Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2014 Fantasy Outlooks: Miami Marlins

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Move along, people. Nothing to see here.

What, you think I'm kidding?

If you want to be a technical smarty-pants know-it-all, then yes, the Marlins do have something to offer Fantasy owners. Or two somethings, actually. Jose Fernandez entered the discussion for best pitcher in baseball as a 20-year-old rookie last year. Giancarlo Stanton struggled with injuries and a reduced supporting cast but remains an early round talent. Both are off the board before the end of Round 4.

2014 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

But after them? Crickets.

Naturally, the Marlins do have some upside on their roster, as any rebuilding team should, but aside from Christian Yelich, who got his first taste of the majors in the second half last year, nobody offers star potential. Factor in closer Steve Cishek, himself a riser at his position, and that's it. Four worthy draft picks in standard mixed leagues.

To make matters worse, the Marlins spent much of their offseason blocking what remains in the minors with everyone else's overflow. Garrett Jones has long offered good power for a part-time player, but as a full-timer and cleanup man, he doesn't have me rearranging my NL-only rankings. Casey McGehee came back from Japan to man third base, a position he hasn't held full-time since 2011, when he hit .223. Rafael Furcal -- who might be the most redeemable of the bunch, for whatever that's worth -- was already in steep decline before Tommy John surgery in 2012. Even Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Marlins' "big" free-agent signing, has more floor than ceiling. Maybe Marcell Ozuna or Jake Marisnick can take a big step forward -- with one, presumably Marisnick, beginning the year at Triple-A -- but the plate discipline issues are so glaring for both that you wouldn't want to make a real investment in either.

The Marlins are a little more committed to the youth movement with their starting rotation, which, aside from Fernandez, features three former prospects in Jacob Turner, Nate Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez. All three have shortcomings -- most notably, a lack of strikeout potential -- that overshadow the strides they made last year. Are they sleepers? To some degree. But with all the depth at starting pitcher, they're the kind you can leave for NL-only leagues,

The more exciting choice is Andrew Heaney, the team's first-round pick in 2012 who climbed to Double-A last year. The Marlins haven't actually ruled him out for the fifth starter job this spring, but he's clearly a long shot. Of course, you could have said the same for Fernandez last year.

Breakout ... Christian Yelich, outfield

2014 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Rafael Furcal 2B
2. Christian Yelich LF
3. Giancarlo Stanton RF
4. Garrett Jones 1B
5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
6. Marcell Ozuna CF
7. Casey McGehee 3B
8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS
Bench Jeff Baker INF
Bench Ed Lucas INF
For a player like Yelich, the "breakout" label is almost too easy. He was so highly regarded as a prospect that most everyone assumes he'll be good someday. But after he hit just four home runs in what amounts to about half a season last year, he's not exactly a hot commodity on Draft Day. Instead of focusing on what he didn't do, though, consider what he did. In his first taste of the majors, with no Triple-A experience and on a historically miserable team, he reached base at a .370 clip that would have ranked in the top 25 if he had the at-bats to qualify. That's the difficult part for must up-and-comers, knowing when to swing and when not to. The rest you'd expect for a scrawny 21-year-old playing in a notorious pitcher's park. In time, he'll only get bigger and stronger, and it may well begin now. Yelich slugged .471 on the road last year, so it's not like he's far off. Worst case, you'll have a high on-base guy capable of stealing 20-25 bags.

Bust ... Jarrod Saltalamacchia, catcher

Health, outlier performances and a strong supporting cast enabled Saltalamacchia to perform like a top-12 catcher, at least in Rotisserie leagues, each of the last two years, which could compel Fantasy owners to draft him as such in 2014. So let's examine those factors one by one, shall we? It's not like Saltalamacchia has a history of poor health, so you can at least expect him to take the field, but outlier performances are by definition unlikely to happen again. So were they really outliers? Well, he showed last year his 25 home runs in 2012 were outliers by connecting for about half as many despite setting a career high in hits. And as for those hits, complete with that shockingly respectable .273 batting average, it's not like he made contact at a higher rate, cutting down on his strikeouts. He put together a .372 BABIP, which is basically Mike Trout territory. Hard to see that happening again. Playing with a putrid supporting cast in an overwhelmingly pitcher-friendly park, I envision Saltalamacchia's stint with the Marlins going something like John Buck's.

