Since MLB Pipeline's latest rankings, the Marlins' farm system has taken a bit of a hit, for several reasons.
A handful of players have graduated, and outfielders JJ Bleday and Peyton Burdick are well on their way by starting on a regular basis in the big leagues. The core group of prospects also has sustained injuries. Right-hander Max Meyer threw just 89 pitches at the MLB level before undergoing Tommy John surgery, meaning he won't return until the 2024 season. Southpaw Jake Eder, who underwent the same procedure in August 2021, hopes to be full-go for Spring Training next season. Sixto Sánchez (right shoulder surgery) hasn't appeared in a game since Oct. 8, 2020, while catcher Joe Mack (hamstring) and infielder Ian Lewis (hamate) have missed substantial time.
Some have underperformed, none more than last year's first-round Draft pick Kahlil Watson. He was demoted to the Florida Complex League with a high strikeout rate and dealt with disciplinary actions before rejoining Single-A Jupiter. Bleday and Burdick got off to slow starts at Triple-A Jacksonville, and so did left-hander Dax Fulton at High-A Beloit, before showing progress at their respective levels.
As things stand, the heaviest concentration of talent is at the lower levels of the Minors. Miami, however, hopes prospects like Jacob Berry (sixth overall in 2022 MLB Draft) can move quickly through the system.
Here’s a look at the Marlins' top prospects:
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the preseason list:
Jump: Antony Peguero, OF (Preseason: NR | Midseason: 19) – The Marlins signed Peguero, who turned 17 in June, as part of their 2022 international class. Entering Tuesday, the right-handed hitter was slashing .305/.366/.431 with nine doubles and four homers in the Dominican Summer League.
Fall: Evan Fitterer, RHP (Preseason: 19 | Midseason: NR) – A prep arm taken in the fifth round of the 2019 MLB Draft, the Marlins sent Fitterer to the ’21 Arizona Fall League, where he pitched just twice due to shoulder soreness. The 22-year-old has been inconsistent at High-A Beloit, with a 4.57 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 18 starts.
New to the list
Here are the players added to the Top 30 from outside the organization:
No. 3: Jacob Berry, 3B/OF (Sixth overall pick in 2022 Draft)
No. 11: Jacob Miller, RHP (Second-round pick in 2022 Draft)
No. 18: Karson Milbrandt, RHP (Third-round pick in 2022 Draft)
No. 19: Antony Peguero, OF (Signed as international free agent in January 2022)
No. 20: José Gerardo, OF (Signed as international free agent in 2022)
No. 29: Marcus Johnson, RHP (Fourth-round pick in 2022 Draft)
Eury Pérez, RHP (No. 1/MLB No. 14)
The Marlins are playing out the string and already have promoted several of their best prospects. While they aren't going to do this, it sure would be fun to see the electric Pérez make his big league debut at age 19 after he has logged a 4.19 ERA, .228 opponent average and 102/21 K/BB ratio in 73 Double-A innings. Signed for $200,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2019, he's equipped to survive in the Majors now with a lively mid-90s fastball, solid upper-70s curveball and dancing mid-80s changeup.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 60 -- Jacob Berry
Power: 55 -- Peyton Burdick (Jacob Berry, J.J. Bleday, Griffin Conine, Jerar Encarnacion, Jose Gerardo)
Run: 70 -- Nasim Nunez
Arm: 80 -- Jose Gerardo
Field: 70 -- Nasim Nunez
Fastball: 70 -- Sixto Sánchez
Curveball: 65 -- Zach McCambley
Slider: 65 -- Max Meyer
Changeup: 65 -- Sixto Sánchez
Control: 60 -- Sixto Sánchez