The Miami Marlins had five players listed in a Top 101 Prospects list released on Monday by Baseball Prospectus.
Lewis Brinson (18), Monte Harrison (49), Magneuris Sierra (56), Sandy Alcantara (70) and Isan Diaz (85) are the five prospects on the list. By comparison, the Marlins had only one player on the 2017 version of this list provided by the same publication.
All five of the players were acquired in trades this off-season, as the Marlins look to rebuild from the ground up. Miami has traded multiple All-Stars in recent months, but it has greatly improved the minor league system. Some of these players could see time in the big leagues in 2018.
Miami acquired Brinson, Harrison and Diaz when it traded Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers. Yelich is signed to a team-friendly contract, which vastly improved Miami's return in the trade. While Giancarlo Stanton's contract impacted Miami's return in a negative way, Yelich's had the opposite effect.
It is possible that Brinson will begin the year as Miami's starting center fielder, but the organization could opt to delay his service time accumulation. Even with a brief minor league stint, Brinson is expected to be in Miami for much of 2018. The 23-year old brings a combination of power and speed, something the Marlins are missing in the lineup currently.
Unlike Brinson, Harrison does not appear in every recent top prospects list available. The outfielder is talented and has a high ceiling, but Brinson is seen as more of a sure thing by some. Harrison should spend 2018 in AA with Jacksonville, but could move to New Orleans with some early success. At only 22, Harrison has room to grow and improve.
Sierra is another candidate to start the year in center field for the Marlins. While Brinson and Sierra could begin the year in the minor leagues, both are expected to be given an opportunity to win a job in Jupiter. Sierra came to Miami when it traded Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals earlier in the off-season. The 21-year old has speed, but lacks the power that Brinson possesses.
Alcantara also arrived in Miami via the Ozuna trade and he has plenty of potential. After some time in the big leagues in 2017, Alcantara could open the year with the Marlins. it is also possible that Miami opts to send Alcantara back to the minors for more seasoning instead. The performance in the spring of the right-hander will likely determine his initial destination.
Diaz is an interesting and potentially underrated prospect in Miami's system. The infielder was part of the Yelich trade and is coming off a rough 2017 season. Diaz had a fantastic 2016 campaign and could be a candidate for a bounce back season. The Marlins were able to acquire Diaz at a time that his value had dropped and the 21-year old could end up being a tremendous piece in the trade. In 2018, Diaz is expected to play at least part of the season in AA Jacksonville.
The Marlins will begin reporting to spring training Feb 13.