2021 Miami Marlins
After going 120-203 with two last-place finishes in the NL East, the Marlins took advantage of the 60-game schedule to sneak into the playoffs for the first time since 2003. In their other two postseason appearances in the team’s 28 years in the league, the Marlins won two World Series titles (1997 and 2003).
Even with success, Miami allowed 41 more runs than they scored. The Marlins ranked 21st in ERA (4.86), 22nd in runs scored (263), and 25th in home runs (60).
In the offseason, Miami tried to revamp their bullpen by signing RP Anthony Bass, RP Adam Cimber, RP Ross Detwiler, RP Zach Pop, and RP Paul Campbell. None of these arms look impactful, while Bass and Cimber should help in the seventh and eighth innings. Overall, this bullpen will rank in the bottom half of the league.
In mid-February, they acquired RP John Curtiss in a minor deal with Tampa. Miami signed OF Adam Duvall, leading to OF Harold Ramirez getting released.
The only star player in the starting lineup is OF Starling Marte. The Marlins have three serviceable bats – OF Corey Dickerson, 1B Jesus Aguilar, and 3B Brian Cooper. The rest of the starting lineup needs to be rebuilt via the minor league system. Miami has the most help at the outfield position in the upper two levels of the minors, while SS Jazz Chisholm is their top hitting prospect.
The move forward in the standings came from their starting pitching. SP Sixto Sanchez is going to be an elite ace. SP Pablo Lopez showed growth in 2020, with more upside expected if he can handle 30 starts. SP Sandy Alcantara will give Miami plenty of innings, and his arm looked sharp last year despite missing five weeks with a battle with Covid.
The Marlins should hang around the .500 mark this season with some good stretches when their offense supports their pitching staff. Over the long haul, the lack of offense will lead to losing streaks and no ticket to the postseason.
1. SS Jon Berti
Berti gave the Marlins some good at-bats off the bench in 2019 (.273 with six home runs, 24 RBI, and 17 steals over 256 at-bats), but his minor league resume (.258 with 35 home runs, 296 RBI, and 270 stolen bases over 3,007 at-bats) doesn’t paint a high upside picture.
Last year he failed to win a starting job with Jonathan Villar added to the Marlins roster. In his limited at-bats (120), Berti hit .258 with two home runs, 14 RBI, and nine steals.
Early in the minors, he brought a speed skillset with a reasonable approach. Berti struggled over five different seasons at AAA (.222 with 77 runs, 10 HRs, 47 RBI, and 42 steals over 514 at-bats).
With Miami, his contact batting average (.380) came in better than his minor league resume (.317). Berti had a weak average hit rate (1.390) in the minors. Last year his walk rate (15.4) jumped to an elite area while showing top of the order value in the minors (9.5).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Berti looks to be a placeholder to bat leadoff for the Marlins until they add another bat via free agency. His strikeout rate (25.3) with Miami is too high for his base-stealing skill set, but his success in the minors (16.2) does give him a chance to be improved. With 550 at-bats, I could see 80-plus runs, 10 home runs, 55 RBI, and 35 stolen bases. His ADP (263) is based on him starting, which may not be the case in April. Berti is a possible late speed out with some batting average risk if he doesn’t clean up his approach.
2. OF Starling Marte
With Marte becoming a free agent in 2022, the Diamondbacks decided to move him last summer to add some minor league system prospects.
He led the National League in games played (61) while turning in a steady season. His stats projected over 550 at-bats came to 87 runs, 14 home runs, 65 RBI, and 24 steals.
Marte came up short in his average hit rate (1.531), highlighted by his drop in home runs. His contact batting average (.342) has been in a tight range over the past four seasons, pointing toward a .280 hitter.
Over the last two seasons, Marte lowered his strikeout rate (16.2) while still having no pulse in his walk rate (4.4). He continues to have a ground ball swing path (50.7 percent in his career). His HR/FB rate (11.8) was below his second-highest level in 2019 (18.5).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: In the 2020 draft season, Marte was a popular choice on the 2/3 turn in the 15-team high-stakes market. His change to Miami and step back in power lowered his ADP to 50 in the early draft season in late-January. His speed looks intact, but his ceiling in runs and RBI will be lower due to hitting in the Marlins’ weaker lineup. I’ll set his bar at .280 with 80 runs, 20 home runs, 70 RBI, and 25 steals.
3. 3B Brian Anderson
After having a league average approach in 2018 and 2019, Anderson brought a swing and miss style to the plate last year, leading to a much higher strikeout rate (28.8 – 20.4 over the previous two seasons). He continues to improve on his walk rate (28.8).
His contact batting average (.381) was a career-best, which helped Anderson minimize the downside damage in his batting average (.255), with more strikeouts added to the equation.
