5. Brett Lilek– Pitcher
Date of Birth: 8/10/1993
Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd round (50th overall) of the 2015 draft
Lilek has good stuff and is a lefty. That’s a good start in describing what you want in a pitching prospect. He figures to be a solid number three starter one day and he has a fastball that can touch 94 according to MLB.com, which is an other plus. Lilek might be the closest to his ceiling of all the prospects in the top five of this list, but he’s destined to be an above average number three innings-eater type of pitcher. His make-up falls short of any all-star potential. He has a ways to go to since he was just drafted in 2015, but he already looks mature beyond his years and a late 2018 debut wouldn’t surprise me. High B grade prospect.
4. Jarlin Garcia– Pitcher
Date of Birth: 6/13/1996
Acquired: Signed as an amateur free agent 8/13/2010
Garcia is number three on most lists, and he’s not number four on mine because I dislike him, I just value Flores higher. Garcia should start 2016 in AA and could reach the majors at some point in 2017. He has the chance to become a solid number three too, but flashes more at times. His stuff his electric and he throws gas for a left-handed starter. Garcia has a good chance to be a solid major league pitcher, and he’s a higher B grade prospect as well. His K-BB ratio is a nice plus as well.
3. Kendry Flores– Pitcher
Date of Birth: 11/24/1991
Acquired: Trade with SF on 12/19/2014
Talk about a steal, Flores was acquired for Casey McGehee coming off his career year, and Miami got him back too. Flores is a guy who figures to be a good bet as a number three and he’s ready to crack the rotation this year. His pitches are all above average and he can mix them well to get outs. If everything fails for Flores, which is unlikely at this point, he could be a solid reliever. His fastball is his best pitch and he had some highlights in his cup of coffee in 2015. He’s a solid high B grade.
2. Josh Naylor– First Baseman
Date of Birth: 6/22/1997
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round (12th overall) of the 2015 draft
Naylor is the guy Miami drafted to hit behind Giancarlo Stanton in a few years. To make things better, Naylor raked in his pro debut. He has lots and lots of power. He comes in with 40 homer a year potential and Miami didn’t have a first baseman better than Justin Bour in the system last year. Naylor will take some time to reach the majors, but he could be an above average hitter with big league power, at least 70 grade. Naylor looks like a prototypical slugger first baseman who is bad on his feet, which is kind of true, but he can handle first base well enough to stick and not kill the Marlins. He reminds me of Dan Vogelbach, a slugging prospect further up the ladder in the Cubs system who could have a big impact soon. Naylor was a value pick at 12, but he could end up being worth that pick. Low grade A prospect.
1. Tyler Kolek- Pitcher
Date of Birth: 12/15/1995
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round (2nd overall) of the 2014 draft
Kolek didn’t have the best first pro season, but he’s only going to be 20, and will probably be ready for the 2019 season full-time, making some starts in 2018 for Miami. He has a fastball that could be one of the best in the majors for a starter. His biggest challenge is to work on his third pitch and develop his control as he climbs up the ladder. If he can improve to have an average third pitch and pretty solid control, he could be special. He’s still one of the 50 most talented prospects in all of baseball too. Kolek should continue to grow and improve and his number two pick will be justified.