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Miami Marlins Top-10 Fantasy Prospects

The Marlins might expect contributions from LHP Jarlin Garcia and a handful of others, but overall this is one of baseball’s weakest farm systems.

MLB: All Star Futures Game Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Our Basis

With fantasy prospect rankings, the key to knowing the usefulness of a specific player is how large and deep of a league you would need to be in for them to end up as a fantasy starter. We will be ranking 10 prospects in each system, but that doesn't mean that every one of them is useful if you play in a 12-team mixed dynasty league. With that said, we're aiming to provide useful information whether you play in a 10-team mixed, a 15-team AL-only, or a 24-team mixed.

Prospect rankings also come with the same caveat that must be rehashed every year. They represent a snapshot of how we view the players at the time of publication. There will inherently be more information published throughout the off-season, and so how we view a player may evolve significantly over time. We're going to get some of these right, we're going to get some of these wrong, and in general my reminder is to find information you trust, and use it to your advantage. If that comes from us, that's great and we're happy you're here. If it doesn't, we'll continue to work and hope that you'll keep checking in to see how we're doing.

The Tiers

The tiers are here though to provide some clarity when comparing players between different teams. It's by no means a perfect system, but the goal is to give you a general idea of which players we think are in a similar range in terms of value and ranking. Since the tiers are also expected to be relatively consistent across teams, there may be tiers that do not have prospects for certain teams.

Tier 1 - The Elite Prospects

These prospects are expected to be in the top-50 prospects overall, and have the potential to be among the top options at their position regardless of format or league size.

Miami has no prospects in this tier.

Tier 2 - The Top 100 Candidates

These prospects are expected to be in the discussion for the top 100 prospects overall, and are expected to be starting options in all formats.

#1 - Braxton Garrett (LHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 19

ETA: 2020

The seventh overall pick in the 2016 draft, Garrett sits comfortably atop one of baseball’s worst farm systems. Miami’s overall talent deficiency notwithstanding, the young lefthander looks like a legitimate top prospect. He throws three plus pitches--fastball, curveball, and changeup--and has shown plus control. He is a near-lock to remain a starter and generally was regarded as the safest pitching prospect in the 2016 draft. He has yet to make his professional debut, which might be the only thing keeping him out of Tier 1 at the moment. He should reach short-season Batavia in 2017, though the Marlins might be aggressive by pushing him to Low-A Greensboro.

Tier 3 - The Next Group of Starters

These prospects would likely slot into the 100-200 range on an overall ranking list, and would be starters in mid-depth formats, like 12 and 14 team leagues.

#2 - Jarlin Garcia (LHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 24

ETA: 2017

Garcia’s 2016 season began with some promise. He made nine starts for the Double-A Jacksonville Suns, posted a respectable 4.54 ERA, and received a brief callup to Miami. A triceps injury, however, cost him more than two months. When he returned in August, he made only a handful of appearances in order to limit his innings. He then made nine appearances out of the bullpen in the Arizona Fall League. At his best and healthiest, Garcia throws a plus fastball along with three secondary offerings that grade as average. Fantasy owners should keep an eye on his health and usage, as a full-time shift to the bullpen obviously would kill his value. The Marlins need starting pitching, however, and Garcia is one of their best prospects, so we expect him to open 2017 in the Triple-A New Orleans rotation and eventually reach the majors.

Tier 4 - Single League and Deep Format Plays

These prospects would likely slot into the 200-300 range on a ranking list, and would have the most value to mixed leagues with 16+ teams and single-league formats with 12+ teams.

#3 - Tyler Kolek (RHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 21

ETA: 2020

High-schoolers with fastballs topping 100 MPH do not grow on trees, which is why the Marlins made Kolek the second overall pick in the 2014 draft. Alas, early in his professional career the young righthander did not maintain that velocity, has not developed a reliable secondary pitch, and now is working his way back from Tommy John surgery. Despite an uneven 2015 season at Low-A Greensboro, his ceiling remains high. As yet, however, there are no signs that he will reach that ceiling anytime soon, if ever. A return to health in 2017 will be a big first step.

