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Premium Content Miami Marlins Top-15 Prospects of 2012

March 20, 2012 BY ALEX EISENBERG 2 Comments

Marlins Top Prospects of 2012

    1. Christian Yelich | OF/1b | Age – 20 | Grade – B+/B
    2. Jose Fernandez | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B-/B
    3. J.T. Realmuto | C | Age – 21 | Grade – B-/B
    4. Matt Dominguez | 3b | Age – 22 | Grade – B-
    5. Mason Hope | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B-
    6. Marcell Ozuna | RF | Age – 21 | Grade – B-
    7. Chad James | LHP | Age – 21 | Grade – B-
    8. Rob Rasmussen | LHP | Age – 23 | Grade – B-/C+
    9. Adam Conley | LHP | Age – 21 | Grade – C+
    10. Noah Perio | 2b/SS | Age – 20 | Grade – C+
    11. Jesus Solorzano | CF | Age – 21 | Grade – C+
    12. Mark Canha | LF/1b | Age – 23 | Grade – C+
    13. Scott Cousins | OF | Age – 27 | Grade – C+
    14. A.J. Ramos | RHP | Age – 25 | Grade – C+
    15. Chris Hatcher | RHP | Age – 27 | Grade – C+

Key Links
› Prospect Primer (Grading Criteria Explained)
› Team Page Listings
› Index of 2012 Top Prospect Lists
› Index of Last Year’s Top Prospect Lists
Marlins Links
› Marlins Team Page
› 2011 Marlins Top Prospects

    Grades are based on a prospect’s projected value over the course of his career and how likely it is that prospect will fulfill his projected value. Various factors are accounted for including upside, red flags, actual performance, and closeness to the majors. See the 2012 Top Prospect List Primer for more information as it relates to prospect grading and philosophy. Grades can be subject to change.

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Prospect Quick Takes

    1. Christian Yelich | OF/1b | Age – 20 | Grade – B+/B … See his full report below…
    2. Jose Fernandez | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B-/B … Physical right hander already has two above average pitches.
    3. J.T. Realmuto | C | Age – 21 | Grade – B-/B … Sleeper from last year put together a strong 2011 season. Biggest surprise may have been how good he looked on defense.
    4. Matt Dominguez | 3b | Age – 22 | Grade – B- … Outstanding defensive third baseman still looking to put it together with the bat.
    5. Mason Hope | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B- … Overshadowed in his home state of Oklahoma by other outstanding prep right handers, but he’s got a great frame and two quality pitches already in his arsenal.
    6. Marcell Ozuna | RF | Age – 21 | Grade – B- … See his full report on Page 2
    7. Chad James | LHP | Age – 21 | Grade – B- … Young lefty faltered somewhat down the stretch…he’s been slow to develop.
    8. Rob Rasmussen | LHP | Age – 23 | Grade – B-/C+ … Bounced back from slow start to finish strong, but needs to throw more strikes.
    9. Adam Conley | LHP | Age – 21 | Grade – C+ … Second round pick from last year’s draft will be developed as a starter…needs to miss more bats than he did in college.
    10. Noah Perio | 2b/SS | Age – 20 | Grade – C+ … High contact hitter with good tools at the plate.
    11. Jesus Solorzano | CF | Age – 21 | Grade – C+ … One of the biggest sleeper prospects in the system…could rise high on this list with a strong 2012 campaign.
    12. Mark Canha | LF/1b | Age – 23 | Grade – C+ … Had a great 2011 season, but because of the position he plays, his age, and the level of ball he played at, scouts aren’t ready to hype him up just yet. He needs to repeat it at higher levels.
    13. Scott Cousins | OF | Age – 27 | Grade – C+ … Athletic fourth outfielder type…
    14. A.J. Ramos | RHP | Age – 25 | Grade – C+ … Old for his level, but he misses bats and he’s somebody the Marlins can slot in their bullpen in the next couple of years.
    15. Chris Hatcher | RHP | Age – 27 | Grade – C+ … Converted from catcher last year with encouraging results. Great velocity on his fastball, but he’s raw in other aspects.
    16. Kyle Jensen | OF/1b | Age – 23 | Grade – C+ … Potential power bat off the bench.

    HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order) – Edgar Olmos (LHP) | Jobduan Morales (C/1b) | Dan Jennings (LHP) | Greg Nappo (LHP) | Michael Brady (RHP) | Jose Urena (RHP) | Dejal Oliver (RHP) | Austin Barnes (C) | Josh Hodges (RHP) | Charlie Lowell (LHP) | Jose Alvarez (LHP) | Austin Brice (RHP) | Robert Morey (RHP) | Kyle Skipworth (C) | Jake Smolinski (2b) | Jake Esch (RHP) | Pete Andrelczyk (LHP) | Ryan Rieger (1b) | Ryan Fisher (LF) | Zach Neal (RHP) | Isaac Galloway (OF) | Kyle Kaminska (RHP) | Grant Dayton (LHP)
    *Jose Ceda, Brad Hand, Bryan Peterson, and Steve Cishek are no longer considered prospects based on the criteria set forth for these lists.
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  • 1. Christian Yelich | OF/1b | B – L | Age – 20
    Low-A Greensboro | Drafted – Round 1 (23), 2010

    Player Grades
    Contact – 50 Now | 60 Future
    Power – 45 | 55
    Discipline – 50 | 60
    Speed – 55 | 55
    Defense – 50 | 55
    Arm – 45 | 45
    Instincts – 50 | 60
    ETA – 2015
    Final Grade – B+/B

    Last Year’s Team Ranking – No. 1

    Last Year’s Grade – B-

    Body Type – Tall and lean…doesn’t have the frame to add a ton of weight, but does have more room to fill out.

    Scouting Report

    One reason I was so high on Christian Yelich last year was because of his assortment of strengths from his mind to his tools. He’s an advanced hitter for his age, patient at the plate with confidence in his strike zone judgement. He covers the plate well thanks to his long arms, and his sound approach means he’s more than willing to go the other way, and use the entire field.

    He also showed impressive capacity to improve with experience. He learned from his initial struggles and improved with each passing month.

    The speed of the game got to Yelich early on, which resulted in a elevated K%. He was late on good fastballs because he was waiting too long to commit to swinging. Once he got his timing down, strikeouts were less frequent.

    Yelich has quick hands and good bat speed. He keeps the bat head in the hitting zone for a long period of time thanks to a line drive stroke. Terrific hand-eye coordination enables Yelich to consistently square up on the baseball and make hard contact.

    A little concerning was how many ground balls were coming off Yelich’s bat, but with each month you saw more and more balls being lifted in the air. Those ground balls were turning into line drives…

    April – 64 GB%, 14 LD%
    May – 58 GB%, 23 LD%
    June – 56 GB%, 18 LD%
    July – 50 GB%, 24 LD%
    August – 49 GB%, 32 LD%

    Ground balls are almost always an out or a single. The best hitters for average hit line drives and the best power hitters usually hit more fly balls. So it’s important for Yelich to keep the ball off the ground.

    Yelich’s ISO-Power ended up being .172, which is pretty good for a first year (practically) player who’s power was supposed to be one of the last things to develop. At his peak, Yelich could hit anywhere from 18 – 25 home runs annually with lots of doubles.

    Yelich was also faster than scouts thought he was coming out of high school. He has true above average speed and is helped by the long strides he takes thanks to his long legs. He’s also helped by excellent instincts on the base paths as he stole 32 bases and was caught just five times.

    Defensively, Yelich split his time between left and center field with Greensboro, but is more likely to wind up in left field, partly because he has fringy arm strength.

    Yelich will start this year in High-A Jupiter.

    Best Case Outcome – He’s got borderline All Star potential in left field, maybe better.

    More Likely Outcome – Above average everyday left fielder.

    2. Jose Fernandez | RHP | Age – 19
    Jamestown (SS) | Drafted – Round 1 (14), 2011
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    2 Comments »

    • rbt said:

      I’m not trying to put you on the spot here, Alex, but I’m curious: After the 2008 draft you wrote for Hardball Times that you rated Kyle Skipworth higher than Eric Hosmer. While I think it’s safe to say that at this moment you would rate Hosmer higher, if you had it to do over, would you write something different in that original article? Or do you feel that assessment was correct and that Hosmer simply made adjustments that Skipworth never made?

    • Alex Eisenberg (author) said:

      rbt, I’m addressing this in an upcoming article. Will publish in the next couple of days.