A closer look at the return from Arraez trade

May 5th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Christina De Nicola’s Marlins Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Marlins president of baseball operations Peter Bendix acknowledges there’s no guarantee prospects will pan out, but he’s confident in the scouting department’s analysis of the four players joining the organization after being acquired from the Padres in exchange for Luis Arraez.

“We got a lot of prospect talent in return because Luis is the back-to-back batting champion who's a very good player,” Bendix said. “And that's something that -- given where we are right now with this season -- is something that we determined was better to set the franchise up moving forward. The long-term value of four prospects, three position players and one pitcher that we think have a chance to really impact the Major League team for six-plus years of their control and who knows what else beyond that, we felt like that was the right move to make for the organization.”

Here's a closer look at the new arrivals.

OF Dillon Head, Single-A Jupiter (Marlins No. 5 prospect)

Pipeline scouting report: Head exhibited one of the most exciting combos of speed and pure hitting ability among 2023 prep bats in the Draft. Those wheels make him an impressive defender in center with gap-to-gap coverage, and he’s able to gather good momentum to generate above-average arm strength when he needs a cannon. Head should be a stolen base threat, too, and he can also turn infield grounders into base knocks with the way he fires out of the left-handed batter’s box. More >

Organizational fit: Head possesses game-changing speed (80 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale) that is easily the best in the organization.

Bendix’s analysis: “He's probably furthest away from the big leagues. He has relatively minimal professional experience. He was a first-round pick last year. He also probably has the highest upside of the group. The athleticism, the speed, the overall impact on both sides of the baseball is pretty exciting for us.”

ETA: 2027

OF Jakob Marsee, Double-A Pensacola (No. 10 prospect)

Pipeline scouting report: Marsee's hitting ability and plate discipline got him drafted in 2022's sixth round out of Central Michigan. He led San Diego farmhands with 98 walks and a .413 on-base percentage while reaching Double-A in his first full pro season, before winning MVP honors in the Arizona Fall League. Marsee thrives on making opposing pitchers throw strikes. He doesn’t chase much at all, and when he does swing out of a coiled left-handed stance, it’s with intent to make contact. More >

Organizational fit: Head and Marsee add center-field depth to a system that has been lacking that in recent years. Marsee becomes the highest-ranked and most advanced player at the position outside of Triple-A Jacksonville’s Victor Mesa Jr. (No. 4 prospect).

ETA: 2025

1B/OF Nathan Martorella, Double-A Pensacola (No. 11 prospect)

Pipeline scouting report: Martorella used a breakout final season at California, where he hit .333 with a career-best 11 homers, to be selected in the fifth round of the 2022 Draft. He slashed .255/.361/.437 with 19 homers and a 123 wRC+ over 135 games between High-A and Double-A in his first full pro season and ended the campaign with more experience in the AFL. His managers and coaches wanted him playing every day because of his inclination to work counts, success against pitchers from both sides and strength to shoot for at least average in-game power. More >

Organizational fit: While Jacob Berry (No. 6 prospect) and Troy Johnston (No. 20 prospect) have gotten reps at first base, neither is a natural at the position like Martorella. Berry recently has seen time in the outfield.

Bendix’s analysis: “Martorella [is a] first baseman who can really hit. I don't want to put any sort of timeline on it, but just given the fact [Marsee and Martorella are] already in Double-A, those guys are further along in their career than Dillon Head.”

ETA: 2025

RHP Woo-Suk Go, Triple-A Jacksonville

Scouting report: San Diego signed Go to a two-year deal worth $4.5 million, with a mutual option for 2026, in January after he pitched seven seasons with the LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization. The 25-year-old posted a 3.18 ERA with 401 strikeouts in 368 1/3 innings. The Padres expected him to pitch in high-leverage situations, especially with 139 career saves, but he struggled in Spring Training (12.60 ERA) and began his stateside career at Double-A San Antonio (4.38 ERA, 1.46 WHIP). Go has a mid-90s fastball that can touch 98 mph to go along with multiple breaking pitches.

Organizational fit: Miami’s bullpen has seen mixed results this season, plus closer Tanner Scott is likely to be a trade piece as an impending free agent.

Bendix’s analysis: “He had quite an illustrious career in Korea, and I think sometimes the transition from a Korean league or just any league that you're unfamiliar with, coming into a new country where you don't speak the language, that transition can be very difficult. We're hopeful and optimistic that he's shown the ability to make that transition. We like his stuff. We like his demeanor. We like things that he's been able to do so far in his short professional career, and we're optimistic that he could contribute to our Major League bullpen.”

ETA: Later this season