Miguel Cabrera (3B): A solid 4 category guy who is also capable of putting up double digit steals isn’t as rare as it used to be at third base. Nonetheless Cabrera is one of the most feared hitters in the NL and at just age 24 he’s still got plenty of room to grow. His batting average elevates him above many of his peers with otherwise similar numbers. Still he’s not such a standout that I’d take him in the first round.
Hanley Ramirez (SS): Ramirez, the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year, who came to Florida in the Josh Beckett trade sure didn’t look much like a rookie last season and no doubt some would rank him higher than a second tier shortstop pick but lack of track record beyond last season’s .292-17-59-119-51, plus his off season shoulder injury means he’s still an unproven commodity. The combination of power and speed promise very good things, but he’ll need to show that last year wasn’t a fluke to really be considered an elite player at his position.
Dontrelle Willis (SP): Control issues took the edge off of Willis’ fantasy value last year as he posted an ugly 1.42 WHIP to go with his 160 strikeouts. That WHIP is way out of line with his past performances and a correction is likely. That being said Willis is a solid tier pick, he’s not going to be an elite 4 category pitcher with the current Marlins team.
Dan Uggla (2B): This guy looked like a monster in his debut last season posting Jeff Kent in his prime like numbers (.282-27-90-105-6) after jumping straight from AA at the age of 27. His age is a bit of a concern here a 27 year old breaking into the Majors is a slow bloomer – especially for a hitter. Uggla’s numbers compared to his minor league ones seem a bit out of line, but if that means last year was a freak occurrence, or that he’s finally put the skills altogether is the question. I’d bet on the latter but I don’t think I’d count on him matching last season’s numbers.
Jorge Julio (CL): Obtained just this week Julio is the only real closing option that the Marlins have for this year and he’s not a bad one. He’s spent most of his career doing that job but he’s never been one of the real dominant closers. But that matters little, even with a little plodding and a few too many home runs allowed Julio will notch 30 saves – maybe more as this team comes together.
Mike Jacobs (1B): Jacobs had a great middle of the season but struggled on both ends. He’s got major league skills but he’s a lower tier first base option until he learns to consistently hit .280 with 25+ home runs.
Miguel Olivo (C): A solid enough catcher, Olivo’s main fantasy value comes from a decent combination of power and speed. He hasn’t used his legs enough in recent seasons but he has 10 SB potential to go with 10-15 home run power.
Anibel Sanchez (SP): In 17 starts last season Sanchez put up a 10-3 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in just 114.1 innings. He battled control issues which lead to 46 walks costing him both runs and raising his WHIP considerably. He’s got incredible potential but don’t get too excited, those numbers aren’t likely to stand up this season. He’ll get hit harder and look like a number three pitcher as Major League hitters figure him out.
Scott Olsen (SP): If you look at the 166 strikeouts Olsen racked up as a rookie last season it’s easy to think he’s on the verge of stardom. His minor league numbers back up his power pitching resume and his overall numbers look very good. However like many of his teammates he’s been rushed to the big leagues (he’s only played 1 game above AA in the minors) and doesn’t have a lot of seasoning. That means that what we’ve seen isn’t for sure what we’re going to get.
Ricky Nolasco (SP): As a pitcher Nolasco is still very much a work in progress, like Scott Olsen and Anibel Sanchez, Nolasco made the jump to the majors pretty much straight from AA. His minor league numbers suggest he’ll end up striking out about a batter per inning while maintaining a decent WHIP and ERA. However he like the other young hurlers on this team are likely to hit some rough spots. I think he’ll improve across the board in 2007, but maybe not dramatically. However of all the Florida pitchers he’s got the most sleeper upside.
Alex Sanchez (CF): Sanchez, known more for his speed and failed steroid tests than his skill in the outfield will once again earn himself a starting job. He’s got no power but a decent batting average, a lot of steals, and runs scored, should make him a fairly useful fantasy player - if he can hold on to the job, although that’s something he’s struggled with in the past.
Josh Willingham (LF): In his first full season in the Majors Willingham put up solid outfield numbers with a .277-26-74 line. At 28 he’s one of the older position players on the team and has time to take his skills to the next level. Still he’s a solid pick for an outfielder just realize that last season was probably about the best you can hope for.
Jeremy Hermida (RF): Hermida is likely to start the season on the DL but is expected to rejoin the team within a week of opening day. He was a 2002 first round draft pick who everyone thought would possess all the tools, but the power never materialized, the speed seems to have gone away and the OBP is pretty bad. He could manage a 12-15 home run season, but I think it’s a stretch.
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