The potential of the Miami Marlins rotation is endless.
The Miami Marlins are a team that has not had a winning season(outside of the 60 game 2020 season) since 2009. The franchise has had some bright spots, but none like there is right now. The future of Miami Marlins rotation has the potential to be one of the best in the league, if not the best. The Marlins have a bunch of guys who are very young and are improving drastically year by year. The possibilities for this Marlins rotation are endless. All of their pitchers have the potential and skill to be the ace of the future for this team.
Pablo Lopez is a 25-year-old pitcher who came up to the big leagues in 2018 and has only improved. In his rookie year, he had a 4.14 ERA and a 5.09 ERA in his second year, which is obviously not ideal. In the past 2 years, however, in a combined 31 games, he has an ERA of just 3.34 which is a huge improvement. He has also increased his strikeout numbers since the start of his career, his K/9 in 2021 was 10.1 compared to just 7.1 in his rookie campaign.
Lopez is also great with his command, averaging only 2.4 BB/9, which is about one less walk a game than league average. Lopez has a good 5 pitch mix with his changeup being his most used pitch at 32.5%. Lopez can also limit the long ball, with a below league average of only 1 HR/9. I believe with his drastic improvements over his young career, his low BB/9, his high K/9, and being able to limit HRs, there is no limit for Lopez. I believe he can be the ace on this team, and even a CY Young contender in a couple of years.
Sandy Alcantara, is a bonafide starter in the MLB. He has been in the big leagues as a starter for 4 seasons. Over these 4 seasons Alcantara has been very impressive, with a career ERA(as a starter) of only 3.37. He is great at limiting walks and HRs which is key to being successful in the big leagues. Alcantaras main pitch is his lively 96 mph sinker, which he throws about 35 percent of the time. With an average of 6.14 innings per start Alcantara has a chance to be a top of rotation guy for this Marlins team for years to come.
Trevor Rogers a 23-year-old southpaw posted an excellent ERA of just 2.64 in 133 innings. His fastball sits between 92-94 mph but it touched 98 in the All-Star game. While it isn’t the velocity that blows hitters away, Rogers works with phenomenal command and a very high spin rate. In 25 starts, on average he threw 87 pitches per outing. This is number is a little lower than you would like from an ace, but I don’t think it is anything to worry about in his young career. Rogers shows signs of the potential to be a fantastic pitcher in this league.
Sixto Sanchez is yet another young pitcher the Marlins have, at just 23 years old. Sanchez is a guy who is electric, his sinker sits around 97 mph with a top velocity of 99.9 mph, while his fastball sits 98.5 mph and can touch 100.6. Sanchez isn’t just a guy who will blow it by you, his changeup is phenomenal with excellent movement and a huge speed difference of around 14mph, this is his most used pitch two-strike counts. Sanchez also has an amazing slider, with above-average horizontal movement and vertical movement. Unfortunately, however, we didn’t get to see much of Sanchez this year as he was shut down with a small capsule tear in his right shoulder, he is expected to be back for opening day this April.
Jesus Luzardo and Edward Cabrera
The marlins not only have guy who are proven to be good pitchers in this league, they have guys who have a ton of potential. Luzardo, a 24 year old lefty, was acquired in the Starling Marte trade this past summer has struggled at the MLB level but there is still plenty of potential. Cabrera, a 23 year old righty, who was signed as a free agent in 2015, also is struggling at the big league level thus far. No need to panic about either of these guys yet, they both are still very young. Both of them are struggling with walks, Luzardo has a 5 BB/9 which is about 2 BB/9 above league average. Cabrera has an astounding 6.5 BB/9, about 3.5 above league average.
Throughout the minor leagues, walks hadn’t been an issue for either of these guys which is why it doesn’t worry me to much. You don’t want to see this many walks out of young pitchers but it is something that can be fixed, especially when you know they have limited walks in the past. Cabrera also has given up 2.1 HR/9 in his first 26 full innings, which needs to be limited in the future, but again, when he was in the minors HRs were never a problem. These are just another 2 guys the Marlins have at there dispense who can either pan out to be an ace like pitchers or just rotational guys, either way, they will play a big part in the future of this team.
Meyer is the third ranked prospect in the Marlins system. Meyer is a 22 year old righty who was taken 3rd overall in the 2020 MLB draft. He is expected to make his big league debut in 2022 after having an amazing minor league campaign this past season. Through his time in AA he posted a 2.41 ERA in 101 innings pitched averaging over a strikeout per inning. He got called up to AAA and made 2 starts toward the end of the year, where he posted a .9 ERA in 10 innings averaging close to 2 strikeouts per inning. Meyer was given a scouting grade of 65 on both his fastball and slider which are both above average with an average changeup. Meyer has a ton of potential, he has the talent, its just a question if it transfers into the MLB, and I believe it will, he has star potential.
The sky is the limit for this Miami Marlins rotation. They have a bunch of guys who have the ability to become an ace in this league. Not only do they guys who are proven, they have guys in the farm system who look like they could be great too. They have an abundance of pitching talent, the ceiling for this rotation is very high. I compare this Miami Marlins rotation to the Brewers, not to the same skill level yet, but I think it is shaping out to be like the Brewers, where you have multiple ace caliber pitchers in the rotation. I have very high hopes for this Miami Marlins rotation, which is painful as a Mets fan.