Sleeper ... Nate Eovaldi, starting pitcher

2014 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Jose Fernandez RHP
2. Nate Eovaldi RHP
3. Jacob Turner RHP
4. Henderson Alvarez RHP
5. Tom Koehler RHP
ALT Brian Flynn LHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Steve Cishek RHP
2. A.J. Ramos RHP
3. Mike Dunn LHP
4. Carter Capps RHP
5. Arquimedes Caminero RHP
The Marlins are playing with less than a full deck, so backing any of their players (apart from the obvious Stanton and Fernandez) requires a certain level of imagination. Eovaldi isn't exactly an ace-in-waiting and won't be on my radar in mixed-league drafts, but he appeared to make some progress with what skills he has last season. If nothing else, he throws hard, averaging more miles per hour on his fastball than any qualifying starting pitcher last year, including Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg and Fernandez. Clearly, that fastball isn't as effective as theirs, resulting in a below-average strikeout rate, but shortening hitters' reaction time helps make up for his modest command issues. It was most evident over his final 12 starts, when he compiled a 3.01 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. Eliminate a particularly ugly start on Aug. 16, and those numbers drop to 1.97 and 1.21. Again, he's not a priority pick. He gets no run support, doesn't help in strikeouts and is predisposed to a high WHIP. But he's someone to monitor at the start of the season.

Prospects Report

Apart from Heaney, the only first-rate prospect left in the Marlins system is Colin Moran, the sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft. And even he only went so high because of his polish. He'll arrive quickly and is a safe bet to contribute, but he may never be more than a middle-tier third baseman in Fantasy because of his limited home run power. ... Brian Flynn made a name for himself last year with a 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 27 minor-league starts -- most of them in the heavy-hitting Pacific Coast League. He struggled in a late-season tryout and hasn't gotten much love from the prospect hounds, but he's a name to remember if he forces his way into the picture midseason. ... Marisnick to this point remains the headliner of the deal that sent half the Marlins roster to the Blue Jays last offseason, but Justin Nicolino is the more projectable of the two prospects and isn't far from claiming a rotation spot at age 22. He struggled with his promotion to Double-A last year, but as a control artist with a fastball that reaches the mid-90s, he should find success in the majors, if only as a middle-of-the-rotation type.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott at @CBSScottWhite .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Cubs' Kris Bryant on Opening Day status: 'Why not me?'
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:17 pm ET) Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has never started a rookie on Opening Day. Kris Bryant wants to be change that trend this season.

"I look at it as why not me?" Bryant said Friday, per MLB.com. "I think I'm the type of guy who can go out there and do it. I've made it a point of mine to show them that I can."

Bryant is in the midst of a scorching hot spring, with nine homers in 32 at-bats. On Thursday, the 23-year-old also showed some versatility by starting in left field against the Jered Weaver and the Angels.

"Yesterday was good for me to go out there and face a pitcher like Jered Weaver who has incredible stuff,” Bryant said. "He's a different type of pitcher and it was really good for me to go out there and struggle a little bit, see what he’s going to throw me and learn from it. I took it as a learning experience."

Bryant has three multi-home run games this spring. He is hitting .406/.472/1.313 in 12 Cactus League games.


Brewers' Khris Davis crushes grand slam to continue torrid spring
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:02 pm ET) Brewers outfielder Khris Davis made a statement with his first home run of the spring Thursday against the Mariners, connecting for a grand slam off Roenis Elias in the first inning.

Although it took Davis 14 games to connect for his first spring home run, it's not like he is having a poor spring at the plate. Davis is batting .389 (14 for 36) with six doubles, seven runs and 12 RBI.

“He’s driving the ball; he’s having great at-bats,” manager Ron Roenicke said, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I love what he’s doing right now. I couldn’t care less about home runs. If he continues this through the season, he’s going to have some big numbers.”

Davis has been working with hitting coach Darnell Coles this spring on making adjustments at the plate.

“I think last year I tended to get away from pulling my hands in but I can’t really explain it,” Davis said. (The change) is something that makes me more comfortable. It’s helping me be more consistent.

“I feel pretty lucky right now with a lot of broken-bat base hits and flashes of some hard-hit balls. I feel like I’m still 20 or 30 ABs from being where I’m ready for the season. I still want to do some things up there. Right now, I’m in the right place at the right time (to get ready for the season).”


