Darin Gorski continues to roll along and leads all starters with a 1.57 ERA after pitching 6 shutout innings of one-hit, no walk ball in his last start. Teammate Matt Harvey, the FSL's top prospect, ranks second with a 2.37 ERA and first with 92 Ks. Trevor May ranks second with 88 strikeouts. Notable pitching prospects with strong numbers include Kyle Lobstein (2.72 ERA, 0.97 WHIP), Jarred Cosart (2.83 ERA, 1.16 WHIP), Kyle McPherson (2.89 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 0.8 BB/9, 7.5 K/9), Julio Rodriguez (2.99 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, league leading 6.1 H/9, 8.0 K/9), Deck McGuire (3.07 ERA, 7.5 H/9, 9.0 K/9), and Nestor Molina (3.27 ERA, 1.1 BB/9, 10.7 K/9)
25 year old Brock Kjeldgaard is leading the league in OPS with .966 while 23 year old Kyle Jensen is close behind with .954. Kjeldgaard's teammate Kristopher Davis ranks third with .952 and is more age-appropriate for the level at 23. Davis' 36/49 BB/K and 9 stolen bases ratio makes him an intriguing prospect with power, a good eye and some speed. Hak-Ju Lee leads the way with a .342 AVG and 20 SB.
Second baseman Tyler Bortnick will need to advance a little quicker as he is approaching his 24th birthday and has yet to reach AA. However, he has managed to post some impressive numbers in his pro career. After batting .300/.386/.470 with 24 SB in 65 games during his first pro season in 2009, he followed up with .295/.400/.445 last year between Low and High-A. He also stole 41 bases in 55 tries with a strong 68/77 BB/K ratio. In 2011 he is batting .298/.418/.434 with 19 steals in 20 tries. He is walking more than he is striking out with 37 and 32. Hopefully the Rays will promote him to AA and we can get a better feel for what kind of prospect he is.
The Marlin's farm system lacks high upside arms but they may have one in Alvarez. After spending his first 5 pro seasons splitting time between the bullpen and rotation he is a full time starter for the first time in 2011. In 13 starts he ahs a 3.28 ERA with 68 strikeouts and 15 walks in 74 innings. In 6 seasons he has a 3.30 ERA which would look even better had he not had a 5.70 ERA at A ball as a 19 year old. Alvarez has solid command and the ability to strike batters out at a decent clip. The main blemish against him is he allows a hit per inning.
Matthew Montgomery – Marlins SP DOB: 07/21/87
If Alvarez fails to materialize at the major league level the Marlins have a solid plan B in Montgomery. @ years Alvarez's senior, Montgomery doesn't have the same upside but he has put up slightly better results this season. In 84.2 innings he has walked only 8 batters. He has a 2.55 ERA after logging a 3.23 ERA last year in his first full pro season. He doesn't strike many batters out as evidenced by his 5.3 K/9 and he allows a hit per inning so he won't be a major fantasy contributor. However, he gets a lot of groundballs and avoids the home run so he should be able to post solid ERAs in his career. If he can bring his K/9 up toward the 7.6 he posted last year he would dramatically improve his fantasy prospect status.