By: Jeffery Romeu
Photo By John Dover
The Miami Marlins have been completely eliminated from playoff contention with 17.5 games back in their division and 16.5 games back from the top of the National League Wild Card race. So, I guess it is time to once again look at their prospects and the potential for the future. Monte Harrison who plays for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in Double-A is the highest player listed on the top 30 list of Marlins prospects with Sandy Alcantara being the second, but Alcantara has already been promoted to the majors so let’s disregard his ranking. The third highest ranked player is starting pitcher Nick Neidert who has continued to impress in his time in Double-A with the Jumbo Shrimp. In my opinion, Neidert should be the highest ranked player in the Marlins Minor League System and Harrison shouldn’t even be placed in the top 10.
Neither Harrison nor Neidert were drafted by the Marlins. Harrison was acquired in the Christian Yelich trade that sent him to the Milwaukee Brewers and Neidert came to the Marlins in the trade that sent Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners. Harrison is currently having a difficult year even though he is listed at #78 overall in MLB Prospects and has been touted by most scouts as a 20/20 guy with considerable value with his defense. Currently, Harrison has a .233 batting average and while he has stolen 23 bases, he has struck out 173 times in 110 games. While it is still too early to tell if he will continue to struggle, it is important to note that his consistency with a bat is heavily lacking.
On the other hand, Neidert has proven to be such a strong pitcher, he is almost certainly going to be called up to Triple-A New Orleans before the end of the year. This season Neidert has pitched in over 125 innings, has struck out 131 batters, encompassed an ERA of 2.95, and a 1.11 WHIP. Just recently, Neidert struck out 13 batters in a game while tossing an eight-inning shutout with zero walks. With a mid 90’s fastball and strong changeup, it’s understandable why most scouts list him as a No. 4 starter. However, I believe if he continues to dominate when he gets called up to Triple-A, he will be a top of the line starter for the Marlins.
A few other Minor League players for the Marlins to watch for are Jorge Guzman, Isan Diaz, Jordan Yamamoto (read previous article), and returning from Tommy John Surgery, Braxton Garrett.