Written by Jonathan Leshanski
Published: 04 March 2009
The Fish have few sure things but tons and tons of upside at almost every single position make breakouts possible. So draft the solid contributors and watch everyone else and don’t be swept up in the hype of guys like Cameron Maybin until they prove themselves. The Best of the Bunch: Hanley Ramirez (SS):
A legitimate first overall choice who could finish 25-25 or even 30-30 if he takes the next step. However, Hanley Ramirez won’t be the leadoff hitter for this team, but will slot into the number three spot. This could cut into his running game, but will certainly boost his RBIs.
The Second Tier: Dan Uggla (2B):
He won’t hit for high average but there aren’t many second basemen capable of hitting 30 home runs. Uggla has now done it in back to back seasons. He’ll also contribute 90+ RBIs and close to 100 runs. You’ll just have to suffer through a .250 average with this top 10 second baseman. The Third Tier: Ricky Nolasco (SP):
Nolasco is the ace for the Fish and he’s got solid stuff. He managed to win 15 games and strikeout 186 last season with a WHIP of 1.10 and an ERA of 3.52. That probably is as good as it gets, but a slight regression wouldn’t be out of line for a young pitcher. Jeremy Hermida (OF):
He’s no standout but a solid player who is capable of hitting for average and power. A safe projection is in the neighborhood of .270-18 but there is upside here and he does have an everyday job.
Jorge Cantu (1B/3B):
At a deep position Cantu is a ho-hum sort of choice. He’s capable of 20+ home runs with a respectable average and a slew of RBIs from the four or five slot in the lineup. A word of warning however, Cantu has fallen off the map suddenly before - his low OBP and walk rates make him a risk. Matt Lindstrom (CL):
Should be good for 30 saves and average close to a K an inning if he can handle the pressure over a full season. He throws flames. Question Marks, Cheap Buys and sleepers:
Cody Ross (OF):
Offers power but little else to a fantasy team but he’s capable of 20 home runs. You’ll have to deal with a middling (.250-.260) average and poor peripherals in runs scored, steals and RBIs. He’ll be cheap on draft day except in deep leagues. Josh Johnson (SP):
Just 18 months past Tommy John surgery, Johnson has to prove that he’s fully back. He’s got outstanding stuff and good control. He could easily be the ace of this staff, but he has a very limited track record and an injury history which should concern you.
Chris Volstad could help you a lot - if he matures quickly.
dChris Volstad (SP):
Volstad is a low risk, high reward pitching prospect. He’s young (21) but talented and some scouts say he has the best stuff of anyone on the Marlins staff. The problem is that his control thus far hasn’t been that great. He’ll be learning on the job. Cameron Maybin (OF):
Considered by some to be the favorite for Rookie of the Year, Maybin is a very young guy facing a lot of hype. He went .277-13-49-73-22 at AA last year. He’ll be thrown into the fire as the Marlins’ leadoff hitter. He strikes out a lot, but the upside is tremendous, but it’s probably a year too early to expect greatness. John Baker (C):
Baker is being handed the starting catchers job right out of Spring Training and he has potential. He’s spent the last 4 seasons at AAA and at 27 it’s do or die time for Baker. He’s capable of hitting for average with a touch of pop, but he struggles against lefties.
Dallas McPherson (3B):
The once highly touted McPherson lost his way several years ago due to a back injury and up until now he’s been a fantasy non-entity. However that seems to have passed and last year he tore up the PCL (AAA) and lashed 42 home runs in the process. He’ll earn a chance at third base and could put up Troy Glaus in his prime type numbers (.260 - 30). He’s a great sleeper pick.
Anibel Sanchez (SP):
In 2006 Sanchez looked like a he was on the verge of becoming a great pitcher, then early in 2007 he tore the labrum of his pitching shoulder and lost that season, and much of 2008 to surgery and recovery. He hardly looked like the same pitcher last year, but his stuff is electric and he could take a big step forward this year. Certainly he’ll be better than he was last year. Watch him in the spring. Andrew Miller (SP):
Acquired as one of the key players in the Miguel Cabrera trade, Miller is considered by many to be a special talent who can one day become a dominating pitcher. That day hasn’t come yet, but he’ll only be 23 when the season begins, so he’s worth keeping an eye on. Emilio Bonifacio (2B/3B):
You’ve heard a lot of hype about what a great prospect Bonifacio is. He offers little in a fantasy context as most of his skill at this point is about defense. Gaby Sanchez (1B):
He’s a contender for a job out of spring training, however it’s a big leap up from AA where he played last season. He offers a nice mix of power, average and speed if he can make it translate.