With the 2022 MiLB season wrapping up, the Marlins have gotten their first glimpse of 19 newly drafted players. Although some saw much less action than others, the second half of the season featured potential late-round gems, a few underperformers, and a lot of pitchers with control issues. Here’s how everyone fared in their first taste of professional baseball.
1st Round—3B Jacob Berry
.248/.343/.362 in 37 games (Low-A/FCL)
Drafted 6th overall, Jacob Berry presents an enticing offensive profile of both great plate discipline as well as a powerful bat. Producing an OPS above 1.000 both seasons in college, Berry’s OBP skills seem to have translated well into his first stint in the pros, but the power has yet to catch up. An above-average hitter so far—118 wRC+ in Jupiter, per FanGraphs—Berry’s slug of .362 isn’t anything all that concerning. An adjustment period is necessary for a jump like this, and he’ll be on the right track in no time. Expect him to be a relatively quick promotion next year if he can start hitting for a little bit more power and bump that OPS into the .800s.
2nd Round--RHP Jacob Miller
4.76 ERA, 5.2 IP, 6 K in 4 games (FCL/Low-A)
Miller, currently the 10th-ranked prospect in the Marlins system, made three appearances for the Marlins in the Florida Complex League before wrapping his season up with one appearance for Jupiter. All three of the earned runs he surrendered in his young career came in one appearance, a disastrous 0.2 IP outing. Miller’s final appearance was his best, leaving Marlins fans with a tease of what is hopefully to come. Facing the Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit) Miller threw two scoreless innings, striking out three. Pipeline rates Miller’s curveball as his best pitch, and it was on display that night.
3rd Round—RHP Karson Milbrandt
9.00 ERA, 2.0 IP, 1 K in 1 game (Low-A)
The potential starting rotation piece out of Liberty High School (MO) allowed 2 ER on two hits and one walk, striking out one in his lone regular season appearance. Milbrandt only made his way through the lineup once, facing nine total batters. Milbrandt was an overslot pick, and the Marlins are banking on his fastball that can reach 97 (at only 18 years old!) to develop into a serious weapon as he matures.
4th Round—RHP Marcus Johnson
5.94 ERA, 16.2 IP, 29 K in 5 games (Low-A/FCL)
To describe the Duke University product as highly volatile is an understatement. Sporting a K% higher than 40% in all his appearances outside of one, Marcus Johnson generates swings-and-misses like no other. The high spin rates on his slider and curveball contribute to that, as Geoff Pontes of Baseball America breaks down. However, the righty pitched to the tune of a 5.94 BB/9 between the FCL and Jupiter. Batters are only hitting .194 against Johnson, so if he can reel in the control, he could be a 4th-round steal. The Marlins knew he was going to be a project, but the foundation to build off of is clear.
5th—Round RHP Josh White
6.55 ERA, 11.0 IP, 16 K in 9 games (Low-A/FCL)
In college at Cal, Josh White alternated between starting and coming out of the ‘pen, but of his 9 appearances in the Marlins system, the longest outing has been 1.2 IP. White’s profile so far is a lot like Johnson’s, just to lesser extremes. The control seems to be more of an issue with White, as his BB/9 sits at 6.55, but if his college profile is any indicator, he should regress to the mean which is still a little walk heavy, but not as concerning.
6th Round—RHP Jared Poland
1.42 ERA, 12.2 IP, 11 K in 5 games (Low-A/FCL)
Poland, another underslot value pick out of Louisville, is a bright spot amongst the 2022 draft class so far. The righty has been used primarily as a starter, making appearances in both the FCL as well as in Jupiter. Poland won’t wow you with dramatic strikeout numbers, but he does perform well when pitching to contact. Both of his 2 ER came in the same game, and beyond that, all other innings were near spotless. His FIP sits at 4.53, and that 3.11 FIP/ERA differential could indicate Poland may regress without the help of elite defense. That’s just predictive, though—his results on the field are telling a different story.
7th Round—RHP Kyle Crigger
2.93 ERA, 15.1 IP, 12 K in 11 games (Low-A/FCL)
Crigger, a versatile reliever during his time in college with Louisiana Tech, has found a role as a multi-inning reliever while spending most of his rookie season in the Marlins organization down in Jupiter (he was promoted from the FCL after one appearance). Crigger averages less than a strikeout per inning but makes up for it with solid command for the level he is at. Crigger is a full year older than the average A-level ballplayer, so if he can produce early, he could be a quick riser up the MiLB ladder.
