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Marlins announce 2022 season managers for all minor league affiliates

Only two of the six are returning to the same position they held last season.

Daren Brown photoshopped into a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp uniform Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp

As announced by the Marlins on Thursday, here are their minor league managerial selections for the 2022 season:

  • Triple-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp—Daren Brown (position held by Al Pedrique in 2021)
  • Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos—Kevin “Smoke” Randel (returning from 2021)
  • High-A Beloit Sky Carp—Jorge Hernández (replacing Mike Jacobs)
  • Low-A Jupiter Hammerheads—Ángel Espada (replacing Jorge Hernández)
  • Rookie FCL Marlins—Luis Dorante Sr. (returning from 2021)
  • Rookie DSL Marlins—Nelson Prada (replacing Rigoberto Silverio)

Earlier this offseason, Pedrique was bumped up to the major league staff to serve as third base coach and infield instructor. Jacobs made the move to the Cincinnati Reds organization. No word yet on what happened to Silverio, but last season, his Dominican Summer League team had by far the lowest winning percentage of any Marlins MiLB affiliate (.404).

Both Pensacola (“Fish Fest”) and Beloit (“Sky Carp Fest”) are hosting free, in-person fan events at their respective ballparks on Saturday, and they confirm that Randel and Hernández will attend. [Insert sarcastic font] Such convenient timing! It’s safe to assume that these hirings were actually finalized a number of weeks ago.

Even as the Marlins make a concerted push to contend at the major league level—trading away notable prospects in the process—it will continue to be crucial for them to nail these minor league hires. Their ownership group commits fewer resources to MLB payroll than most other franchises, making it difficult to retain star players throughout their careers or plug roster holes with costly yet reliable veterans. Roster churn is inevitable.

To achieve any semblance of “sustainable winning,” they must install the right leaders at each rung of the MiLB ladder. These individuals should be effective teachers off the field and able to strike a delicate balance during games between challenging their developing players while also putting them in positions where they can succeed. That is how you cultivate waves of impact talent in perpetuity.

Full-season MiLB schedules were shorter than usual in 2021 due to COVID—Jacksonville played 130 games, Beloit played 120, Jupiter played 117 and Pensacola played 111. Thankfully, there should be more game reps for Marlins prospects this year (at least 132 games per level, weather permitting). Their campaigns are set to begin on April 8 and run deep into September. The MLB lockout will not impact their plans because minor leaguers aren’t part of the MLB Players’ Association (except for the few who hold 40-man roster spots).

I imagine that some of the coaches who’ll be working with the Marlins MiLB managers have already agreed to deals. However, teams traditionally wait until the entire staff is in place before announcing them.