MLB Team News & Rumors: Miami

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Miami Marlins

Our expert from,Shawn Childs, helps you prepare for your big fantasy baseball draft.

Miami Marlins Team Projection

Get started on your fantasy baseball draft prep today with my player profiles of the Miami Marlins pitching staff.

1. SP Jose Fernandez

Jose Fernandez fantasy baseball

A star was born last season in Miami. The Marlins made a bold move by allowing Fernandez to make the jump from High A to the majors in one season. Jose made an instant impact in his first start (1 runs in 5 innings with 8 K's). After a brief struggle over 2 starts in mid April (9 runs in 9 innings), Fernandez allowed more than 2 runs only three times in his last 24 starts of the year. He had a 1.50 ERA over the last 4 months of the year with 135 K's in 120.3 innings. Jose dominated RH (.175) and LH (.188) batters, but he still needs to improve his command against lefties (40 walks). Fernandez has a plus, plus fastball (94.9). He threw his curveball 876 times last year and batters only hit .114 against it with 118 K's in 246 at bats. His changeup has upside, but he only threw it a low % of the time in 2013. Last year, his average four seam baseball was 94.6 in April. It gained value over the course of the season (Sept - 96.0). Jose was the toughest starting pitcher to hit last year, allowing only 5.8 hits per 9 innings. His command (3.0) should improve with more experience, which will lead to a stronger K rate (9.7). This year, Fernandez will push his innings over 200. He has 225 K upside with a plus, plus ERA. His only question mark is the wins category. Future CY Young winner.

2. SP Jacob Turner

Jacob Turner fantasy baseball

Turner's profile is loaded with question marks. His walk rate (4.1) is way too high and he doesn't get enough strikeouts (5.9 K rate) to bail himself out of trouble. His low first strike % (54%) is another negative. Overall, he struggled with both RH (.269) and LH (.254) batters. His BB:K ratio (29:29) to lefties also needs a lot of work. Jacob pitched great over his first 12 starts (2.68 ERA), but the real pitcher emerged over his last 8 starts (5.75 ERA with 27 walks in 40.7 innings). His AFB (91.9) was slightly stronger, and his #2 pitch is a curveball (followed by a slider and a show me changeup). Turner has a career 3.30 ERA in the minors with 320 K's in 414.3 innings. Turner is a former first round pick with a solid fastball, but his secondary pitches and command are just not there yet. He had enough success last year to show he was ready to be a major league starter. Jacob has downside risk until he gets his command under control (no upside in K's).

3. SP Nathan Eovaldi

Nathan Eovaldi fantasy baseball

Eovaldi looks to be slightly more advanced than Turner. His command (3.4) still needs work, while his K rate (6.6) was a career high. He had equal success against RH (.251) and LH (.246) batters, but he struggled throwing strikes to LH batters (25 walks). Eovaldi allowed 2 runs or less in 13 of his 18 starts. Without his worst 3 starts of the year (20 runs in 10 innings), he had a 1.87 ERA over 96.3 innings. His AFB (96.2) was the highest of his career. Furthermore, he threw a slider as his 2nd best pitch, followed by a curveball. At this point of his career, Nathan is really a two pitch pitcher as his curveball really doesn't have any value (.321 batting average against). His K rate can't spike upward without a better off speed pitch. In the minors, he had a career 3.44 ERA with 298 K's in 364 innings. Eovaldi has a nice arm, but his upside is somewhat limited due to a lack of command and depth of his pitching arsenal. In the American League, we have seen Justin Masterson have success with just a slider and fastball, but he throws a two seamer (sinker) and a four seam fastball. Last year, Nathan didn't throw a two seam fastball once. For now, he has WHIP risk and low K upside, but his fastball is big enough to have a positive ERA, especially pitching in Miami (last year he pitched better on the road (2.80 ERA)).

4. SP Henderson Alvarez

Henderson Alvarez fantasy baseball

Alvarez had a nice growth season in 2013 after getting drilled in 2012 in Toronto. His K rate (5.0) has been short during his major league career and it was probably the lowest in baseball for a starting pitcher in 2012 (3.8). It was only slightly better during his minor league career (6.5). His command (2.4) improved, and his minor league resume showed more upside (1.7). Henderson handled himself against RH batters (.206) with no HR's allowed, but he struggled to find a strikeout pitch against lefties (22 K's in 186 at bats) which led to a .269 batting average against. He allowed 3 runs or less in 12 of his 17 starts with only 2 bad starts (allowed 5 runs in each). Alvarez missed the first three months of the season with a shoulder injury that he suffered early in spring training. He is a GB rate (53.5%) pitcher with a stronger fastball (93.3) than his K rate suggests. Last year, he threw an improved slider as his #2 pitch, followed by changeup and an occasional curveball. Batters have the most success against his four seam fastball (.279). Alvarez is a pitcher a fantasy player has to take a 2nd look at. It's easy to dismiss him as a soft tosser with weak upside in K's, but his arsenal has more upside if he can get batters to swing at pitches outside the strike zone. His fastball can reach the upper 90's at times (average four seam fastball was 94.5 MPH in September) and his changeup has some upside. For now, maybe he is just a right handed version of Mark Buehrle as far as results. Sneaky option if you can handle the downside in K's.