8th Round—LHP Dale Stanavich
11.81 ERA, 10.2 IP, 10 K in 11 games (Low-A/FCL)
After watching the video above of the former Rutgers closer, you’ll be rooting for Stanavich to succeed. He had an unfortunate professional debut. Stanavich was a victim of the “blow-up inning”—when he surrenders runs, they come in bunches. Seven of Stanavich’s appearances have been scoreless, but he’s been hammered for 1, 3, 4, and 6 ER in the other four appearances on the bump. A hard reset and an offseason to work will be great for Stanavich. If he can return to his Rutgers form, raising the K/9 and limiting the walk percentage, he could be in for a rebound of a first full season.
9th Round—LHP Evan Taylor
2.92 ERA, 12.1 IP, 19K (Low-A)
Evan Taylor is looking like a steal of a 9th-rounder early on in his career. The Arkansas product only pitched in Jupiter this year, and his 13.9 K/9 is a sign of a successful start. A .186 batting average against proves further how he is dominating the competition. Even with a moderate walk problem, Taylor’s WHIP sits at a 1.216. Taylor is a prospect I’m excited about, and I think in a few years he really could be a solid bullpen arm, especially as a lefty with a non-traditional arm slot.
10th Round—LHP Cade Gibson
0.61 ERA, 14.2 IP, 20 K in 8 games (Low-A/FCL)
Gibson was a teammate of Crigger at Louisiana Tech, and he has been something special so far. One run allowed in nearly 15 IP, a 3.33 SO/W rate and a WHIP of .955. The Marlins couldn’t have dreamed of a better summer from him.
11th Round—RHP Alex Williams
0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 5 K in 2 games (FCL)
Not much to talk about with the 11th round former PAC-12 Pitcher of the Year. Williams made two stellar starts, retiring all 15 batters faced. Williams also was part of a combined no-hitter thrown by the Marlins FCL team, pitching the first three innings.
12th Round—LHP Cole Kirschsieper
5.14 ERA, 7.0 IP, 10 K in 4 games (Low-A/FCL)
Kirschsieper, a University of Illinois product, spent time both in the FCL as well as Jupiter. In two appearances in the FCL, Kirschsieper pitched great, including a four-strikeout performance in two innings. The lefty hit some bumps in the road in his two post-promotion appearances, but the predictive stats seem to like his stuff so far.
13th Round—OF Chase Luttrell
.172/.223/.230 in 27 games (Low-A/FCL)
Luttrell has had a rough start. His transition to the pros has been plagued by strikeout problems, an inability to get on base whether it be through walk or hit, and a lack of power. Although not a prolific run producer during his time at Long Beach State, Luttrell did showcase a hit tool that was appealing to the Marlins, and in time hopefully he will find his groove. His wRC+ sits at 30 so far in his short professional career. Here’s to hoping he raises it starting next season.
14th Round—1B Torin Montgomery
.266/.345/.427 in 35 games (Low-A/FCL)
The former Missouri Tiger was one of the first Marlins draftees to debut, and he got off to a hot start in the FCL. In four games, Montgomery hit for a 181 wRC+ before being moved up to Jupiter, where he would finish out the year. Montgomery cooled a bit from there, but still produced as an above-average bat for the level. When Montgomery turns on a ball, get out of the way. Statcast recorded 18 batted balls that topped 100 miles per hour off his bat.
15th Round—RHP Ike Buxton
9.64 ERA, 4.2 IP, 5 K in 3 games (FCL)
Buxton only saw action in three games, but what can be gathered in that miniscule sample is that he has some control issues to work through. Buxton walked nearly two batters an inning.
16th Round—SS Brett Roberts
.256/.333/.488 in 13 games (Low-A/FCL)
Roberts, who didn’t have to travel far to relocate after being drafted out of Florida State, has the most impressive slash line of any position player prospect in this Marlins class. His .822 OPS and 125 wRC+ at the FCL level are both impressive stats for a 16th-round pick. His high walk rate (10.4%) in conjunction with a limitation on K’s (16.7%) do provide a little bit of hope that the Marlins may have found a gem in the later rounds.
17th Round—RHP Evan Chrest
Chrest did not agree to terms with the Marlins and will be honoring his commitment to Jacksonville.
18th Round—C Spencer Bramwell
.059/.158/.059 in 5 games (FCL)
Bramwell barely had enough time for a cup of coffee in pro ball, not enough reps to make sense of his stats yet. He’s had three seasons in college with over a 1.000 OPS so there’s certainly a bat to be found.
19th Round—UTIL Carmine Lane
.000/.250/.000 in 3 games (FCL)
Another example of a player with a really limited number of pro AB’s, Lane has only stepped to the plate 8 times during his time in the Marlins system.
20th Round—RHP Jack Gowen
2.45 ERA, 3.2 IP, 6 K in 3 games (FCL)
Gowen made 3 appearances and showcased an ability to both strike batters out, but also allow them free passes. He didn’t give any hits up in his limited time, leaving him with a WHIP of 1.64 entirely comprised of just walks.