The growth in his RBI rate (20) should earn him a middle of the order opportunity this year. Anderson’s increase in his average hit rate (1.824) gives him a chance at 30+ home runs if he adds more loft to his swing path (30.4 percent fly-ball rate in 2020 – 35.3 in 2019 and 30.8 in his career). Anderson finished with a spike in his HR/FB rate (26.8 – 16.3 in 2019).
His 2020 stats projected over 550 at-bats came to 74 runs, 30 home runs, and 105 RBI.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: When building a winning fantasy team, a fantasy owner needs to decide where he wants to gain his edges. The next step is adding competitive, trusted pieces to the puzzle. Anderson fails in a steady building block category with the skill set to hit .270 with 80 runs and 80 RBI. In 2021, he should set a career-high in home runs while drawing a mid-range ADP (225). Anderson is a reliable cheat at third base while offering a corner infield return on his draft value.
4. 1B Jesus Aguilar
Aguilar played nine seasons in the minors before getting his first starting opportunity with the Brewers in 2017. He hit .271 with 120 runs, 51 RBI, and 160 RBI over 771 at-bats over his first two seasons with the Brewers while doing most of the damage in 2018 (.274/80/35/108).
After losing his swing and confidence in 2019 between Milwaukee and Tampa, Aguilar regained a pulse with the Marlins last season.
He finished with strength in his RBI rate (21) for the fourth season in a row. Aguilar came up short over his last 502 at-bats in his average hit rate (1.651) after showing 35+ home run upside earlier in his career.
His strikeout rate (18.5) moved into a favorable area while improving in each season since 2017. Aguilar has had a walk rate over 10.0 in almost every year in the majors.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: The lack of home runs in 2019 and 2020 allowed Aguilar to have an attractive ADP (321) again this season. A fantasy owner won’t find many clean up hitters in this area of the draft, which is where I expect him to hit in 2021. All the signs are there for him to be a valuable power source while not being dead in the water in batting average. Think .270 with 30 home runs and 85+ RBI.
5. OF Corey Dickerson
Four games into the 2019 season, Dickerson landed on the injured list for nine weeks with a right shoulder injury. His bat was well worth the wait over his next 74 games (.313 with 32 runs, 11 home runs, and 57 RBI over 247 at-bats), but he ended the year with 19 more missed games with a broken left foot.
In his first season in Miami, Dickerson struggled to make hard contact while losing his confidence with runners on base. His RBI rate (10) came well below the league average, with a decline in his average hit rate (1.560) and contact batting average (.314).
On the positive side, Dickerson was tougher to strike out (16.7) with a rebound in his walk rate (7.1).
His swing wasn’t dead in the water against left-handed pitching in 2019 (.271 with three home runs and 15 RBI over 59 at-bats), but he managed only 11 hits in 52 at-bats with three home runs and 14 RBI vs. lefties last season.
Over 2,910 at-bats in the majors, Dickerson hit .284 with 122 home runs, 387 RBI, and 24 stolen bases.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: His ADP (370) puts him in the free-agent pool in 12-team leagues while being an early bench option in 15-team formats. There is a 25+ home run player here with the tools to help in batting average. Dickerson can be streaky, which makes him attractive when his swing is on time.
6. OF Adam Duvall
After offering a power bat in 2016 (.241 with 33 home runs and 103 RBI over 552 at-bats) and 2017 (.249 with 31 home runs and 99 RBI over 587 at-bats), Duvall faded to a bench role of the past three seasons.
He continues to have a high average hit rate (2.244), which supports well over 30 home runs with a full-time job. His strikeout rate has been high in his career (27.2) while posting a career-low in 2020 (25.8) over 190 at-bats.
Last year he gave the Braves a hot 150 at-bats (.260 with 29 runs, 15 home runs, and 32 RBI) off the bench, helping Atlanta and fantasy teams.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: With the Marlins, Duvall should get a full-time job with a chance to hit close to the middle of the lineup. His ADP (395) works well in deep leagues for someone looking out in power while excepting his batting average risk.
7. C Jorge Alfaro
Last year Alfaro missed the start after testing positive for Covid. His swing didn’t look right, leading to regression across the board in his key indicators.
Alfaro played well over his first 46 games in 2019 (.282 with 21 runs, nine home runs, and 25 RBI over 163 at-bats), but he failed to repeat over his final 84 contests (.250 with 23 runs, nine home runs, and 32 RBI over 268 at-bats).
His approach continues to be a mess (strikeout rate – 36.4 and walk rate – 4.0) while almost matching his major league resume. Alfaro lost some momentum in his contact batting average (.368) and his average hit rate (1.524).
