|Florida Marlins Top 5|
|1||Cameron Maybin||CF||Nearly replicated A+ (.406 wOBA) numbers in AA (.381); still K'd a ton (26.9%); .179 IsoP||21.5||MLB|
|2||Mike Stanton||RF||Put up crazy .318 IsoP in 1st full pro season (39 HR in 540 PA), but tons of K's, too (28.3%)||18.9||A|
|3||Logan Morrison||1B||As if his .386 wOBA in the Florida State League hasn’t impressive, he's at .484 in the AFL||21.1||A+|
|4||Matt Dominguez||3B||No. 12 pick ('07) put up .368 wOBA in 381 PA at Low-A Greensboro -- an extreme hitter's park||19.1||A|
|5||Kyle Skipworth||C||No. 6 overall pick, Gatorade Nat'l H.S. Player of the Year pick got off to slow start (.254 wOBA)||18.6||R|
|Honorables: Chris Coghlan (2B), Ryan Tucker (RHP), Gaby Sanchez (1B), John Raynor (OF), Jose Ceda (RHP), and Sean West (LHP).|
|* Our rankings combine a player's ceiling with the odds that he'll reach it and favor recent production|
|** Ages are as of November 1st, 2008|
|*** Level is the highest level the player has reached|
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Cameron Maybin – There’s little on a baseball field Cameron Maybin can’t do. Blessed with as good a set of tools as you’ll find, Maybin showed very well in Double-A for a 21-year-old (.364 wOBA). The only real problem with Maybin is that he swings and misses a little too often (26.9% K). The good news is that Maybin has tons of secondary skills; he posted a .180 IsoP with a 13.1% walk rate, elite rates for a center fielder with plus defensive potential. He’ll never win a batting title but supply ample on-base ability, power, defense at a key position, and be a plus on the bases. Maybin has the potential to give Hanley Ramirez a run for his money as the best Florida Marlin.
Mike Stanton – You won’t find a minor leaguer with more power than Michael Stanton, in fact you’ll find very few major leaguers with more power. Stanton came into this season as a raw, free swinger with huge upside but little, if any, productivity to hang his hat on. After a .407 wOBA in Low-A Greensboro last year, he now has the combination of productivity and projection that make him an elite prospect. It’s hard to imagine something more impressive than a prospect posting a .318 IsoP, but Stanton posted that mark as an athletic 6-foot-5 teenager. Like a lot of Marlins, Stanton swings and misses a little too much (28.3%), but he showed good improvement over the course of the season. In April and May he struck out just over a third of the time, but from June on Stanton struck out just over 25% of the time. If Stanton maintains that level improvement in his contact rate, he’ll blossom into one of the best right fielders in the game.
Logan Morrison – A protégé of two-time all-star Kevin Seitzer, Morrison was selected in the 22nd round of the 2005 draft, he eventually signed for $225,000 as one of the last draft-and-follows. According to Baseball America, Morrison grew and added muscle while attending Maple Woods Community College in Missouri -- the same school that produced Albert Pujols. Morrison turned a few heads in 2007, posting a .349 Low-A wOBA with .216 IsoP and solid zone judgement. In 2008, the talented lefthander improved in vitually every category, increasing his wOBA to .383, his walk rate (from 9.4% in 2007 to 10.3% last year) and decreased his strikeouts from 18.7% to 14.5%. The only real knock on Morrison is that he’s just a first basemen, and may never have the range to be an elite defender at the position. His bat will carry him, as he has the potential to be one of the best all-around hitters in the majors.
Matt Dominguez – A first round pick in 2007, Dominguez was a high school teammate of Royals super-prospect Mike Moustakas. After a poor initial showing in affiliated action (2007), Dominguez went a long way towards validating his draft status with a good showing in 2008. Dominguez missed the first six weeks of the season with mononucleosis, Dominguez showed steady improvement over the course of the season, with a crescendo in August when he hit .333/.379/.667 with 10 home runs. Thought of as one of the best defenders in the minors, Dominguez showed that his bat can handle the position as well. It should be noted that while Domginuez' overall numbers are impressive, he played his 2008 home games in hitter-friendly Greensboro and had drastic home-road power splits (.146 road IsoP, .258 home). The combination of contact ability (17.8% K) and power (.203 IsoP) as well as youth -- he won’t turn 20 until this August -- could lead Dominguez to being a well-above-average player and possible all-star.