White Sox's Nate Jones has 'pen session scheduled Wednesday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:48 pm ET) White Sox reliever Nate Jones is scheduled for a bullpen on Wednesday, according to Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Jones is working his way back from Tommy John surgery last July. He will  likely stay in extended spring training through May, and is targeting a mid-season return.

Nationals' Williams continues to speak highly of Dan Uggla
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:42 pm ET) Nationals second baseman Dan Uggla continues to make a strong push for a roster spot, as he is batting .323 (10 for 31) with two home runs, two doubles and six RBI in 15 spring games.

"I just think his direction is good," manager Matt Williams said, per MASNsports.com. "It has been good, the fact that he's just taking balls to right field. He's shown some power the other way in spring, which is good. For him, that's key.

"I know that he feels good about where he's at, I know he feels good about seeing the ball. And the results are showing so yeah, I think he's performed really well. He's been a joy to have around. He's a veteran guy, understands the whole process of spring training, but he's worked really hard, too. So for me he's been real good."


Salazar demoted; McAllister, House, Tomlin will compete for final spots
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:40 pm ET) The Indians have optioned right-hander Danny Salazar to Triple-A Columbus, just a day removed from a dreadful Cactus League outing, according to the Plain Dealer.

Salazar coughed up seven runs -- six earned -- on six hits and no walks while striking out six over 3 1/3 innings of work against the Reds. The 25-year-old posted a whopping 8.18 ERA through 11 innings this spring.

"I don't know. The stuff is definitely there. It's not there yet consistently, whether he's locating or following a pitch up with two pitches in a row," manager Terry Francona said after Salazar's outing on Thursday. "Again, we'll keep working at it -- that's for darn sure -- but the results weren't the kind of what we're looking for."

The demotion narrows Zach McAllister, T.J. House and Josh Tomlin down to the two final spots in the rotation. House and Tomlin have options, while McAllister is out of options and could be in line for one of those two spots, per the Plain Dealer.


Reds' Marquis happy with way he is throwing baseball post-surgery
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:30 pm ET) Reds starting pitcher Jason Marquis hasn't made a start in the majors since 2013 while working his way back from Tommy John surgery. But the 36-year-old pitcher has had a career resurgence this spring and is on track to open the season in the Reds' rotation.

"The ball is coming out of my hand in a way it hasn't the last five years," Marquis said, per MLB.com. "I've gotten some velocity back, but that's not the big thing. There's just more life on the ball.

"I'm throwing the ball instead of pushing it, guiding it. I think maybe I developed bad habits over those years to protect the elbow so I can pitch. More than anything, that's what I'm happiest with."

Marquis is 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA in five spring starts.


Swihart could be Opening Day catcher if Vazquez remains sidelined
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:28 pm ET) Though he was optioned to Triple-A last week, Red Sox manager John Farrell indicated that he would be open to going with catching prospect Blake Swihart if Christian Vazquez remains sidelined with an elbow issue, according to the Boston Herald. Farrell will likely wait a little over a week before he decides on his Opening Day catcher.

"Anybody in our uniform is always under consideration," Farrell said. "We'll see how things play out in the next eight or nine days."


Bridich: Rockies' Gray's arbitration timeline won't impact decision
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:20 pm ET) Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said starting pitcher prospect Jonathan Gray's arbitration timeline will be a "non-factor" in deciding when the highly touted prospect will make his MLB debut, per The Denver Post.

"That is not part of our consideration," he said. "Jon has pitched very well, but there still are a lot of things to consider, but the decision will not be based on (arbitration)."

Gray, who is competing for the final spot in the rotation with Christian Bergman and Eddie Butler, is 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA in five spring outings (two starts). He has nine strikeouts to one walk in 13 innings.


MRI on White Sox P Jake Petricka's elbow comes back clean
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:15 pm ET) White Sox pitcher Jake Petricka underwent an MRI on his sore elbow, which came back clean, according to the ESPN. Petricka was recently shut down a few days and told reporters he underwent an MRI "just to be safe." He's expected to resume throwing on Saturday.

Twins' Phil Hughes strikes out seven Class A batters Friday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:50 am ET) Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes made a minor-league start Friday against Rays' Class A players, per MLB.com. The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits (one home run) in six innings, while throwing 69 pitches and recording seven strikeouts.

Hughes is 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA in four spring starts. He has allowed eight runs on 13 hits (two home runs) and five walks, while striking out 10 in 11 1/3 innings.


 
 
 
Rankings