|Fantasy Take: The Florida Marlins|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on March 15, 2006
Last season, the Florida Marlins were greatly represented in fantasy ball. Carlos Delgado, Miguel Cabrera, Juan Pierre, and Luis Castillo were drafted early; Josh Beckett, A.J. Burnett, and Dontrelle Willis were among the most hyped starters in the Majors. This year, however, the Fish will have very few fantasy commodities.
The Top Tier
Dontrelle Willis (SP) – The Marlins’ big left-hander was a four category pitcher last year, winning 22 games, striking out 170, with a 2.63 ERA over 236 innings. After losing Luis Castillo and Alex Gonzalez -- thought to be the best double play combination last year -- his ERA will most likely go up. This season we could reasonably expect 15-16 wins, 230-240 innings, 170-180 K’s, and a 3.00 ERA. These are still good numbers that rank him near the top.
The Second Tier
Miguel Cabrera (3B) – Considered the next Albert Pujols -- how’s that for pressure? -- Miguel Cabrera is moving to third base, which means his fantasy value will skyrocket. However, he’ll have absolutely no protection in his lineup, which means pitchers will pitch around him more often. We should expect a .310/27-30/95, which are excellent numbers.
Jeremy Hermida (OF) – With a grand slam in his first Major League at-bat, Hermida drew attention from the very start. The young left fielder has a chance to become one of the best left fielders in baseball rather soon; we can expect .300/25-27/85-90 next season from him. Why such early success for him? He gets on base and doesn’t strike out. This guy is so talented he deserves the NL Rookie of the Year Award right now.
The Third Tier
Mike Jacobs (C/1B) – We shouldn’t expect him to continue hitting eleven home runs every 100 ABs, but we can expect somewhere in the 22-25 range for an entire season. The former Met does a good job hitting for average, so he’ll drive in a few runs. For someone with catcher eligibility, he’s pretty darned valuable.
Joe Borowski/Travis Bowyer (RP) – One of these two guys will get the closers' role, and we can expect 25 to 30 saves. Which one will it be? Probably Borowski. What bad ratios and lack of strikeouts will we have to accept just to have him on our staffs? Probably a bit more than you want, unless you’re desperate.
Scott Olsen (SP) – This southpaw came up to the Major Leagues last year and did pretty well in four starts: 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 20.1 innings pitched. Anytime a pitcher strikes out more than a hitter per inning, it should be considered a very good thing. It’s difficult to determine how well he’ll make the transition, but you should keep an eye on him as a cheap source of strikeouts.
Hanley Ramirez (SS) – In the Red Sox organization last year, Ramirez put up a .720 OPS in Double A. This can be thought of as a good thing or a bad thing. In a positive light, he was younger than most of his competition, plus he is a middle infielder. Negatively, it seems he constantly underplays what his tools suggest he is capable of, and it seems difficult to imagine him as a Major Leaguer this season after some not-so-great numbers in Double A. It remains to be seen what he could do at the Major League level, but for his sake and the Marlins’ sake, let’s find out in a few years when he’s ready.
Josh Willingham (C/LF) – For years, Willingham has waited his turn to break into a Major League lineup. Finally, at age 27, he gets his chance. Some scouts close to the organization think that Willingham has the chance to put up Paul LoDuca-type numbers, so we should expect a solid .270 batting average with 12 homers and 65 RBIs. However, this will be his first year in the Majors, so he is pretty unknown.