Tag Archives: Florida Marlins

Miami Marlins 2012 Mid-Season Top 5 Prospect Rankings

By: J.P. Schwartz

As we are now halfway into the season and the signing deadline for 2012 draft picks has passed, here is my revised list of top 5 prospects in the Miami Marlins organization.

Remember, a prospect must have fewer than 130 ABs or 50 IP in the Major Leagues to qualify.
(Stats through 7/28/2012)

1) Jose Fernandez – P
Highest Level: High-A Jupiter Hammerheads
2012 Stats:
MILB: 9-1, 2.08ERA, 104IP, 25BB, 121K, .203BAA

2) Christian Yelich – OF
Highest Level: High-A Jupiter Hammerheads
2012 Stats:
MILB: .320, 21(2B), 4(3B), 11HR, 40RBI, 15SB

3) Andrew Heaney – P
Highest Level: 2012 Draft Pick – Has Not Played

4) Jacob Turner – P
Highest Level: MLB Detroit Tigers (Traded to FLA)
2012 Stats:
MLB: 1-1, 8.03ERA, 12.1IP, 7BB, 7K, .321BAA
MILB: 6-4, 2.72ERA, 89.1IP, 34BB, 59K, .221BAA

5) Zack Cox – 3B
Highest Level: AAA Memphis Redbirds (Traded to Marlins)
2012 Stats:
MILB: .254, 23(2B), 9HR, 30RBI

Send your questions or feedback to J.P. on twitter @Jaypers413

Q&A With Former Marlins First Round Pick Josh Booty

By: Andrew Martin

In 1994, Josh Booty was one of the most coveted high school athletes in the country. He was a star in football and in baseball, and everyone was anxious to see what sport he would choose. It was settled when the Florida Marlins took him with the 5th overall pick in the first round of that year’s MLB draft and signed him to a contract.
Booty, a third baseman, showed great power during his time in the minor leagues, but not enough plate discipline. He had 62 home runs in 478 games, but hit only a combined .198 and struck out in nearly a third of his at bats. The Marlins kept aggressively pushing him through their system, calling him up for brief stints during the 1996-1998 seasons. In 13 career major league games, he collected 7 hits and 4 RBI in 30 at bats, but was never given any extended opportunity.
Following the 1998 baseball season, Booty decided to return to football. He enrolled at LSU under coach Nick Saban and became the team’s starting quarterback, showing a big arm and production. In 2001 he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 6th round. He was with the Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, and Oakland Raiders for parts of four seasons, but never got into a game, and ended up retiring from the NFL in 2007.
Today, Booty leads a busy life. In addition to his family, he has been extremely active in charitable work, worked as a sports commentator, and started his own sports performance and nutrition company called Atleta (http://atletanutrition.com), currently serving as their vice president. Despite his busy schedule, I was recently able to catch up with him and ask him some questions about his baseball career.

Who were your favorite team and player when you were growing up?
The New York Yankees and Will Clark.

How did you know the Marlins were interested in drafting you?
Gary Hughes, the Head of Scouting for Florida, took a real interest in me, so I knew If I was still around for the fifth pick that they were going to draft me.

How did the Marlins recruit you to give up football for baseball?
Money and big league call ups.

Who was your most influential baseball coach or manager?
Tony Taylor, infield instructor, ex major leaguer, great guy and wonderful coach.

What was your favorite moment from your baseball career?
Big league debut. I singled in my first at bat.

What do you remember most from your stints in the majors leagues?
World Series year in 1997.

How much pressure did you feel during your minor league career from being such a highly regarded prospect and how did that impact you?
I tried to do too much, and wanted to set the world on fire with my bat, and wasn’t patient enough for the sport

If you could do anything differently about your baseball career, what would that be?
Give it more of a chance. I laid it down to go play football, which I loved.

2012 Florida Marlins Top 15 Prospect Rankings

With the Marlins officially becoming the Miami Marlins, we have moved our prospect rankings to our Miami Marlins page. You can read J.P. Schwartz rankings VIA THIS LINK TO THE MIAMI MARLINS TOP 15 PROSPECT RANKINGS

In Depth Look At Age & Identity Fraud Among Dominican Baseball Prospects

When Florida Marlins reliever Leo Nunez had his true identity of Juan Carlos Oviedo, the age and identity fraud issues surrounding many Dominican baseball prospects was thrown back into the spotlight. In this outstanding read, Miami Herald columnist Frances Robles travels to the Dominican Republic and talks to people on all sides of the issue. Former Los Angeles Angels signee Edgar Arias talks about how he became Cesar Miguel de los Santos. Juan Carlos Paniagua talks about how his $1.6 million contract with the New York Yankees was voided when he was caught on the wrong side of Major League Baseball’s screening process. Finally, Luis Coronado, who Oviedo says helped him become Leo Nunez, talks about how rampant identity change was prior to major league baseball’s crackdown. It’s an absolutely phenomenal read by Robles who you can follow on twitter @RoblesHerald.

