I’m so glad I limited this series to just trying to find 10 players. Finding even ten Marlins with value is tough. In shallow leagues Giancarlo Stanton, Steve Cishek and the prospects are probably all you need to know about. In deeper leagues there are a few more names to know, but there isn’t much here on what will certainly be a last place team.
Here are 10 to watch in 2013.
Giancarlo Stanton (OF): While the Marlins seemingly traded away just about everyone else, they left a handful, including Stanton, the star attraction of the team, to languish in Miami. He’s got 40 home run power but little protection in the Miami lineup. He’ll still mash some home runs, especially if Logan Morrison bounces back to offer him a degree of protection, but 40 probably is out of reach unless he either gets traded or the Marlins somehow find a solid bat behind him.
Juan Pierre (OF): No power, but he’ll hit for average and steal some bases. The team is so bad that he’ll almost certainly get 450 ABs rather than end up in a platoon situation, despite his poor average against lefties. Age suggests 30-40 steals are the likely result, but with the Marlins needing to manufacture runs, he might be greenlighted every time.
Ricky Nolasco (SP): Nolasco is 30, which should be the dawn of a pitcher's prime, but his skill set has faded as time has gone by. There is a chance for a rebound, but there is no sign that it’s coming. He’ll still have use in deeper leagues, but the best you can hope for would probably be a 4.00 ERA, and not many wins since he’ll have to be just about perfect to give up fewer runs than the Marlins will score on a day in day out basis. Justin Ruggiano (OF): Plenty of power here, but consider me one of many who suspect the average last year was a fluke. Still even if it falls to the .240s he’s a guy who could go 20-20 with 550 ABs. 15-15 is more likely.
Steve Cishek (CL): A decent closer on a bad team still equals saves. Cishek might actually be a decent closer, but he’s hardly a true proven commodity as his success so far can only be measured in months, months where he took a big step forward. Is it sustainable? The Marlins hope so since they don’t have another real option. Thus Cishek will get plenty of chances.
Rob Brantley (C): Brantley is a young catcher with upside. Right now he doesn’t project to do much more than hit for average, but his power should be developing. With a lot of luck he’ll hit a handful of home runs. But whispers out of Miami suggest that he might hit in the heart of the order and be in line to get a share of whatever RBIs the Marlins might generate. If true it could raise his value.
Logan Morrison (1B): The outspoken Morrison is one player who sure wishes he had been shipped elsewhere. And the Marlins know it. That said, provided the knee is healed as scheduled (he hopes to be playing in May) Morrison could get a solid 4 1/2 months of playing time in. If the skills haven’t deteriorated he could hit 15-20 home runs and drive in about 70 runs. Casey Kotchman (1B): Don’t spend much time pondering Kotchman. He doesn’t have a lot to offer, despite all the hype much earlier in his career that projected him as a 30 home run type hitter. He hasn’t done it, and based on his Major League career thus far, he probably won’t hit that many over three seasons. Still he’ll have the first base job until LoMo comes back, which could have some value in deeper leagues especially if LoMo doesn’t come back until later in the season. .250-10, maybe a little better, is all he has to offer.
Jose Fernandez (SP): The Marlins top pitching prospect may make an appearance sometime in 2013, but that's not a sure thing. He’s slated to start the season at AA, so expect any appearance to be late in the season. That said, he’s worth stashing in deeper or keeper leagues due to a four-pitch arsenal and elite potential.
Christian Yelich (OF): Yelich would have to take a big step forward to be a major factor anytime in the 2013 season but he certainly has the tools to make an impact. Still he’s the Marlins future, and the future might have to come soon if the Marlins hope to attract fans out to watch the games this season. He projects as a threat for average, speed and power down the road.