One positive that has come from the Marlins’ whirlwind of traders during the past two months: The farm system is beginning to show signs of life and talent for the first time in five years.
Baseball America on Monday ranked the Miami Marlins’ farm system as the 19th best in the MLB. Considering Derek Jeter and Co. hauled in a wealth of prospects by trading four of the team’s players in Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich, the ranking was a big and expected jump from the bottom-five status the team held each of the last four years.
Those rankings: 29th out of 30 teams in 2017; 29th in 2016; 25th in 2015; and 27th in 2014.
As a result of the four trades that depleted the Marlins of their four core players, the organization added 14 prospects to its farm system. Highlighting the group is outfielder Lewis Brinson, a Coral Springs native who comes to Miami from the Milwaukee Brewers as part of the Yelich trade and is ranked as Baseball America’s 18th overall prospect. Three of the other prospects are also ranked in the top 100: right-handed pitcher Sandy Alcantara (No. 70 from St. Louis via Ozuna trade), outfielder Monte Harrison (No. 75 from Milwuakee via Yelich trade) and right-handed pitcher Jorge Guzman (No. 87 from New York Yankees via Stanton trade).
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Baseball America’s top-five farm systems heading into the 2018 season: The Atlanta Braves, the New York Yankees, the San Diego Padres, the Chicago White Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays.
The bottom five: The Seattle Mariners, the Kansas City Royals, the Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants.
The last time the Marlins’ farm system wasn’t in the bottom 10 came in 2013, when the group ranked fifth overall and featured a wave of talent that included Jose Fernandez, Yelich, Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto.