If Baseball America’s latest list of top 100 prospects is any indication, the Marlins’ threadbare farm system is in slightly better shape now than it was a few months ago.
Two of the minor-league prospects the Marlins acquired in trades for Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna cracked the publication’s top 100: right-handed pitchers Sandy Alcantara (No. 70 overall) and Jorge Guzman (No. 87).
To put that in perspective, only one Marlin made the list last year: left-hander Braxton Garrett, a former first-round draft pick who underwent Tommy John surgery in June and dropped out of the rankings.
Baseball America announced its latest rankings Monday. And while it might not appease angry Marlins fans upset over the departures of Stanton, Ozuna and Dee Gordon, it provides some evidence — subjective as it is — that the Marlins didn’t emerge empty-handed.
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Alcantara was included in a package of four prospects the Marlins acquired from the Cardinals in the Ozuna trade while Guzman was the centerpiece in their salary-driven deal with the Yankees for Stanton.
The Marlins still have a long way to go to fully strengthen a talent-starved farm system that Baseball America ranked as the worst in the majors this time a year ago.
But significant further upgrades could occur if the Marlins trade either Christian Yelich or J.T. Realmuto, either of whom would command a hefty return. The Marlins have been listening to offers on both players, and the Atlanta Braves, in particular, have shown strong interest in Yelich.
The Braves have eight players ranked among Baseball America’s top 72 prospects, including the No. 1-ranked overall prospect, outfielder Ronald Acuna. The Braves rejected the Marlins’ request to include Acuna in any deal for Yelich, sources confirmed to the Herald.
But they, more than any other team, have plenty of other top prospects with which to entice the Marlins should they decide to deal Yelich.