With contention not in the plan, these five prospects can help the Miami Marlins this season.
If not for two World Series runs, the Miami Marlins would have zero postseason berths in their franchise history. And they have only a handful of above-.500 seasons. As April turns into May, they are the one team not in the NL East race, with an 8-21 record and eight games back already. If not for the Baltimore Orioles (-64), the Marlins (-58) would have the worst run differential in baseball entering the final day of April.
Trading notable veterans Giancarlo Stanton, J.T. Realmuto, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon over the last year-plus has helped restock the Marlins’ farm system, with 12 of their top 30 prospects from MLB.com’s list heading into this season coming via those deals. So there’s some hope for the future, whenever that comes, before those prospects become veterans that are themselves traded once they become too expensive.
As the Marlins careen toward finishing with somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 losses, worthy prospects should find plenty of opportunity before the 2019 campaign ends. Specifically, these five prospects can help the Marlins the most before the season is out.
5. 2B Isan Diaz
Diaz arrived in Triple-A last year and hit .281 with 14 RBI and four steals in 36 games. He’s not off to a great start for New Orleans this year, with a .236/.313/.360 slash-line through 23 games, but he has shown some upside with a bat in his hands (.440 career slugging percentage in the minors, with a .791 OPS) and reaching his potential offensively is considered his best path to being a big-league regular.
Diaz has been traded twice already, from the Diamondbacks to the Brewers in the Jean Segura deal and from the Brewers to the Marlins in the Christian Yelich deal. He’s a top-10 second base prospect in all of baseball, as ranked by MLB.com, and if Starlin Castro is the next veteran to be dealt the Marlins will have a pretty clear opening at second base.
If Diaz gets on track and conquers Triple-A pitching over a larger sample, there will be no reason to keep him down. Even if Castro isn’t moved between now and the trade deadline, room for Diaz on the Major League roster may have to be created if he holds up his end.