Plenty of promise in Marlins camp
A breakdown of prospects that caught the eye of Man On Second Baseball
By Joe Frisaro/Man On Second Baseball
JUPITER, Fla. — The first few days of full-squad workouts are when players work on getting their bodies into playing shape. Pitchers and hitters are seeing each other for the first times, with the edge in favor of pitchers, who have been in camp a few days longer.
Hitters usually are tracking pitches, and trying to find their timing.
Man On Second Baseball spent Tuesday and Wednesday at Marlins’ camp at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex.
Our focus was mostly on prospects or new players on the roster.
Here’s some observations:
Lewin Diaz bulks up: First base prospect Lewin Diaz looks the part of a future starter. The 24-year-old has bulked up from a year ago, packing on about 10 more pounds for 2020. The left-handed hitter is listed at 6-foot-4, 217-pounds. Defensively, he’s the best first baseman in camp.
At the plate, Diaz has changed up his mechanics, elevating his hands from the past, when they were about belt high. Raising his hands should allow him to better handle pitches up in the zone. Diaz also had the benefit of playing Winter Ball, so he already looks ahead of many other hitters. Before Opening Day, the veterans should be ready to go. So, that isn’t an issue.
For Diaz, Winter Ball was a chance to test out his revised stance. Ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami’s No. 8 prospect, Diaz projects as a future starter. Whether that is sometime in 2021 is up to how quickly he shows he’s ready.
In 2020, Diaz got a taste of the big leagues, and he struggled. He hit .154 in 39 at-bats. Such a small sample size shouldn’t be taken too seriously. How Diaz deals with having consistent mechanics and putting together consistently good at-bats are what to pay attention to as camp progresses.
Keeping up with Jazz: The new No. 2 is shortstop Jazz Chisholm, who is sporting a different number, which happens to be the number of Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter.
It’s only a matter of time before Chisholm takes over as Miami’s regular shortstop, which currently is being anchored by Miguel Rojas, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Wednesday. Happy B-day to Miggy!
For now, Chisholm is getting work at shortstop and second base. Based on some early drills, he looks very comfortable at second as well as short in terms of his footwork and feel around the around.
Chisholm, Miami’s No. 4 prospect, is a key part of the organization’s long-term plans. This is a big season for him to make strides. Still, the Marlins have to handle with caution. Remember, he’s still 23.
Adam Duvall provides some pop: Outfielder Adam Duvall is one of the big offseason pickups for Miami. The veteran projects to play right field, and provide right-handed power.
In live batting practice, Duvall crushed a Zach McCambley fastball to the wall in left-center.
“He’s one of those true power guys,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “You do want danger in there. There’s nothing wrong with a three-run home run.”
- Ace Sandy Alcantara faced hitters on Wednesday, and had plenty of swings and misses. He started off facing regulars, Corey Dickerson, Rojas and Brian Anderson.
- Left-hander Daniel Castano could be the sleeper to win a rotation spot. There’s nothing fancy about how Castano goes about his business. He locates his breaking pitches, and mixes in his fastball, and primarily throws strikes.
- Catching prospect Will Banfield, Miami’s No. 30-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, deserves to be higher on such lists. An advanced defensive player, Banfield is simply smooth behind the plate. His receiving skills are plus, and he picks balls in the dirt with easy. Nothing gets past him. At the plate, he has power potential. The question remains, how much is he going to hit, which will determine if he’s a regular or a backup.
- Zach McCambley had some good experience facing big leaguers like Duvall, Jesus Aguilar and Starling Marte. The right-hander was Miami’s third-round pick in 2020. From Coastal Carolina, McCambley threw some nice curveballs. His fastball ran up to about 94 mph in college. He’s building up at this point, and is sitting in the low 90s.
- The Marlins open Grapefruit League games on Sunday. For home games, capacity will be about 1,450 at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Several games have already sold out.
2 thoughts on “Plenty of promise in Marlins camp”
Great Marlins article as usual.
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