Kyle Skipworth – The sixth overall selection in the 2008 draft, Skipworth was the first high school catcher taken in the top ten since Joe Mauer. Similar to Mauer, Skipworth should hit for a high average with good plate discipline and solid power. Skipworth set a California state record with 18 consecutive hits; he didn’t make an out for five games. Despite his strong throwing arm, there are some concerns about his ability to stick behind the plate. While he did not show well in his rookie ball stint (.254 wOBA), it’s hard to get too worried about a sample of 168 plate appearances for a high school kid with these kinds of scouting reports.
Chris Coghlan (6/18/86) – The thing that makes Chris Coghlan stand out as a prospect is, well, not much. But his weaknesses are few and far between. This is the reason he has a good chance to be a major-league starter at some point in the near future. As a 23-year-old in Double-A, Coghlan walked more than he struck out (11.9% to 11.5%) while showing decent power for a middle infielder (.130 isoP). The lefthanded hitter has above-average speed which allows him to display solid range – he may eventually push Dan Uggla off the position. Coghlan likely will see a handful at-bats with Florida this year, and should continue to be exactly what he is – solid in all aspects but not spectacular in any.
Ryan Tucker (12/6/86) – The 4th-youngest player to reach the major leagues in 2008, Ryan Tucker had his best professional season last year. The former 1st round pick was very good in Double-A as a 21-year-old, and has showed the potential to be an effective major league pitcher. He struck out 19.7% and walked 9.9% which resulted in a big league call in June. Tucker had control and home run issues in the majors, but that's not all that uncommon for someone his age. With a loaded Marlins rotation, we wouldn't be shocked to see Tucker eventually become a bullpen arm, but an above-average one in the long run.
Gaby Sanchez (9/2/83) – For a first baseman, Gaby Sanchez may have below-average power – at 24 years old he had a .200 isoP in Double-A. However, Sanchez makes up for this by having excellent plate discipline and contact ability. These are just a few of the reasons why he is likely to be the Marlins opening day first baseman in 2009. Sanchez walked and struck out 12.4% of the time in 2008, and hit line drives at a 20% clip. He has also had above-average range at first base last year, so he brings another bonus to a questionable Florida defense. Another solid overall player, Sanchez could be a pleasant surprise for Marlins fans in 2009.
John Raynor (1/4/84) – One of the fastest players in the minors, John Raynor made a successful jump from Low-A to Double-A in 2008. When he reaches the majors, Raynor will bring many things to the table that will interest the Marlins. Along with his outstanding speed, Raynor has a little bit of pop (.178 isoP) and draws his share of walks (11.7 BB%). Strikeouts are still concerning for the righthander, as he walked from the plate to the dugout 23.0% of the time. He combines his speed with great line-drive rates (24% in 2008) to produce consistently high BABIPs (.400+ in 2007 and 2008). Raynor has all the tools to be at least a good 4th outfielder, and the potential to be a starter if he can manage to make more consistent contact.
Jose Ceda (1/28/87) – The term “power bullpen arm” may be an understatement when used in reference to Jose Ceda. With 95-97 MPH heat and a power slider, Ceda has the stuff to dominate opposing batters, but often times he doesn’t exactly know where the ball is going. In 2008, Ceda walked 12.2% and struckout 23.1% in High-A, displaying obvious command issues. The good news is that following a promotion to Double-A Carolina, Ceda improved upon both these rates (10.9 BB%, 32.6 K%). A stiff shoulder has sidelined Ceda to begin the 2009 season -- always a concern with such a hard-thrower. Still, the 6-foot-4 275-pounder has the potential to be an above-average bullpen arm.
Questions about this list can be posted in our minor league forum.