Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
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 .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Diamondbacks looking to deal Aaron Hill
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:46 pm ET) The Diamondbacks are looking to deal second baseman Aaron Hill, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Hill has hit .251/.285/.381 over 367 at-bats. He's owed $26 million over the next two seasons. The club is also considering dealing Martin Prado, though that seems unlikely. 


Stephen Vogt drives in three Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:30 pm ET) Athletics outfielder Stephen Vogt drove in three Thursday against the Astros.

Vogt stepped to the plate in the eighth inning with the bases loaded. On the five pitch of the at-bat, he dropped a double out to center. The hit cleared the bases. Vogt finished 2 for 5, with no runs scored and three RBI. 


GM: Chad Qualls likely to stay put in Houston
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:25 pm ET) Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters that the team will likely not trade closer Chad Qualls before the July 31 trade deadline, MLB.com reports. Qualls has converted 11 saves in 13 chances with a 1.78 ERA over 35 1/3 innings this season.

"I hesitate to use the word 'untouchable,' but he likes it here, he's comfortable here and he's pitching well," Luhnow said. "To have a guy who's capable of pitching late in the game, in close games, we're going to have opportunity going forward. This is a team that's improving, and as the team improves, you have more save opportunities, more opportunities to pitch at the end of close games. We need more Chad Qualls. We don't need less."

Royals announce DH plans for coming days
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:22 pm ET) Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters that Billy Butler will lose some time as a designated hitter moving forward, the Kansas City Star reports Thursday. Yost is expected to give Danny Valencia and Raul Ibanez some reps at DH in the near future.

Joakim Soria might be worth stashing
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7:17 pm ET) Granted, he wasn't getting the most consistent save opportunities in Texas, but if you play in a league where every save matters (which is typically the case in Rotisserie formats), Joakim Soria's move to Detroit is a punch in the gut.

Mostly because the Tigers say they intend to stick with Joe Nathan as their closer. Sad face.

But let's get real here: Nathan has been terrible and has shown no clear signs of a turnaround. Since blowing his third save May 21, the longest he's gone without allowing an earned run is four appearances. That won't cut it in the ninth inning.

Soria, meanwhile, was brilliant for the Rangers even if his low save total didn't reflect it. He compiled a 2.70 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 35 innings. His FIP, which estimates ERA with defense and luck removed from the equation, is 1.07.

The Rangers may intend to stick with Nathan as their closer, but if both he and Soria continue to do what they've been doing, the switch could come quickly. So if you play in a league where every save matters, maybe you just stash Soria for now.


Asdrubal Cabrera targeting weekend return vs. Royals
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:16 pm ET) Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera increased his activities on Thursday, as he continues to work his way back from a back injury. Manager Terry Francona remains hopeful of a return this weekend against the Royals, particularly on Saturday.

Cabrera is hitting .247/.308/.392 over 365 at-bats.

Trade doesn't change much for Kendrys Morales
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7:03 pm ET) Though Kendrys Morales is certainly capable of making a real contribution in Fantasy, he didn't do it in 39 games with the Twins, batting .234 with one home run and a .584 OPS.

And now with his trade to the Mariners, he's going to Safeco Field, a park known to neutralize a hitter or two. Oh noes!

Relax. We already have an idea how Morales will perform in Seattle considering he was just there last year. Of course, you would have rather seen him go elsewhere -- like to a hitter's park for once -- but if he continues to struggle like he did with the Twins, who don't exactly play in a hitter's haven themselves, the venue won't be the reason why.

After waiting half the year to sign with a team, Morales is now paying the price. While every other player is in midseason form, he's still in spring training mode -- or just coming out of it, anyway, having hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games.

Provided the Mariners stick with him every day and don't fit him into some kind of rotation with Logan Morrison and Corey Hart, he's a good bet for some cheap power numbers down the stretch. Maybe the move to a contender will even spark something in him.


Brandon Moss blasts grand slam Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6:57 pm ET) Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss belted a grand slam Thursday against the Astros.

Moss stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Moss hit a grand slam on a 96 mph fastball. It was Moss' 23rd home run of the season. Moss finished 1 for 3, with two runs scored and four RBI. 


Jeff Samardzija turns in an excellent start Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6:53 pm ET) Athletics pitcher Jeff Samardzija turned in an excellent start against the Astros Thursday.

Samardzija allowed one run on five hits over eight innings. He struck out six and did not allow any walks. The only blemish against Samardzija came in the fourth inning. With the bases empty, Samardzija allowed a solo home run to Chris Carter. Other than that, he was fantastic. 

With the win, Samardzija improved to 4-8 on the year. He’ll take on the Astros in his next start.


Scott Feldman struggles with his control against Oakland
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6:52 pm ET) Astros pitcher Scott Feldman struggled with his control Thursday.

Feldman had a rough start in Oakland. He allowed six runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. Feldman struck out four and walked five during the outing. Feldman first ran into trouble in the third inning. Josh Reddick doubled to start the inning, and Eric Sogard followed that up with a walk. Josh Donaldson singled in a run, giving the Athletics a one-run lead. After an intentional walk to Brandon Moss to load the bases, Derek Norris drove in two runs on a single. 

In the fourth, Coco Crisp added a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1. After putting two men on in the sixth, Feldman was pulled from the game. Both runs came around to score, giving Feldman six earned runs on the day.

With the loss, Feldman dropped to 4-8. He’ll take on the Athletics in his next start. 


 
 
 
Rankings