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.
|C John Baker||.271||.349||.410||59||9||50||0||373|
|1B Gaby Sanchez||.238||.304||.524||2||2||3||2||21|
|2B Dan Uggla||.243||.354||.459||84||31||90||2||564|
|SS Hanley Ramirez||.342||.410||.543||101||24||106||27||576|
|3B Jorge Cantu||.289||.345||.443||67||16||100||3||585|
|LF Chris Coghlan||.321||.390||.460||84||9||47||8||504|
|CF Cameron Maybin||.250||.318||.409||30||4||13||1||176|
|RF Cody Ross||.270||.321||.469||73||24||90||5||559|
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.
|Josh Johnson (R)||15-5||3.23||1.16||191||58||20|
|Ricky Nolasco (R)||13-9||5.06||1.25||195||4||185|
|Anibal Sanchez (R)||4-8||3.87||1.51||71||46||86|
|Sean West (L)||8-6||4.79||1.54||70||44||103.1|
|Chris Volstad (R)||9-13||5.21||1.43||107||59||159|
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)||26||4.06||1.25||60||27||68.2|
|Dan Meyer (L)||2||3.09||1.17||56||21||58.1|
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.
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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