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30 in 30

The Turf’s 30 in 30: The Miami Marlins

The Marlins are drowning in a chlorine tank of their own making.

Marlins Park by Dan Lundberg is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Turf’s 30 in 30: The Miami Marlins


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Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

2018: Record: 63 – 98

2018 Finish: 5th in NL East, 15th in the National League

Surprises in 2018

So Brian Anderson is a thing, huh? I mean, sweet Jesus, what a season at the hot corner for Mr. Anderson.

After beginning the 2018 season as the #8 prospect in the Marlins system and the #7 3B Prospect in the league, Anderson made the Opening Day Roster. One of the reasons he made the team? The Marlins traded everyone away.

The other reason? He was on fire in Spring Training. Well, if by on fire you mean hitting just above Scott Van Slyke’s numbers.

Anderson earned his spot on the big league club by producing early and often. If there’s one thing that’ll get you onto a team that’s barely fielding a cogent roster, it’s being decent.

Anderson’s minor league numbers from the year before were exactly that, decent. Hitting .251 in 80+ games for the double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Anderson was promoted to the New Orleans Baby Cakes for 33 games. In New Orleans, Anderson came into his own, hitting .339/.416/.602, with an OPS of 1.018, knocking in 26 runs, and smashing 8 home runs. The interesting stat during this time? Anderson hit 28 doubles between the two leagues. Remember that.

In the first half of the 2018 season, Anderson was playing out of his mind. A .288/.363/.429 slash, 8 home runs, 23 doubles and 49 RBIs might not look insane, but considering where he was the year before, this is god-like.

Brian Anderson was found money for the Marlins, who lost Martin Prado and seem to have given up on Derek Dietrich as an infielder. Sure, there might be plenty more fish in th sea, but there aren’t many like Brian Anderson out there.

Disappointments in 2018

So Lewis Brinson isn’t really a thing, huh?

After being the main piece in two big trades that sent big names to playoff contenders, Lewis Brinson played his first season in the big leagues. After being touted as a big piece for the future of the Marlins organization, Brinson was ready for the big stage.

Unfortunately, he fell flat on his face.

In 2017, playing for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Brinson slashed a terrific .331/.400/.562, with an OPS of .962. Of his 99 hits in the 76 games he played for the Brewers Triple-A organization, Bronson had 22 doubles and 13 home runs.

In 2018, Brinson posted a .199/.240/.338 slash line, with a .577 OPS, putting 11 home runs into the seats and hitting 10 doubles. Not great.

The worst piece of Brinson’s season isn’t even listed in those stats. Striking out 120 times in his 382 at-bats, Brinson struck out in 31% of his at-bats. So when the Marlins centerfielder stepped up to the plate at any point during the season, the odds were very good he’d be walking back to the dugout after seeing three strikes.

You really hate to see that.

Looking Ahead to 2019

Look, I’m going to say this, and I mean it. If the Marlins start the season with J.T. Realmuto on their roster, the fans should revolt. It is absolutely insane that they would have dangled him out there to so many teams as bait and then fail to capitalize on his value.

Sure there’s the possibility that he’ll get more from a desperate team at the deadline, but why risk it? It’s obvious that the front office is willing to trade him, but when offered serious young studs like Michael Conforto or Amed Rosario, you’d think he’d be out of town by now.

Regardless of whatever way you slice it, Marlins fans are in for a long tough road ahead. With the other four NL East teams adding players left and right, the division is heating up. The Marlins are running the risk of suffocating under that weight.

With the previous ownership trying to quietly ruin the team, Jeter’s ownership group is in the tearing down phase. This means they should be seeing results in the next few years, but that’s all speculation, the last Marlins owner also had a solid crop of youngsters.

The Marlins are at a crossroads, but it’s possible that both roads lead to ruin.

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