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5 Most Exciting Marlins Call Ups
5 Most Exciting Marlins Call Ups
Jul 18, 2024 12:51 PM

The Miami Marlins 2020 season resumes in Baltimore this week. They face the 5-3 Orioles for four games in three days after spending more than a week in quarantine. During a Zoom call with media yesterday, Marlins President of Baseball Operations, Michael Hill, made several roster announcements including a number of call ups.

The team’s baseball ops crew scrambled over the last week to piece together a competitive roster. But to fill all of the holes for the 30-man roster, Hill needed to promote from within. Here’s a look at five of the most exciting Marlins call ups.

Marlins Call Ups: Monte Harrison

The road to the big leagues for Monte Harrison has been a winding one. He’ll be the last of the four prospects received in the Christian Yelich deal to reached the bigs. Now 24, Harrison made his pro debut at the age of 18, forgoing a commitment to the University of Nebraska where he would have played both football and baseball.

Harrison comes in as the No. 9 overall prospect for the Marlins via MLBPipeline and his impressive spring/summer had fans clamoring for his MLB debut. At 6’3”, Harrison boasts a unique blend of size, speed and power. He’s a plus outfield defender and wields a cannon arm.

What’s limited him in the past has been inconsistency at the plate. Strikeouts have been an issue, including 215 in 2018 at Double-A Jacksonville. But the Marlins have worked to make mechanical adjustments to Harrison’s approach, including lowering his leg kick and shortening his swing.

At Triple-A in 2019, Harrison dropped his K-rate drop 36.8 (in 2018) to 29.5 percent. Overall, he slashed .274/.357/.451 with nine home runs, 24 RBI and 20 stolen bases. He then hit .300 and posted a .397 OBP in the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Over the summer, Marlins manager Don Mattingly praised Harrison’s work and said: “I think South Florida fans are going to love this guy.”

Harrison should be a fixture in the lineup for the time being, considering the Marlins wanted to have him play every day. This call up is particularly exciting because Harrison has the potential to be a 20/40 guy for the Marlins.

Lewis Brinson

The South Florida native Lewis Brinson was considered the headline prospect return for the Marlins in the Yelich deal. But after struggling for two seasons, Brinson could be on his last opportunity with his hometown club considering some of the other outfield options in Miami’s system.

Brinson struggled in 2019, posting a .197/.247/.263 slash-line with a 34.1 K-rate in 27 games. The team demoted him to Triple-A where he improved (.270/.361/.510 in 81 games) ahead of an August promotion. But his end to 2019 (160/.230/.200 ) was worse than the start.

Brinson is a plus defender with great speed and power potential but contact at the plate remains an issue. With the COVID outbreak, Brinson’s call up for the Marlins should see him patrolling the outfield.

In an interview former MLB OF Xavier Scruggs prior to Opening Day, Brinson called playing for the Marlins a “dream come true.” He admitted his first two seasons “weren’t ideal to start my career” but called this the “best offseason” of his life. Brinson focused inward and remains confident in his abilities. He wants to be “more consistent” and “a leader.”

Brinson said the Marlins are out to “prove people wrong.” He says, “a lot of people sleep on us, but we’ve got a squad.”

Marlins Call Up: Eddy Alvarez

With his call up to the Marlins, Eddy Alvarez is believed to be the first US Winter Olympian to become an MLB player. Alvarez, a Miami native who attended Christopher Columbus High School, won a silver medal as a short track speed skater at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Alvarez returned to baseball after his speed skating career and worked his way up through the minor league systems of both the Chicago White Sox and the Marlins. Last year with Miami’s Triple-A affiliate, Alvarez hit 324/.408/.559 with 12 home runs and 12 stolen bases.

The 30-year-old is yet to make his MLB debut, but made a strong impression at the Marlins’ summer camp workouts.

“I like the kid,” manager Don Mattingly said in July. “I think he’s got a chance to help us.”

As a switch hitter with speed and defensive versatility, Alvarez could prove to be a valuable piece for Mattingly off the bench.

When he learned of his call up to the Marlins, Alvarez reportedly drove down to Miami from Jupiter to tell his family in person. He didn’t go into the house, cautious of COVID-19, but yelled the news through the front door.

Jordan Yamamoto

2019’s roller coaster started fast for Jordan Yamamoto but slowed considerably. Yams began his Marlins career with a pair of seven-inning shutouts, posting 12 strikeouts, five hits and four walks in 14 IP.

But Yamamoto struggled in July and August, posting an 8.13 ERA during a seven-game stretch. He finished 2019 strong with a one-hit, 10-strikeout performance over six innings in his final start of the season.

All in all, Yamamoto posted a 4.46 ERA with a 25.2 percent K-rate. His walk-rate (11.1 percent) needs to come down though.

The 24-year-old was in the running for the fifth starter spot, but lost out to Elieser Hernandez. Miami optioned Yams to Jupiter because he doesn’t necessarily profile as a reliever. He sports a six-pitch arsenal, with his slider as his best offering.

With his call up, the Marlins now have three starters set: Pablo Lopez, Hernandezand Yamamoto. He’ll take the mound during Wednesday’s doubleheader after making 15 starts for Miami last season and posting 82 strikeouts and 36 walks over 78.2 innings.

Marlins Call Up: Jorge Guzman

During Monday’s Zoom call, Marlins president Michael Hill announced Jorge Guzman’s name among the team’s call ups. Guzman is considered the Marlins No. 19 prospect overall by MLBPipeline. The 24-year-old sports a live arm and can touch triple digits on the radar gun.

Guzman slots into a bullpen decimated by COVID-19. Eight of the 12 arms in Miami’s ‘pen have tested positive, so Guzman will initially fill one of those holes despite his pedigree as a starter. The Marlins acquired Guzman from the New York Yankees as part of the Giancarlo Stanton deal.

Mattingly didn’t rule out Guzman getting a turn in the starting rotation, though. “Our guys are going to have to be flexible,” Mattingly said, noting Guzman will “get the opportunity to pitch.”

The 24-year-old hasn’t pitched about Double-A, where the Marlins had him in 2019. With Jacksonville, he posted a 3.50 ERA with 127 strikeouts over 138.2 IP.

Guzman’s call up might surprise some Marlins fans who were expecting the arrival of top-end pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez or Edward Cabrera. The Marlins are being careful with both. Cabrera is dealing with an unspecified arm issue (that’s not being portrayed as serious). Sanchez did not make an appearance in Spring Training and Hill noted the team has “been incredibly cautious with him and his workload.”

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