New names dominate Marlins' Top 20 list
Seven prospects make debut, Miami tied for third in Majors with five in Top 100
One of the best farm systems in baseball has undergone an early harvest in 2013. With the Marlins' top three preseason prospects -- Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick -- already in Major League uniforms, the future is now in Miami.
Although the Marlins sports are rebuilding, the contributions of young stars have set the foundation for the successes enjoyed in 2013, as well as those in seasons to come.
Fernandez, the preseason No. 1, who never played higher than Class A before this season, became the youngest All-Star in franchise history at 20 years old. He has quickly developed into Miami's ace and leads all qualified rookie starters with a 2.74 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and a 2.9 WAR.
Yelich also lived up to the hype in his big league debut, finishing 3-for-4 with two RBIs in a 4-2 win against the Rockies on Tuesday. He joined Marlins manager Mike Redmond as one of only two players in franchise history to begin his Major League career with three straight hits.
Although numerous young faces are on the roster, the youth movement in Miami excites Redmond and upper management.
"We do have a core group of young guys who are either in their first year in the big leagues or new to the big leagues," Redmond said. "There is that adjustment period. But at the same time, too, we have guys with a couple of hundred at-bats. We need to keep going, keep pushing."
"They're part of our future," president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "And part of our future is coming as well."
Seven of Miami's top 11 prospects have graduated to the Majors, led by new No. 1 Yelich and new No. 2 Marisnick from Double-A Jacksonville on Tuesday.
In addition to the All-Star Fernandez, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (No. 6), outfielder Marcell Ozuna (No. 7), second baseman Derek Dietrich (No. 9) and catcher Rob Brantly (No. 11) have all made significant contributions at the big league level.
Ozuna, who leads the team with 32 RBIs, and Dietrich, who ranks second among rookies with nine homers, were optioned to Jacksonville on Monday to make room for Yelich and Marisnick.
The Marlins hope Ozuna and Dietrich will continue to work on developing their talents after both players were rushed to the Majors to fill in for injured regulars.
Left-hander Chad James is no longer included among Miami's Top 20 Prospects after earning the No. 18 slot in the preseason rankings. James, the 18th overall selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, is 1-3 with a 5.84 ERA in seven starts with Class A Greensboro.
James is 17-38 with a 4.60 ERA in 81 career starts during four seasons spent between Class A affiliates Greensboro and Jupiter.
Third baseman Colin Moran, the No. 6 overall pick of the 2013 Draft, makes his debut as Miami's fifth-ranked prospect. Moran homered in his first at-bat with Class A Greensboro.
At No. 11 is another new addition to the list, right-hander Angel Sanchez, who joined the Marlins' farm system as part of the trade that sent Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers. Sanchez threw the first six innings of a combined no-hitter by Class A Jupiter on July 22.
Also debuting among Miami's Top 20 -- right-hander Anthony DeSclanfani (No. 15), outfielders Austin Dean (No. 17) and Brent Keys (No. 18), right-handers Mason Hope (No. 19) and Arquimedes Caminero (No. 20).
marlins' top prospects
Aside from Moran's impressive debut at No. 5, southpaw Brian Flynn of Triple-A New Orleans jumped from 20th to 10th between the preseason and midseason rankings.
Flynn came to Miami's organization along with Jacob Turner and Brantly in a July 2012 trade that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit.
The 6-foot-7 lefty is 4-11 with a 3.23 ERA and nine strikeouts per nine innings in 20 combined starts between Double-A Jacksonville and New Orleans.
Top 100 representation
Miami is tied for third among Major League clubs with five Top 100 Prospects and ranks ninth in the Majors and fifth in the National League with 251 "prospect points" -- points assigned to clubs based on their representatives on the Top 100 list, with 100 points going to the team with the No. 1 prospect, 99 to the team with No. 2, and so on.
The Marlins lost 38 points from thier preseason total of 289, a drop resulting from the graduation of several prospects from their preseason list.
Left-hander Andrew Heaney made the biggest jump in the Top 100, from No. 81 in the preseason to No. 54 now. Moran debuted at No. 78, Yelich moved into the Top 10 at No. 10 and Marisnick made an impressive jump from No. 70 to No. 48.
Southpaw Justin Nicolino improved from No. 72 in the preseason to No. 64 at midseason.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.