Want to make a trade? Just call Miami.
The Marlins were the talk of the 2011 off-season.
They changed their name, they changed their uniforms, they changed their logo, they spent more money than ever before in free agency, they opened a new stadium, and they had their own pay per view special.
Only two things stayed the same: they found ways to lose and sell their players.
They traded SS Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, 2B Omar Infante and SP Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers, and then capped it off in the off-season with the blockbuster trade with Toronto.
Miami went from a possible contender to a minor league All-Star team.
They will have eleven new starters in comparison to last season’s Opening Day lineup, including the pitching staff.
Ricky Nolasco, Logan Morrison, and Giancarlo Stanton are the only returning starters from last season.
Nolasco has the pressure of being the ace of this staff, from being the third starter a year ago.
The rest of the staff will be compiled of trade acquisitions with the Dodgers, Tigers, and Blue Jays.
Henderson Alvarez, Jacob Turner, and Nathan Eovaldi were each some of the top pitching prospects from their respective organizations, but have had minimal major league experience.
The biggest problem with the Marlins’ pitching in 2012 was their bullpen.
Heath Bell was one of the major acquisitions during the previous off-season, but ended up being one of the biggest bust for the club.
He’s now with the Diamondbacks as a setup man, as the Marlins turned towards a closer-by-committee mindset.
Steve Cishek will get the first opportunity to lock down the closer job, after subbing in for Bell last season.
The Marlins lineup will have a mix of veteran free agents and the next wave of young stars.
They brought in former Marlins players OF Juan Pierre and 3B Placido Polanco to add some leadership to this ball club, while many of the other positions will be filled with players that have had minimal major league experience.
Justin Ruggiano was able to start most of the second half of the season, hitting above .300 at times, and making a case for his future.
New catcher Rob Brantley, the Tigers top catching prospect, was acquired in the trade that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit.
Brantley is a very aggressive hitter, sometimes overly-aggressive, that brings a lot of power to lineup.
It will take him some time to adjust to the full time role at the major league level, but the former Tigers top hitting prospect is set to make an impact for Miami this season.
The Marlins are going to have a ton of growing pains between their developing lineup and their developing staff.
New Manager Mike Redmond has a tall task ahead of him, but the Marlins have a limited amount of fantasy assets this year.
Let’s take a look at what Miami has to offer fantasy owners this season…beyond Giancarlo Stanton.
MARLINS PROJECTED LINEUP
1. Juan Pierre LF He’s maintain a .270-.300 AVG, despite his age. His stolen base totals have fluctuated but that’s really the only reason that you would consider having him on your fantasy team.
2. Placido Polanco 3B He’s been on the decline these past couple of seasons, isn’t that much of a power threat anymore, look elsewhere.
3. Giancarlo Stanton RF He’s not only a top 10 OF option to draft, he could be one of the first players off the board in the draft. Anytime someone can hit up to 40 home runs per season, you want him on your team. Does have some minor injury issues, but he’s worth the early investment.
4. Logan Morrison 1B He’s out of place, playing at first base. Hasn’t had great numbers the past two seasons, developing in his new position. He’s a post-draft pickup at best.
5. Justin Ruggiano CF He’s got a lot of potential. Showcases the ability to contribute in multiple ways, especially with home runs and stolen bases. He’s a late round sleeper.
6. Rob Brantley C He’s highly regarded as one of the next best catchers, just don’t expect it to happen this year. He’s an overly-aggressive hitter that needs to develop patience. He’s worth being on your post-draft watchlist.
7. Donovan Solano 2B Quietly hit .295 in his 90 games last season. He can hit home runs, steal bases, and generate runs. Keep him in mind when you’re putting together your post-draft watchlist.
8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS He was brought over in the Toronto trade, but is still too much of a project to be considered on draft day. You can add him to your watchlist if you can’t get a solid SS in the draft.
1. Ricky Nolasco He wasn’t a good option when he was a no.3 in the rotation. Doesn’t throw a lot of strikes, had an ERA of 4+, and is way out of position in the rotation. Don’t even consider him out of desperation.
2. Henderson Alvarez He was brought over in the Toronto trade, started some games for the Jays last year. Still needs to develop as a full time pitcher before you come close to considering him.
3. Wade LeBlanc He was converted to a starter out of the bullpen, could have some potential further into the season, but will have growing pains early on as he learns a new position.
4. Nathan Eovaldi Was brought over in the Dodgers trade for Ramirez, was one of LA’s top pitching prospects, but is nothing more than a watchlist candidate.
5. Jacob Turner If there’s anyone to consider in this rotation it would be this guy. Turner was Detroit’s top pitching prospect. He can generate a lot of strikeouts, he’s got the durability to go deep into games, and could eventually be the ace of this staff. Turner is the only Marlins pitcher to consider, even late, in your draft.
RP-Steve Cishek If you thought that Bell was rough to own last year, Cishek is a side-arm-type of thrower that’s going to be a closer. He’s not as effective as you’d like him to be, but he’s nothing more than a second or third tier closer option on draft day just because you need to fill a spot.
If there’s going to be a sleeper on this ball clup, it would be Justin Ruggiano. He came on towards the middle of last season as a utility player, but primarily playing in the outfield. He showcased a ton of power at times. Ruggiano was actually on a home run streak for a good week at one point. Right now he’s slated further down the order than he should be. He’s worth being the number three hitter in the lineup, pushing Stanton to cleanup. Ruggiano can steal bases, hit home runs, generate rbi’s…what more do you want. Why isn’t this guy rated higher? Because unless you follow the Marlins, no one’s heard of him. You need to take advantage of that on draft day and steal him in the late rounds.
Jacob Turner was the Tigers’ top prospect before he was traded to Miami for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. He is slated to be the fifth starter on the Opening Day roster, but has the ability to one day be the ace of this staff. He made some appearances towards the end of the season after coming over in the trade, but you can’t judge him solely on those outings. He can generate a lot of strikeouts, pitch deep into games, but will lack run support. When you’re searching for those rising stars in the last rounds, consider Turner. He has the upside to make a big impact in the second half of the season, once he gets comfortable in the first months, so keep an eye on him.