Saturday, December 14, 2019

Uncustomed Heroes of 2019: Marlins

The 2019 Marlins...certainly were a thing.

Derek Jeter's quest to rid the team of everything that made them great in 2016 finished this year, with the final core member, J.T. Realmuto, leaving pre-season, and the final bench member, Martin Prado, gone after the season. There are some minor members of that team left, like Miguel Rojas, Jose Urena and Adam Conley, but the bulk of that nearly-playoff team is gone.

So this is what's replaced it. Veterans, inexperienced players, and the occasional ripe call-up like Harold Ramirez, who had a 50-RBI year, in 118 games, and batted .276. Ramirez is a fun outfield guy that could be a major player in subsequent tanking Marlins teams.
Why Him in 2019?: Might be a formative member of a dynasty, so seeing his debut strongly helps.
2020 Prediction: Will lead the team in WAR, and be right up there with Rojas, Brian Anderson and, if he signs like we're thinking he will, Yasiel Puig at the heart of the lineup.

 The other interesting outfield addition, or just utility addition, was Jon Berti, a journeyman who'd been through the Toronto and Cleveland organizations before finding a home in Miami, where he played shortstop and outfield, and led the team in stolen bases.
Why Him in 2019?: 9 of his 17 stolen bases came in September, a month where he batted .287 and softened the blow of ending up in last.
2020 Prediction: A more concrete starting position, and a potential mid-year trade to a contender.

 The Marlins' pitching was definitely an improvement from 2018, with Sandy Alcantara and Caleb Smith making league waves, Zac Gallen getting traded to Arizona for his hot start, and Jordan Yamamoto's unhittable June, with 23 strikeouts and 3 wins in 4 starts. The former Brewers prospect's stuff is pretty nasty, even if he had trouble controlling it in subsequent months.
Why Him in 2019?: Best rookie pitcher to stick around in Miami this year.
2020 Prediction: Will be the breakout arm of the team by ASG-time.
 Jose Urena continued his W/L ratio woes from last year, ending the year with a 4-10 record. He's still a sharp pitcher, with a 6.6 SO/9 average, but he's one of those guys that'd be a little more potent if he were on a better team.
Why Him in 2019?: His injury made it possible for Yamamoto, Gallen, Robert Dugger and Elieser Hernandez too enter the fold.
2020 Prediction: Dare I say it, but at half-year the team might think about moving Urena back to the bullpen.
 Pablo Lopez was an early rotation experiment that went alright, with 95 strikeouts in 21 games despite a 5+ ERA. Before missing time due to injury, Lopez had a scorching June, with a 1.89 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 3 starts.
Why Him in 2019?: Deep-rotation guy that added enough depth to give pitching optimism to a team that has lost theirs since Fernandez died.
2020 Prediction: Will be a steady fifth man that will have a 4 ERA and not piss anyone off.
 Robert Dugger was another pitching prospect fielded in the numerous salary-clearing trades, and he made a late debut in 2019. In 7 games, he lost 4 games, had a 5.77 ERA and only 25 strikeouts, so clearly he'll take a learning curve.
Why Him in 2019?: Last of the major 2019 pitching callups for the Marlins.
2020 Prediction: Of the rookie pitchers, he has the best chance of seeing time in the minors next year.
2019 was the final year on Martin Prado's contract, and he used it as a bench bat primarily. Prado hit .233 in 104 games, adding 57 more hits to his career total of 1542.
Why Him in 2019: Finished what may be his last season as a member of the team that arguably brought him the most success.
2020 Prediction: Retirement.

Coming Tomorrow- The Mets, once again, lapped the Phillies and made an attempt at the postseason. It didn't exactly work, but they had one of their best teams since the 2015 roster dissolved.

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