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Marlins announce Minor League award winners

September 19, 2018

MIAMI -- Rookie outfielder Austin Dean was rewarded for a strong Minor League season by getting an opportunity to play for the Marlins down the stretch. Nick Neidert spent the entire season at Double-A Jacksonville, where the right-hander enjoyed a strong season and projects to compete for a big league

MIAMI -- Rookie outfielder Austin Dean was rewarded for a strong Minor League season by getting an opportunity to play for the Marlins down the stretch. Nick Neidert spent the entire season at Double-A Jacksonville, where the right-hander enjoyed a strong season and projects to compete for a big league rotation spot in 2019.
Dean and Neidert were honored by the Marlins on Wednesday as their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year Awards winners. The organization also recognized Walner Espinal as their Student of the Year Award winner, and Bruce Walton as their Staff Member of the Year Award winner.
The winners will be formally recognized pregame on Friday before the Marlins face the Reds at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park.
According to MLB Pipeline, Neidert is Miami's No. 3-ranked prospect, and Dean is ranked No. 27.
Dean worked his way to the big leagues by combining to bat .345, with 20 doubles, five triples, 12 home runs and 68 RBIs in 109 games at Double-A and Triple-A.
Dean was a fourth-round Draft pick of the Marlins in 2012, and he made his big league debut on Aug. 15 at Atlanta. The 24-year-old is getting substantial time in left field with the Marlins, and he is expected to compete for a roster spot with Miami next Spring Training.
Neidert, 21, was acquired in December from the Mariners as part of the Dee Gordon trade. At Jacksonville, he was 12-7 with a 3.24 ERA in 26 starts over 152 2/3 innings, with 154 strikeouts and 31 walks.
Espinal, a native of the Dominican Republic, signed as an international free agent in 2016. This season, he played for the Gulf Coast Marlins, batting .252 with eight doubles, a triple and three home runs in 45 games. He logged the most hours of any player in his Burlington English software in the computer lab.
Walton is in his first season as pitching coach at Class A Advanced Jupiter. The Hammerheads' pitching staff had a 3.43 ERA, which was the lowest in the Florida State League.

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