From start to finish, the Miami Marlins were one of MLB’s elite teams during 2021 spring training, leading the league in both winning percentage and run prevention. That wouldn’t have happened without a bunch of outstanding individual performances (and frankly, that’s all that matters when contemplating how this could translate to the regular season).
Fish Stripes is excited to introduce a new “Marlin of the Month” tradition! We will choose four finalists based on statistical production and signature moments, then open the polls here on fishstripes.com and our Twitter account (@fishstripes). The leading vote-getter will be recognized in the site’s awards section.
Your options for February/March, in alphabetical order...
RHP Sandy Alcantara (Grapefruit League: 1.33 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 27 K in 20.1 IP)
Alcantara solidified himself as the leader of the Marlins starting rotation. He was especially dominant against the NL East-rival Mets and Nationals, allowing zero earned runs in four total starts against them. The All-Star struck out one-third of all batters he faced and induced four groundball double plays.
RHP Anthony Bender (Grapefruit League: 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 10 K in 8.1 IP)
The single biggest surprise from these exhibition games. It took until Bender’s fifth appearance before somebody finally reached base safely against him. The non-roster invitee was Miami’s hardest-thrower this spring, averaging 97.4 miles per hour on his fastball in games that had Statcast tracking. If he doesn’t crack the Opening Day bullpen, he ought to be first in line for a call-up once the season gets underway.
1B/OF Garrett Cooper (Grapefruit League: .425/.452/.700, 2 HR, 8 RBI in 16 G)
Splitting his playing time between first base, right field and designated hitter, Cooper repeatedly clobbered the ball. Line drive after line drive after line drive. Most Marlins spring games were not televised, but it was a pleasure to repeatedly hear the “thwack” off his bat.
LHP Trevor Rogers (Grapefruit League: 2.84 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 29 K in 19.0 IP)
The former first-round draft pick seems poised for a 2021 breakout. With an improved slider to go along with his already impressive command, Rogers showed unequivocally that he’s ready to stick in the majors.
Who gets your vote for Marlin of the Month? (February/March 2021)
This poll is closed
- Jon Berti—led all Marlins players with a 1.168 OPS while dabbling at six different defensive positions
- Jesús Aguilar—unbelievable 2.2% strikeout rate and team-best 12 runs batted in
- Jazz Chisholm Jr.—emerged victorious in the second base competition thanks to great all-around play, from tape-measure home runs to diving catches
- Starling Marte—.341/.391/.585 slash line and smooth as usual in center field
- Pablo López and Elieser Hernandez—both reportedly pitched well in final few starts, but did so on the backfields instead of in official Grapefruit League games