5. SP Kevin Slowey

Kevin Slowey fantasy baseball

Slowey looked like a great find in 2013 when he had a 1.81 ERA with 36 K's in 44.7 innings over his first 7 starts of the year. He was then drilled in four of his next 5 starts (21 runs and 51 base runners over 22.3 innings), which led to him losing his starting job. Slowey developed a forearm injury in late July that cost him the remainder of his season. His AFV (89.3) was in line with his career average. It gained value after April, so his lack of success was more due to poor execution. Kevin is a FB pitcher (44.3%), so HR's can be a problem when his location is off. His #2 pitch is a slider, followed by a curveball and changeup. He struggled with both RH (.276 - .476 SLG %) and LH (.307 - .486 SLG %) batters. Additionally, Slowey allowed 10 of his 12 HR's at home (1.7 per 9). He has plus command (1.8) with a strong enough K rate (7.4) to have success in the majors. During his first 4 seasons in the majors, Slowey went 39-21. At age 29, his window is closing. He will compete for the 5th starting job in Miami. His command gives him upside, but his straight fastball (batters hit .311 vs. his four seam fastball and .361 vs. his sinker) leads to disaster starts. No value on draft day, but a player to watch as a possible double starter.

6. SP Adam Conley

Adam Conley fantasy baseball

Conley has been very good in his first 2 seasons in the minors (22-12 with 3.33 ERA with 266 K's in 267.7 innings). His command (2.4) improved at AA last year, while his K rate (8.4) declined. He has a mid 90's fastball with plenty of life. His changeup is just average and his slider doesn't show any upside at this point in his career. He will start the year at AAA, but may emerge as an option for the Marlins at some point in the early part of the season.

7. SP Andrew Heaney

Andrew Heaney fantasy baseball

Heaney is on the fast track to the majors. He is 10-5 in his minor league career with a 2.21 ERA with 119 K's in 122.3 innings. Last year, he only pitched 95.3 innings in the minors, which led to him getting a chance to pitch in the Arizona Fall League (1.95 ERA in 27.7 innings). His command (2.4) has been very good at every level in the minors, but his K rate (6.1) did spike downward in his starts at AA. However, it did improve in Arizona (7.8). His fastball sits in the low 90's, but it can reach 95 at times. His slider is already a plus pitch, while his changeup is showing some growth. He has pitched well against both RH (.225) and LH (.239) during his minor league career. Heaney doesn't have a lot of innings under his belt, so it would be tough to expect him to make any impact at the major league level in 2014. Miami will probably only let him pitch 150 innings this year. Upside arm to watch and he should start the year at AAA.

8. CL Steve Cishek

Steve Cishek fantasy baseball

Cishek grew up about 10 miles from my house, but I never followed his high school or college career as I was too wrapped up in major league baseball. Last year, I owned him in a couple of spots and thought he was going to lose the closing job over the first 6 weeks of the season. Steve allowed runs in 6 of his first 11 appearance, which led to a 5.73 ERA and 3 losses. On June 4th, Cishek only had 5 saves with 4 losses and 2 blown saves. His ERA was improving, and he found his stride on June 8th. He didn't allow a walk in 13 straight games or a run in 17 outings, which led to 12 saves and 2 wins in 36 days. Over the last 4 months of the year, Steve had a 1.33 ERA with 55 K's and 29 SV's in 47.3 innings. Cishek dominated RH batters (.185) with excellent command. He allowed 16 of his 22 walks to LH batters, but they only hit .235 against him. His AFB (92.3) was in line with his resume, and his #2 pitch is a plus slider (followed by a low level changeup). Steve is a GB pitcher (53.1%) with a low career HR/FB rate (4.7%). His command (2.8) made a nice step forward and his K rate (9.6) matched his career high. Cishek has pitched very well during his 3 seasons with Miami. His command is his key going forward if he wants to keep the closing job. Overall, his ability to get ground balls and restrict HR's will limit his downside risk. 40 save upside if he repeats his walk rate.

9. RP Alejandro Ramos

Alejandro Ramos fantasy baseball

Ramos pitched well for Miami last season, but his command (4.8) was terrible and a step below his minor league career (3.7). However, his K rate (9.7) was a plus and he was tough to hit (.201). His command was poor against lefties (26 walks in 132 at bats), which led to less K's (36). Righties hit .185 against him with no HR's in 157 at bats. Over the last 3 months, A.J. had a 2.08 ERA with 49 K's in 39 innings, but his walk rate (5.8) regressed. His AFB was 93.3. His slider is his 2nd best pitch, followed by a changeup and a show me curveball. His K rate was electric during his minor league career (12.3). Ramos has a nice arm, but his command will keep him out of the 9th inning in the near future.

10. RP Carter Capps

Carter Capps fantasy baseball

Last year, I thought Capps was in position to take over the closing job in Seattle if Wilhelmsen failed. The opportunity happened, but Carter blew his chance by pitching poorly early in the year. His K rate (10.1) has been strong in the majors, but his command (3.5) was below his minor league career (2.9). Capps was crushed by HR's (12 in 59 innings) and he couldn't 't throw strikes to lefties (15 walks in 95 at bats with 7 HR's allowed - .326 BAA and .621 SLG %). Carter was only slightly better against RH batters (.286 with 5 HR's allowed in 147 at bats). His AFB (95.6) is elite, but it was a step down from 2012 (98.3). Last year, he threw a slider as his #2 pitch. Upside arm that may develop into a closer skill set down the road, but he has a lot to prove in 2014.


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