StrategyFebruary 2, 2010

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30 Teams in 30 Days: Florida Marlins - 7 comments

By Kazuya Kurokawa

Despite having the lowest payroll last year, Florida Marlins finished the 2009 season with an impressive record of 87-75. Unfortunately, they just missed the playoffs and the team has not reached the post-season since 2003, the year they won it all. While the team has not added any big free agents, they have kept most of their core players from last season and likely will make a run for a playoff spot again in 2010. In this article, we will preview the 2010 Florida Marlins and see which players we should keep our eyes on.

Offensive Starters

C John Baker.271.349.410599500373
1B Gaby Sanchez.238.304.524223221
2B Dan Uggla.243.354.4598431902564
SS Hanley Ramirez.342.410.5431012410627576
3B Jorge Cantu.289.345.44367161003585
LF Chris Coghlan.321.390.460849478504
CF Cameron Maybin.250.318.409304131176
RF Cody Ross.270.321.4697324905559

Unsettled: Emilio Bonifacio. Bonifacio got everybody’s attention last year when he got four hits and stole three bases on opening day. Unfortunately everything was downhill from there, as he finished the season with a line of .252/.303/.308 and lost his starting job when the Marlins acquired Nick Johnson. Now that Johnson has signed with the Yankees, Bonifacio will have a chance to reclaim the third base job during spring training. Although the Marlins would prefer to keep Jorge Cantu at first base, they do have two young first basemen named Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison. If either of them has a great spring, it may force the Marlins to shift Cantu over to third base.

Target: Dan Uggla. Instead of picking an upcoming young player, I’ve chosen to highlight an established player who has been under the radar during many drafts. Uggla is a player who has had at least 80 runs and RBIs and 30 HRs for the past three seasons. Instead of reaching for players like Aaron Hill and Ben Zobrist, wait a couple of rounds for Uggla. My personal projection: .251 AVG, 92 R, 29 HR, 85 RBI, 4 SB.

The Rotation

Josh Johnson (R)15-53.231.161915820
Ricky Nolasco (R)13-95.061.251954185
Anibal Sanchez (R)4-83.871.51714686
Sean West (L)8-64.791.547044103.1
Chris Volstad (R)9-135.211.4310759159

Unsettled: Andrew Miller. I picked Miller in the unsettled section in last year’s article, but this year, there are many uncertainties in the Marlins’ rotation going into the spring. They have two talented starting pitchers in Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco at the front of the rotation, but after them, they have a bunch of question marks. Anibal Sanchez will likely have a spot in the rotation as he succeeded in limited time. The last two spots will likely be given to Chris Volstad, Sean West, Andrew Miller or Rick VandenHurk. They are all young pitchers who have struggled at the major league level thus far.

Target: Ricky Nolasco. When you look at Ricky Nolasco’s numbers from the 2009 season, one that everybody notices is his horrible ERA, which stood at 5.06. Do not let this fool you! If you look closely at his numbers, you will notice that he was one of the unluckiest pitchers last season. If you look at his batting average on balls in play (BABIP), you will notice that it was the third highest in the major leagues last season. If his BABIP normalizes this year, his ERA is bound to go down. With his high strike out numbers and low walk total, expect him to be one of the better fantasy pitchers this coming year. My personal projection: 4.14 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 12 W, 154 SO.

The 8th and 9th Innings

Leo Nunez (R)264.061.25602768.2
Dan Meyer (L)23.091.17562158.1

Chasing Saves: Despite his mediocre 2009 season, Leo Nunez is the favorite to be the closer for the Marlins entering 2009 spring training. I would only draft him if he is available late in a draft and would stay away from him in the middle rounds of the draft. If Nunez was to lose his closing job, Dan Meyer will likely take over. Meyer had a breakout season at the age of 27; however, he still holds a career ERA of 5.09 and I do not expect him to repeat his 2009 season. Also, remember the name Ryan Tucker; he could be closing for the Marlins by the end of the season.

Final Thoughts

In coming drafts, remember that there are many Marlins players other then Hanley Ramirez that can help your fantasy team. Everybody knows who plays for the Yankees and the Red Sox, but not everybody knows the players for the Marlins. Keep an eye on these players and they will help you win your league this coming season. Lastly, I will leave you with this small trivia; three of the last seven players to win the NL ROY award were Marlins.

Kazuya Kurokawa is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Kazuya in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Another Blown Save.
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7 Responses to “30 Teams in 30 Days: Florida Marlins”

  1. User avatar silverZ says:

    Well done.

  2. Nice job.
    Jason Stark is reporting the that Marlins have an offer out to Branyan. Bonifacio might be out of luck.

  3. User avatar Montana168 says:

    was hoping to see a little something about mike stanton. that OF looks very crowded. this has to be the yr that they let go of the reigns with maybin. he has to stay up in the bigs, whether he’s mashing or not. coghlan is coming off a ROY campaign (albeit little competition). it looks like the only way stanton sees the bigs in 2010 is either an injury, if uggla is dealt and they move coghlan to 2nd freeing up LF, or if they decide to put cantu at 1st they could possibly move coghlan into the INF.

    any fish fans out there that know more about this situation? id love to see what stanton’s monster bat could do in fantasy, although he needs to figure out his K problem or he’ll be a walking BA nightmare. is it more likely he sees the bigs in 2011? ESPN and MLB seem to have him high on the prospect list and they tend to take into account, MLB-readyness (if thats a word)

  4. User avatar MashinSpuds says:

    The Marlins always have someone on the team that pleasantly surprises every year and I never see them coming. Is Gaby Sanchez the guy this year? Hmmm.. but nice work!

  5. pizzaboy76 says:

    What can we expect from Coghlan at the top of the Fish’s lineup?

  6. Fenway Punk says:

    Nolasco was an absolute BEAST last year after the break. My money is on a 200K season, with an era between 3.75-4.35, and a whip under 1.30. Gaudy numbers for a pitcher available after round 10.

    PS. Taking Hanley over Pujols at number 1 and then chirping about “position scarcity” doesn’t make you an expert, it makes you an idiot. The position scarcity arguement is overblown. “Stat scarcity” is what you need to concern yourself with. HR/RBI aren’t as easy to find as SB/R.

  7. OnceinDC21 says:

    I am inclined to agree with Fenway Punk. I think that’s an exceptionally conservative projection for a pitcher with pinpoint control and a K/9 rate greater than 9.0 with an enormous BABIP from 2009. A line closer to 12 Ws 3.75 ERA and 185Ks is reasonable and possibly too conservative. We could be looking at a huge regression to the mean here. Though it may be something to take with a grain of salt, Nolasco is sporting a K:BB ratio of something like 22:1 in 20 innings this spring. This guy could potentially outperform Josh Johnson and costs far less in a fantasy draft. Not a poorly written piece, just curious why you had a projection even more conservative than the CHONE projections.


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