Marlins' Single-A affiliate Jupiter wins first crown

September 21st, 2023
The Hammerheads are champs for the first time in their existence, dating back to 1998.Jupiter Hammerheads

It took a first-year manager to steer the Jupiter Hammerheads, the Marlins' Single-A affiliate, to their first Florida State League championship.

After going 35-31 in both the first and second halves of the season, skipper Nelson Prada's Hammerheads were a model of consistency in the East Division this season. And Jupiter continued to show consistency, particularly at the plate during the postseason. In three of their last four postseason contests, they scored seven or more runs.

Averaging 5.2 runs per game across both their semifinals sweep of Palm Beach and their best-of-3 Finals win, the Hammerheads closed out the Clearwater Threshers in the finale by playing small ball. They scored seven runs on three hits in Wednesday's 7-4 victory.

Jupiter found all kinds of ways to score, including a sacrifice fly, a walk drawn by Miami's No. 9 prospect , a fielder’s choice back to the mound by 10th-ranked , and a throwing error forced by ' back-to-back steals. The Marlins’ No. 30 prospect wreaked havoc on the basepaths the way he did all year, nabbing 33 bags during the regular season.

On the mound, starter went four innings, allowing two runs on four hits without a walk while fanning two. The No. 13 Marlins prospect posted a .209 average-against with a 1.17 WHIP in 14 starts for Jupiter.

The Hammerheads' pitching staff finished the year atop the Florida State League leaderboard with the lowest ERA (4.12) and allowing the fewest runs on the circuit (606) while tying for the second-best WHIP (1.38) to rebound from a 2022 season in which Jupiter posted a 62-66 record.