2021 Miami Marlins Depth Chart
The Miami Marlins entered the season with a trade-gutted roster. Injuries and more trades have strained their already nonexistent depth. The club is down to just one quality regular in the lineup – catcher J.T. Realmuto. Brian Anderson might be a Rookie of the Year contender in a normal season, but he’s hopelessly outgunned by younger division rivals Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna. Beyond Realmuto and Anderson, the positions players are a blend of unestablished minor leaguers and middling role players.
|Catcher||Jorge Alfaro||Sandy Leon|
|1st Base||Jesus Aguilar|
|2nd Base||Jon Berti|
|Shortstop||Miguel Rojas||Jose Devers|
|3rd Base||Brian Anderson|
|Left Field||Corey Dickerson|
|Center Field||Starling Marte||Lewis Brinson|
|Right Field||Jesus Sanchez||Matt Joyce|
|Designated Hitter||Garrett Cooper|
The pitching staff is no different. Veterans like Dan Straily, Wei-Yin Chen, and Jose Urena provide a volume of innings without quality. Trevor Richards has shown some modest potential, but he looks more like a good back-of-the-rotation arm than a serious building block. Current closer Drew Steckenrider is acceptable in a ninth inning role even if he isn’t a top 50 reliever.
Trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and others have revived the Marlins previously ailing farm system. Even so, their most impactful prospects won’t join the club this September. Those that do won’t see meaningful action.
The Marlins infield includes their best players. Realmuto is one of the top offensive players at his position, and he’s well known for his defense too. He hits for a high average with modest power. The backstop has steadily improved each season in the majors. This year, he’s managed a .292/.349/.500 triple slash (AVG/OPB/SLG) with 15 home runs in 409 plate appearances.
A third baseman by trade, Anderson has spent half the season in right field. The 25-year-old is a rare bright spot on an otherwise gloomy roster. Although his .277/.354/.400 batting line isn’t especially impressive, he’s shown plenty of growth potential. In particular, a modest change in his approach could unlock more power. To date, he’s hit only nine home runs in 539 plate appearances despite making plenty of hard contact. Increasing his fly ball rate could help.
Dietrich, a utility fielder, is the primary first baseman now that Justin Bour is gone. He’s hopeless against left-handed pitching. Over his career, he’s a solid .260/.345/.439 hitter versus right-handers – a trend that has continued in 2020. Over at second base, Castro continues to plug away with league average production. He’s actually only 28 years old. If it feels like he’s been in the league forever, it’s because he debuted as a 20-year-old way back in 2010.
When the infield is at full strength, Anderson and Dietrich spend most of their time in the outfield. In their absence, there is very little talent to discuss. Ortega has taken over as the leadoff hitter and regular right fielder. Through a meager 39 plate appearances, he’s shown a penchant for making frequent contact. The 27-year-old minor league veteran debuted back in 2012. Since then, he’s accrued just 247 plate appearances in the majors. At Triple-A, he hit .275/.375/.404 with only two home runs and more walks than strikeouts.
Brinson, 24, is a quality prospect who has spent the entire season in the majors – excluding his current rehab stint for a hip injury. Alas, he is overmatched in the majors. The righty is batting .186/.232/.338 in 311 plate appearances. On the plus side, he has hit 10 home runs despite terrible contact rates. Brinson is unlikely to turn a corner during the 2020 campaign.
The staff lacks compelling talent. Straily and Chen are veterans who – at their best – thrive on command and control. Neither pitcher has performed up to their top standards this season. Chen has struggled since joining the Marlins in 2016. Urena is the most promising because his fastball runs up to 97 mph. His control has improved minutely throughout his major league career, although nobody would call him a command artist. He’ll need to change his pitch usage if he wants to become more than a volume arm. For Richards, a changeup artist, the key to future improvement likely lies in superior command. Without, he’s a 4.00 ERA pitcher at best.
The Marlins lineup is fairly consistent – at least for the entrenched regulars. Ortega bats atop the lineup. With his potential for an above average OBP and plenty of contact, this could have a useful interactive effect for Realmuto, Anderson, Castro, and Dietrich. Realmuto always bats second. Anderson usually hits third. Castro and Dietrich flip between the cleanup and fifth spots in the lineup.