Fraud still rampant among Dominican baseball prospects — MiamiHerald.com

Charlie Hough & Benito Santiago To Reunite For Final Pitch At Sun Life Stadium

The Florida Marlins will play their final game at Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday, the stadium where they have played since their inception in 1993. The pitcher and catcher who were on the mound for the franchise’s first game at the stadium will be back on the mound for its last. Charlie Hough, who is now 63 years old, will throw out the first pitch to his former battery mate Benito Santiago. In the story link below Hough and fellow original Marlins player Scott Pose share their memories of the stadium.

Hough’s knucklers perfect bookends for 19 years of Florida Marlins — Sun-Sentinel.com

2011 Florida Marlins Top 15 Prospects Post Season Report Card

With the 2011 minor league season complete we check in on the progress of each of the Florida Marlins preseason Top 15 prospects as ranked by our prospect ranker J.P. Schwartz. The post season grading report was done by the publisher of Top Prospect Alert, not Mr. Schwartz, and reflects only the 2011 season and not future upside or downside of the individual prospect. Our 2012 preseason rankings will be published in the coming months.

#1 Chad James GRADE: C
James went 5-15 with a 3.80ERA for the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads. He walked 51 and stuck out 124 in 149.1 innings of work. Opposing hitters batted .294 against him.

#2 Christian Yelich GRADE: A
Yelich batted .312 with 32 Doubles, 1 Triple, 15 Home Runs and 77 RBI’s for the Low-A Greensboro Grasshoppers. He also added 32 stolen bases. Yelich walked 55 times and struck out 102 times in 122 games. He was named by the Marlins organization as their Minor League Player of the Year for 2011.

#3 Matt Dominguez GRADE: C+
Dominguez batted a combined .249 with 18 Doubles, 12 Home Runs, and 58 RBI’s across three levels in the minor leagues with 87 of his 95 games played coming with the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs. Through September 25th, Dominguez was batting .238 with 3 Doubles and 2 RBI’s in 42 big league at-bats with the Marlins.

#4 Brad Hand GRADE: B
Through September 25th, Hand is 1-8 with a 4.20ERA for the Marlins. He’s walked 35 and struck out 38. Opposing big leaguers are hitting .241 against him. In the minors, Hand went 11-5 with a 3.56ERA for the Double-A Jacksonville Suns and a single start for High-A Jupiter. He walked 55 and struck out 75 in 113.2 innings. Opposing hitters batted .233 against him.

#5 Rob Rasmussen GRADE: B
Rasmussen went 12-10 with a 3.64ERA for High-A Jupiter. He walked 71 and struck out 118 in 148.1 innings of work. Opposing batters hit .254 off Rasmussen on the season.

#6 Jhan Marinez GRADE: B
Martinez went 3-8 with 3 Saves and a 3.57ERA for Double-A Jacksonville. He walked 42 times and struck out 74 times in 58 innings. Opposing hitters batted .223 against him.

#7 Kyle Skipworth GRADE: D+
Skipworth batted .207 with 12 Doubles, 2 Triples, 11 Home Runs, and 49 RBI’s for Double-A Jacksonville. He walked 34 times and struck out 143 times in 106 games.

#8 Marcell Ozuna GRADE: A-
Ozuna batted .266 with 28 Doubles, 5 Triples, 23 Home Runs and 71 RBI’s for Low-A Greensboro. He stole 17 bases on the season. He walked 46 times and struck out 121 times in 131 games.

#9 Edgar Olmos GRADE: D
Olmos went 4-17 with a 6.63ERA for High-A Jupiter. He walked 81 and struck out 101 in 127.2 innings of work. Opposing batters hit .318 on the season against Olmos.

#10 Mark Canha GRADE: A-
Canha batted .276 with 22 Doubles, 25 Home Runs, and 85 RBI’s for Low-A Greensboro. He walked 59 times and struck out 85 times in 107 games.

#11 Tom Koehler GRADE: C
Koehler went 12-7 with a 4.97ERA for Triple-A New Orleans. He walked 79 and struck out 116 in 150.1 innings of work. Opposing batters hit .254 off Koehler on the season.

