Wondering which young players could have an impact in the majors this year? Let MLB FanHouse guide the way in Better Know a Prospect. In this edition we look at three players from the Florida system, where much of the next wave of talent is still a few years away.
Cameron Maybin, OF:
Ryan Tucker, RP: Both Kevin Goldstein (subscription required) and John Sickels (free!) note that he's a one-pitch pitcher right now, but that one pitch is a good fastball that helped him dominate at Double-A last year. He had a disastrous but brief stint with the Marlins last year, but they're still the Marlins and that means he's probably going to start the year out in their bullpen. Still, it seems like one or two guys like this find success in the Florida rotation every year, so don't write Tucker off as just a reliever yet.
John Raynor, OF: The Marlins have a TON of great young talent but much of it hasn't progressed past A-ball yet and that makes guys like Matt Dominguez, Kyle Skipworth, Logan Morrison, and Mike Stanton pretty unlikely to make an impact on the Marlins in 2009. Raynor, however, had a nice year at Double-A, though he was a bit old for the level, showing some impressive plate patience and speed. He could compete for the starting left field job in Spring Training, or he could slide in to either corner outfield spot if either Jeremy Hermida or Cody Ross (who are both in their first year of arbitration, which more or less ends your career as a Marlin) gets traded.
For comprehensive coverage of the minor leagues, visit John Sickels at Minor League Ball and Baseball America. For minor league statistics, visit Baseball-Reference and Minor League Splits.