#4 - Luis Castillo (RHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 24

ETA: 2018

After acquiring him from San Francisco following the 2014 season, the Marlins wisely converted Castillo into a starter, with exciting results. In 2016 at High-A Jupiter, Castillo finished 8-4 with a 2.07 ERA, 91 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 117.2 innings on his way to winning the Florida State League’s pitcher of the year award. Like many power pitchers with a background in relief, Castillo features an excellent fastball-slider combo. He’s also developing a changeup. As evidenced by his walk rate, he has achieved significant improvement with his control. In 2017 fantasy owners should watch his performance at Triple-A New Orleans, as he looks to be an intriguing dark-horse candidate for the Marlins’ rotation in the second half of the season.

#5 - Cody Poteet (RHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 22

ETA: 2018

A 2015 fourth-round pick, Poteet ranks among the Marlins’ top pitching prospects thanks to an excellent 2016 season at Low-A Greensboro, where he finished 4-9 with a 2.91 ERA, 106 strikeouts and 44 walks in 117.1 IP. Poteet worked most often as a reliever in college, and his fastball-slider combo would augur well for success should he return to that role. He also uses a curveball and changeup, however, and both pitches could develop into average offerings, which, coupled with improved control, would make it more likely that he one day finds his way into the Miami rotation. Meanwhile, an assignment to High-A Jupiter in all likelihood awaits him in 2017.

Tier 5 - We Ranked Ten Prospects. We Really Did.

These prospects generally will be useful in the deepest of formats. Think 24+ teams for mixed leagues, and single-league formats with more teams than the league it uses. In many cases, these will be part-time players or utility-types when they get to the Majors..

#6 - Thomas Jones (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 19

ETA: 2020

There’s a lot of uncertainty in Miami’s system, as evidenced by a #6 overall ranking for a player as raw as Jones. Selected in the third round of the 2016 draft, Jones offers not much polish but plenty of projection. He’s already blessed with double-plus speed. With experience, and with added strength to his 6’4” frame, his hit tool and power could become at least average, if not a good deal better. A player who possesses Jones’s athletic talent is a player worth watching, even if he is a long, long way from the majors.

#7 - Austin Brice (RHP)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 24

ETA: 2017

From the moment he reached full-season ball in 2012, Brice has struggled with control; high walk totals always have accompanied high strikeout numbers. In 2016, however, the former 10th-round pick made significant strides. At Double-A Jacksonville he finished 4-7 with a 2.89 ERA in 27 appearances (13 starts) and posted a solid 79:29 K:BB ratio. A late-season promotion to Miami’s bullpen did not go as well, but it does raise the question of Brice future role. His above-average fastball-slider combo, coupled with his traditional control problems, suggests a reliever’s profile. He makes this list, however, in large part because of his improved control and recent success as a starter. He could open 2017 in the Triple-A New Orleans rotation.

#8 - Tomas Telis (C/1B)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 25

ETA: 2017

Acquired from Texas in 2015 as part of the Sam Dyson trade, Telis has posted solid batting averages across three seasons at the Triple-A level. His line-drive stroke and contact skills represent the closest thing to a carrying tool in his offensive arsenal. Fantasy owners should not expect counting stats, as he managed only 6 HR and 4 SB in 2016 at New Orleans. On the whole, the 25-year-old profiles as J.T. Realmuto’s long-term backup behind the dish.

#9 - Stone Garrett (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 21

ETA: 2019

An eighth-round pick in the 2014 draft, Garrett was having a pedestrian season at Low-A Greensboro when a knife-related prank-gone-wrong cost him significant time. He finished the 2016 South Atlantic League season with a .213/.265/.371 slash line, 6 homers, 1 steal, 11 walks, and 71 strikeouts in only 52 games. Suffice it to say that Garrett remains a long way from the majors. He appears on this list, however, because he’s one of the few prospects in the Marlins’ system who has legitimate power-speed potential. In 2017 he should head to High-A Jupiter, where fantasy owners can hope that his offensive potential translates into offensive production, as it did in 2015, when he led the New York-Penn League in homers and OPS.

#10 - Isael Soto (OF)

Age on Opening Day 2017: 20

ETA: 2019

Another Greensboro outfielder with power potential, Soto slashed .247/.320/.399 with 9 HR and 38 RBI in his first taste of full-season ball. Soto lacks the speed of teammate and fellow OF Stone Garrett, but Soto also is a year younger and could develop into at least Garrett’s equal as a hitter. Neither is yet on the fantasy radar except in the deepest of deep dynasty leagues. That could change, however, with a strong performance at High-A Jupiter in 2017.