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Ely Sussman’s Top 30 Marlins prospects: Tier 6

Breaking down nine more Marlins prospects, plus several others who just missed cracking the Top 30.

Prospects within the same tier are largely interchangeable—considering their ceiling, floor, injury risk, position, room for development, ability to adjust and intangibles, I expect them to have similar career value.

The notes below were last updated on July 12, 2022.

22) RHP Sixto Sánchez

Sixto unquestionably had mid-rotation starter traits. It was only a matter of whether his body could withstand the workload of that role.

Formerly Miami’s top overall prospect, Sánchez is in the midst of another lost year. The Marlins don’t seem invested in his success anymore, burning his final option year in 2022 rather than stowing him on the major league injured list to preserve it. His steep fall on this list reflects the diminished likelihood of him recapturing the quality of stuff he used to possess.

23) OF Antony Peguero

Acquired via international free agency in 2022

2022 MiLB stats entering July: .281/.361./516, 126 wRC+ in 72 PA (Rk)

Current level: Rookie (DSL)

2022 is age-17 season (turned 17 on June 14)

24) RHP Bryan Hoeing

Acquired via MLB Draft in 2019

2022 MiLB stats entering July: 3.00 ERA, 4.54 FIP, .223 BAA in 78.0 IP (AAA/AA)

Current level: Triple-A

2022 is age-25 season

25) 1B/LF Troy Johnston

Johnston’s 2022 production is stacking up well with what he did in 2021 despite the superior quality of pitching he’s facing. His homestand against the Mississippi Braves and Biloxi Shuckers (May 24-June 5) was as dominant a two-week stretch as any Marlins prospect has had this season. Just when it seemed he was turning all of his focus toward playing first base, Pensacola has utilized him frequently in left field.

Johnston seldom takes a day off and sprays balls to all fields to overcome any opponent’s positioning strategy.

26) INF/OF Charles Leblanc

Leblanc surged at the end of his 2021 campaign with Triple-A Round Rock (Rangers affiliate). With his new organization, he has picked up exactly where he left off. Even on a Jumbo Shrimp team with lots of gaudy offensive stats, this utility man stands out.

I would consider ranking Leblanc even higher if he possessed passable shortstop skills. He hasn’t been used there in any official games since joining the Marlins.

27) C Payton Henry

Fish Stripes original GIF

Acquired via trade in 2021

2022 MiLB stats entering July: .250/.333/.400, 94 wRC+ in 24 PA (AAA)

Current level: Triple-A (injured list, right thumb surgery)

2022 is age-25 season (turned 25 on June 24)

Henry did not hit a lick as Jacob Stallings’ backup, but showed nice flashes behind the plate.

28) RHP George Soriano

Acquired via international free agency in 2015

2022 MiLB stats entering July: 3.14 ERA, 3.98 FIP, .213 BAA in 43.0 IP (AA/AAA)

Current level: Triple-A

2022 is age-23 season

Just like the names ranked directly behind him, Soriano could help the Marlins bullpen right now if called upon.

29) LHP Josh Simpson

Acquired via MLB Draft in 2019

2022 MiLB stats entering July: 3.53 ERA, 2.80 FIP, .150 BAA in 35.2 IP (AA)

Current level: Double-A

2022 is age-24 season (turns 25 on August 19)

Simpson’s got an exquisite breaking ball that is effective in both first-pitch and putaway situations. I anticipate his usage of it to climb even more moving forward.

30) LHP Andrew Nardi

Acquired via MLB Draft in 2019

2022 MiLB stats entering July: 2.23 ERA, 2.41 FIP, .167 BAA in 36.1 IP (AAA/AA)

Current level: Triple-A

2022 is age-23 season (turns 24 on August 18)

Nardi has been whiffing batters at an elite rate throughout his MiLB journey. There might not be another reliever in the Marlins system who’s a safer bet to contribute competent innings in The Show.

Just Missed

  • RHP Nick Neidert (Triple-A)—I was stunned that the former Marlins Minor League Pitcher of the Year passed through waivers in April without being claimed. Neidert is better than what he showed with the Marlins in 2021.
  • INF José Devers (Double-A)—Devers’ development has been repeatedly impeded by injuries. He’s had a miserable 2022 campaign on the heels of right shoulder surgery. I won’t write off the 22-year-old completely, holding out hope that Devers can come back stronger next year and show enough with his arm to contribute at multiple infield positions (he has only played second base for Pensacola).
  • OF Brady Allen (Low-A)—The fifth-round draft pick was under strong consideration for a Top 30 spot prior to his midseason power drought. He will get back on track soon, having demonstrated the ability to consistently hit line drives with triple-digit exit velocities.
  • OF Osiris Johnson (High-A)—Repeating the Low-A level, Johnson made a big improvement to his strikeout rate. He looked particularly comfortable from mid-May onward. Nice to see that he’s now getting a taste of Beloit.
  • RHP Sean Reynolds (Double-A)—I’ve been an unabashed Reynolds fan since his days as a position player. Everybody—Reynolds included—is surprised about the emergence of his fastball as a plus pitch. The Marlins have an interesting decision on the horizon as he nears minor league free agency.
  • RHP Evan Fitterer (High-A)—Fitterer has pitched more professional innings in 2022 than he did from 2019-2021 combined, and he continues to induce grounders at a high rate.
  • INF Bryson Brigman (Triple-A)—In a best-case scenario, Brigman can be Luke Williams-like. But barring an injury to Williams, this slick-fielding 27-year-old will probably need to venture to a different organization to break through to the majors.
  • LHP Zach King (Double-A)—King might have the longest legs on the Blue Wahoos roster, which is saying something when you’re teammates with Reynolds and Eury Pérez. As of this writing, no Marlins minor leaguer has more strikeouts than King this season.