#12 Jacob Realmuto GRADE: A-
Realmuto batted .287 with 16 Doubles, 3 Triples, 12 Home Runs and 49 RBI’s for Low-A Greensboro. He hit a home run off Stephen Strasburg when the Nationals pitcher was on rehab. Realmuto walked 26 times and struck out 78 times in 96 games. He also stole 13 bases on the season.

#13 Ryan Fisher GRADE: B- Fisher batted .258 with 36 Doubles, 4 Triples, 18 Home Runs and 79 RBI’s for Low-A Greensboro. He walked 38 times and struck out 137 times in 129 games.

#14 Osvaldo Martinez GRADE: C
Martinez batted .245 with 15 Doubles, 1 Triple, 3 Home Runs and 26 RBI’s for Triple-A New Orleans. He also stole 11 bases. Through September 25th Martinez was hitting .130 with no extra base hits in 23 big league at-bats.

#15 Zach Neal GRADE: C
Neal went 7-6 with a 4.16ERA for Low-A Greensboro. He walked 41 batters and struck out 84 in 119 innings of work. Opposing batters hit .273 against Neal.

Florida Marlins Rookie Matt Dominguez Major League Debut Through The Eyes Of His Father Fernando

The Florida Marlins recently promoted prospect Matt Dominguez and he made his major league debut last week. In most cases, a player’s debut is an equally joyous occasion for their parents as well. Dominguez’ father Fernando Dominguez happens to be a copy editor for the Los Angeles Times. Check out this great piece that Fernando wrote for the Times documenting the experience of he and his wife Cindy’s journey to see their son make his major league debut. It’s a great read.

Matt Dominguez is ‘living the dream’ — and so are his parents — LATimes.com

Maude Newkirk Who Threw First Pitch At Marlins/Cardinals Spring Training Game At Age 106 Has Died

Maude Newkirk the longtime baseball fan who has made headlines by throwing out the first pitch at Roger Dean Stadium last year prior to a spring training game between the St Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins has died at Age 107. Newkirk was a regular on the mound in Florida throwing out first pitches between her 100th to 106th birthdays. She passed on Monday at the Manors Of Hobe Sound nursing home in Florida. In the story, Roger Dean Stadium general manager Mike Bauer pays his respects to Newkirk and you can see pictures of some of her recent first pitches.

Maude Newkirk, who threw out first ball at Roger Dean Stadium, dies at 107 — Palm Beach Post

Former Kansas City Royals Bonus Baby Chris Lubanski Refuses To Give Up On His Big League Dreams

It’s hard to believe that Chris Lubanski is still just 26 years old. The Kennedy Kenrick High School in Pennsylvania product never lived up to the hype he carried when the Kansas City Royals made him the 5th overall pick of the 2003 draft. After three promising seasons in Low-A, High-A, and Double-A as he climbed the organizational ladder, Lubanski hit a wall when he got to Triple-A batting just .208, .242, and .227 in three seasons with the Omaha Royals. By the end of the 2009 season, the Royals had given up and he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays and put up respectable numbers, hitting .293 with 24(2B), 6(3B), 17HR’s, and 57RBI’s in 100 games during an injury plagued season for the Las Vegas 51’s. He landed with the Florida Marlins organization in 2011 but was released in Spring Training and was not picked up by another club, so the former bonus baby found himself on the fringes of professional baseball as a member of the Chico Outlaws of the independent North American League. Lubanski’s prayers of a second chance at affiliated ball were answered by the Philadelphia Phillies who signed him in early August and sent him to Double-A Reading, miles from where he grew up. In the story, Lubanski talks about refusing to give up on his big league dreams, the opportunity to play at a stadium that he used to roam as a kid, and keeping the faith as he has dealt with loads of adversity. It’s a great read.

Lubanski’s road finally winds to Reading — Reading Eagle

Stephen Strasburg Competes First Washington Nationals Rehab Start With Hagerstown Suns

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg began his 2011 season with his first rehab start for the Low-A Hagerstown Suns. Strasburg who is 11 months removed from Tommy John surgery went 1.2 innings allowing one run on three hits. He did not walk a batter, and four of the five outs he recorded were by strikeout. His only blemish on the scoreboard was a solo home run by Greensboro Grasshoppers catcher Jacob Realmuto in the second inning. He through 31 pitches, 25 of which were for strikes. Strasburg’s next rehab start is expected to take place with the High-A Potomac Nationals.