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Inbox: Who is best unhyped Marlins prospect?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from fans
@JoeFrisaro
June 29, 2020

Now that the Marlins have announced the 57 players who will be reporting to summer camp on Wednesday, it’s almost time to play baseball. Miami promises to provide plenty of opportunities for many of its high-end prospects, those who are getting close to being big league ready. Before the Marlins

Now that the Marlins have announced the 57 players who will be reporting to summer camp on Wednesday, it’s almost time to play baseball.

Miami promises to provide plenty of opportunities for many of its high-end prospects, those who are getting close to being big league ready.

Before the Marlins take the field for their first workouts on Friday, MLB.com addresses some questions on the minds of Miami fans.

Best Marlins prospect that isn’t getting any hype?
-- @Briansweinstein

This is a really good question, because in past years when the farm system was thinner, those who stood out were easy to pinpoint. Pretty much everyone in the top 10 of the Marlins' Top 30 Prospects list, according to MLB Pipeline, is known by the fan base. Personally, I think outfielder Jerar Encarnacion, ranked 15th, has tremendous potential. He’s a legitimate middle-of-the-lineup threat with his immense power and he is part of Miami’s player pool, although he is not yet on the 40-man roster. Encarnacion will be working out with mostly prospects at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

Encarnacion has power to all fields, which he displayed in the Arizona Fall League and in Spring Training.

The Marlins have a lot of outfield depth, especially among their prospects. It will be interesting to see how Encarnacion fits into the big picture. Based on his ability to knock the ball out of the park, he could literally force his way into the lineup on a regular basis, perhaps as early as 2021.

Have the goals at all changed for this season since it is so different?
-- @TravisGreen05

Not at all. If anything, a shortened season may work to the Marlins' advantage in terms of being a surprise team to challenge for a playoff spot. If they get off to a hot start, it only will reinforce the front office’s belief that the organization is close to transitioning from building to contending. There was plenty of optimism in Spring Training, and the competition was intense, with prospects making their presence felt.

The Marlins are aiming to build a deep organization, one in which the players are pushing one another and every opportunity is a chance to prove something. Just because the season is much shorter than 162 games doesn’t diminish the objectives for 2020.

What do you think the game split among catchers will be this season? Since it will only be 60 games, whoever wins the starting job presumably won’t need nearly as much time off.
-- @JustSean11

This is an interesting question, because the catching situation was a little unsettled when Spring Training was cancelled on March 12 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Jorge Alfaro, the expected starter, missed most of Spring Training due to an abdominal strain. Francisco Cervelli, a proven veteran, and Chad Wallach, who is also on the 40-man roster, were used heavily in the spring. Alfaro would have to build up to be able to handle a heavy workload.

Alfaro will have three weeks of summer camp to show he is ready to play daily once the season starts on either July 23 or 24. My guess is the position could be split, like 40 games for Alfaro and 20 for Cervelli.

Is it really worth the risk to use up a young player’s option in a shortened season?
-- @Hey_Chuck_

The Marlins are approaching this season like any other. It’s an important year in the progression of the organization and the continued development of prospects, as well as players who are still early in their big league careers.

The three prospects who appear closest to reaching the big leagues are shortstop Jazz Chisholm, outfielder Monte Harrison and right-hander Nick Neidert. I mention them because they will be working out at Marlins Park instead of in Jupiter, where the rest of the top 10 prospects will be training.

The fact that they will be with the established big leaguers is an indication that they could either make the 30-man Opening Day roster or be added at some point in the season.

Obviously, if the Marlins are in position to go to the playoffs, they will be more willing to tap into their prospect pool if it helps them reach their goals.

So, yes, it is worth the risk.

When will the Marlins announce all their Draft signings?
-- @YBSD614

Quick refresher: The MLB Draft was shortened to five rounds this year, and the Marlins had six total picks (counting a Competitive Balance Round B selection). The Draft was conducted over two days from June 10-11.

Marlins Draft Tracker

The Marlins should finalize the contract of University of Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer, the third overall pick, this week. Meyer is then expected to be added to the player pool as a non-roster invitee. The remaining five Draft picks likely will be signed in early or mid-July.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.