2018 Miami Marlins Season Preview

The Miami Marlins were bad in 2017. They will be atrocious in 2018. Jeter made a lot of trades when he got in and wants to start clean. A lot of people are going nuts about how bad they’ll be but here’s the thing; They haven’t been any good in the last 5 years so what’s the difference? They lost three monster pieces that made them competitive and now they’re going to pay for it by having only a few real MLB talents on the roster.

Key Additions:

Starlin Castro, 2B

Magneuris Sierra, OF

Lewis Brinson, OF

Key Losses:

Dee Gordon, OF

Marcell Ozuna, OF

Giancarlo Stanton, OF

Christian Yelich, OF

Why they can win: They will be among the MLB’s worst teams with one of the worst farms in baseball. If we’re being realistic, they can’t. But if Jose Urena can prove to be a stud, Bour hits 35 homeruns and guys can up their game one percent they can win some games. Maybe Lewis Brinson can pan out and be an impact bat this year. With all those “ifs” they’d still only be a fringe wildcard team at best.

Why they can lose:The Marlins can lose because they are a bad baseball team. Pretty simple right? Their starters had a 5.12 ERA last year and their relievers a 4.40. They did nothing to make either of those better. Their offense will be anemic with the losses of such big bats. They may have the worst staff in Baseball and their farm has nothing really coming their way. They lost every good bat they had.

Bottom Line: The Marlins are garbage. They should lose 90+ but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeter makes moves to get prospects like trading Realmuto. They have nothing. Starlin Castro won’t be the same outside Yankee Stadium. They have one power bat, two guys who can actually get on base and terrible, terrible pitching. I love Yelich and Jose Urena but it’s just not enough to build off of.

Major4 Numbers Game:

Stud: JT Realmuto, C

Well the Marlins are a dumpster fire. They traded their top three players during the offseason leaving a disgruntled Realmuto as their only stud. Realmuto posted a very solid 3.5 WAR from the catcher’s position, placing third in the majors. He posted a strong 17 HR, 8 SB season while grading out as the only positive baserunning catcher (1.5 BsR, Fangraphs), all on a pre-arbitration contact. He doesn’t have great patience at the plate (6.2 BB%), but he has great bat control and rarely swings and misses (8% Swinging-strike rate). He is one of the few elite catchers and at 26 years old should remain in his prime. Expect him to garner a lot of trade attention as the season heats up.

Sinkhole: All starters after Dan Straily

After Dan Straily, the Marlins expect to trot out the following starters: Jose Urena, Jacob Turner, Sandy Alcantera, and Caleb Smith. Woof. They all have extreme warts. Urena posted solid counting stats (14-7 W/L, 3.82 ERA), but had awful peripherals 5.20 FIP and unsustainable .249 BABIP. Jacob Turner is a former top prospect who has posted a 5.09 ERA and 4.75 FIP in 362 IP, who can’t miss bats at the major league level 14.6 K%. Alcantera is young and armed with an electric arm (98 MPH 4-seamer), but has serious command issues and has only pitched 8 career MLB innings. Smith had a spectacular season in AAA in the Yankees system (9-1 W/L, 2.39 ERA, 3.27 FIP), but struggled in limited innings at the Major League level. Hot Take: the four starters after Straily combine to post a sub 3.5 combined WAR.

Regression Candidate: Justin Bour, 1B

Bour had a great first-half, posting 20 HRs and a 138 wRC+, but the injury bug caught up and limited him to 124 PA in the second-half. He showed good improvement against LHP (113 wRC+), but prediction for his regression is more a product of having no protection around him in the lineup. Without the threat of Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton, and Christian Yelich ahead of him in the lineup, it will limit the stress pitchers will face prior to Bour at the plate. That and his increase in soft-contact cause worry about a repeat of his 2017 campaign. Look for him to post a sub-2 WAR.

Impact Acquisition: Starlin Castro, 2B

Poor Castro, getting shipped from the powerful Pinstripes to the lowly Marlins. Castro is on a decent 6/$70M contract, and is coming off a 1.9 WAR season in only 112 games. He will be one of the only above average batters in a porous lineup. One caveat in his profile, 25 of his 37 home runs during his Yankee tenure came at Yankee Stadium. The transition to the cavernous stadium in Miami will make it difficult to maintain his power numbers.

Major4 Prospects, (Top 100):

Lewis Brunson, OF (27)

Monte Harrison, OF (72)

Trevor Rogers, LHP

Braxton Garrett, LHP

Why We Love Them: There isn’t much to love about the Marlins. They have zero excitement going into the season besides that Jeter is at the helm now. They have that million dollar fish statue that goes off when they hit a homer but the stadium is too big, they get no fans and they stink.

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