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GCL Marlins win division as Dorian cancels playoffs
GCL Marlins win division as Dorian cancels playoffs
May 19, 2024 3:36 AM

Dorian is already impacting Florida sports.

The Gulf Coast League announced on Wednesday that the final two games of the season and the league playoff series has been canceled.

The decision was made in preparation of the incoming impact of Hurricane Dorian heading towards Florida.

“In an effort to ensure that all players, coaches and staff members have a chance to evacuate and prepare for the storm, we have decided to cancel the final two regular-season games, as well as the playoffs,” said Tim Brunswick, Minor League Baseball’s senior vice president of baseball and business operations. “After discussing the options with the teams, the decision to end the season early was the best choice for the safety of everyone involved as that is our top priority.”

Thursday, Aug. 29, will serve as the final game of the season. The GCL Marlins don’t have games scheduled for that day and have a half-game lead in the East division. The GCL Phillies West claimed the North division title and GCL Orioles clinched the South division championship. With the hurricane Dorian, they’ll have to settle for that achievement.

The GCL Marlins were comprised with mostly players selected in the 2019 MLB Draft. There was plenty of bright spots from the backfields of Palm Beach County’s spring training complexes. Shortstop Nasim Nunez posted a .340 on-base percentage with three more hits than walks and stole 28 bases. He was selected in the second round of the draft. Victor Mesa Jr., an 18-year-old outfielder who signed with his brother, Victor Victor, as an international free agent, led the GCL Marlins with a .284 batting average and a .764 OPS.

First baseman Zachary Owens had the second highest batting average with .280. He was selected in the 33rd round out of Eastern Michigan University.

Lorenzo Hampton, who played college ball at FIU, also batted .280 with a .747 OPS and led the team with 31 RBIs. He was selected in the 28th round.

Andrew Narni was drafted in the 16th round out of the University of Arizona and was the most impressive reliever of the group. He posted a 0.98 ERA in 13 games with 30 strikeouts in 18.1 innings pitched.

Anthony Maldonado (11th round out of Bethune-Cookman) and Zach King (13th round out of Vanderbilt) were two other impressive relievers on the GCL Marlins. King went 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 16.1 innings. Maldonado struck out 15 batters in 11.1 innings and posted a 1.59 ERA.

Evan Fitterer was a fifth-round selection out of high school in California and the most impressive starting pitcher on the team. He started the most games of the group (8) and posted a 2.38 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 22.2 innings pitched.

Most of these guys will move on to the next stage, which will be Batavia. The Muckdogs are also experiencing success in the New York-Penn League and the Clinton Lumberkings punched their ticket into the Midwest League playoffs. These are certainly good signs for an improved farm system.

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