surprise as well. Despite the struggles in the month of May, the sign of hope for the 20-year-old is putting the ball in play with a .364 BABIP.

Torin Montgomery, who was drafted in the 2022 MLB Draft, has had a slow start to the season, but is seeing the ball better as of late. Torin this afternoon had an RBI double, a single, and a walk. “Just learning, getting things under my belt,” said Torin before the game. “I don’t really like to believe in slumps,” said Montgomery on his slow start to the season.

For more on Torin Montgomery and his adjustment to pro-ball, listen to my interview with him.

Ian Lewis, who has been struggling this season, saw the ball well today as he walked twice and only struck out once. Entering today’s game, Lewis is slashing .333/.467/.500/.960 with three walks and two strikeouts in the series against Daytona. If there is hope for Lewis to get it going, this is a nice series to do it.

Although he didn’t make the start today, we had the opportunity to speak to Jacob Miller prior to the game. “A lot of learning, a lot of adjustments to make,” said Miller. “Biggest thing is to fill up the strike zone and work on execution.” This season, Miller has a 5.00 ERA, 4.26 FIP, but has been able to fill up the strike zone as he is at a 8.00 K/9 this season.

For more on Miller and his transition to pro-ball, being drafted by the Marlins, and how important the changeup has been not only to him, but the whole Marlins organization as a whole, check out my interview with Miller.

In the Jupiter bullpen, Manuel Medina was truly impressive in terms of his stuff. With low velos, watching the movement on his pitches were a sight to see. Going mainly with his changeup, he was able to get 10 swings on it which shows how much that pitch confuses batters, but also is something to take with a grain of salt as this is the Low-A level and there are guys who are very raw. Medina ended his outing going 2 23 innings, striking out four, walked two, and gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits.

Javier Sanoja, who was on a nine game hitting streak saw that come to a close on Friday, but got it going today going one for three with an RBI single. Excluding this afternoon’s game, Sanoja is slashing .262/.321/.362/.682 with 20 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. if there is a player who has shined in the Low-A level, Sanoja is one to mention. Sanoja is also striking out at a low 12.2% rate and walking at a 8.3% rate.

Game Notes:

  • Jhoniel Serrano was the leader in swing-and-miss
  • Jordan McCants, Brett Roberts, and Torin Montgomery had multi-hit games
  • Jorge Caballero, who has been the best player for the Hammerheads in 2023, went hitless
  • The Hammerheads had a total of five errors today by five different players
  • Tommy Nance, who is currently on a rehab assignment in Jupiter, was not seen today and the last time that he pitched with the Hammerheads was on May 12.

  • Jupiter dropped the game by a final score of 9-4.