Over eight seasons in the minors, Alfaro hit .262 with 74 home runs, 360 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 2,416 at-bats.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Alfaro brings batting average risk to the table, which can be offset somewhat if he regains his high contact batting average. He has strength in his HR/FB rate (20.8) in his time in the majors, but a weak fly-ball rate (29.8) restricts his upside in power. Alfaro has an ADP (251) which gives him a C2 value. His preseason snapshot comes to .250 with 50 runs, 15 home runs, and 50 RBI.
8. 2B Isan Diaz
After playing at a high level at AAA (.305 with 89 runs, home runs HRs, 70 RBI, and five steals over 377 at-bats), Miami awarded Diaz with about a third of a season in the majors in 2019.
His minors' success didn’t translate well, which led to a high strikeout rate (29.4) with emptiness in his CTBA (.258). On the positive side, Diaz performed well with runners on base (RBI rate – 19) while maintaining strength in his AVH (1.774).
He only had four hits in 40 at-bats against left-handed pitching with 14 strikeouts.
Over six seasons in the minors, Diaz hit .263 with 88 home runs, 327 RBI, and 57 steals over 2,152 at-bats with a top of the order walk rate (12.3) and weakness in his strikeout rate (24.9).
In 2020, the fear of Covid led to him choosing to sit out the season. With Miami making a postseason push, Diaz decided to return in late September. He finished with four hits in 22 at-bats with seven strikeouts.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Diaz has a lot to prove at the major league level while having a swing that should deliver 30+ home runs down the road. I expect him to win the second base job for Miami. Diaz won’t be drafted in leagues based on his early ADP (673).
SS Miguel Rojas
Rojas improved his play over the past two seasons for Miami (.272 with 20 home runs, 119 RBI, and 20 steals over 971 at-bats), putting him more in the starting conversation at shortstop.
His strikeout rate (12.6) remains low, with a shallow walk rate (6.4 in his career) that improved in 2020 (11.2).
Over 12 seasons in the minors, he hit .245 with 21 home runs, 224 RBI, and 78 stolen bases over 2,633 at-bats.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Rojas will battle for the starting shortstop job. His ceiling is low, which is why the Marlins should use him more in a utility role.
SS Jazz Chisholm
Over four seasons in the minors, Chisholm hit .255 with 192 runs, 56 home runs, 173 RBI, and 49 stolen bases over 1,209 at-bases. His counting stats grade well, but he struck out over 30 percent of the time.
His contact batting average was high over his first three seasons in the minors, which offsets some of his batting average risk. Chisholm finished with an impactful average hit rate (2.000) in 2019.
The Marlins gave him 56 at-bats in 2020, which led to four events (two home runs and two steals) and 19 strikeouts. His approach mirrored his minor league career.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Miami doesn’t have anyone on the major league roster with more upside, which means they should let him develop in Miami. His bat is going to be streaky with job loss risk when he’s not making contact—possible 30/20 player down the road with growth in his approach.
OF Garrett Cooper
Cooper had a weak power-hitting resume over six seasons in the minors (.304 with 46 home runs, 274 RBI, and five steals over 1,627 at-bats) for a first baseman.
His swing did make a step forward at AAA in 2017 (.366 over 17 home runs and 82 RBI over 279 at-bats), but he missed most of the 2018 season a triceps issue and hamstring injury.
In 2019, Cooper played well off the Marlins bench (.281 with 15 home runs and 50 RBI over 381 at-bats). A left-hard injury cost him most of April, plus he sat out the final two weeks of the year with a knee issue.
Last season Cooper fell victim to the Covid outbreak in Miami, leading to him missing a month. He hit .283 over 120 at-bats with six home runs and 20 RBI. His strikeout rate (23.3) was the lowest in his time with the Marlins.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: The NL doesn’t look like it will use the DH in 2021, a strike for Cooper's potential at-bats. He saw time in the outfield last season, but his glove is more suited at first base. Cooper is a big man (6’5” and 235 lbs.), giving him sneaky power upside. I don’t see a full-time job, and he does have plenty of injuries on his major league resume. Cooper is only an injury cover option if he’s getting everyday at-bats.
OF Lewis Brinson
The Rangers drafted Brinson out of high school in the 1st round (29th) in the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft. Over his first two seasons in the minor, he flashed power (28 home runs) and speed (38 stolen bases) over 684 at-bats, but Lewis did strikeout 265 times (34.5 percent). He cleaned up his strikeout rate (23.6 percent) over his last five years in the minors while having just above a league average walk rate (8.4).
Brinson had over 450 at-bats for the first time between AAA (296) and the majors (226) for the first time in 2019. Brinson didn’t hit a home run in the majors over 226 at-bats with only 15 runs and 15 RBI.
His game improved in his five seasons at AAA (.313 with 34 home runs, 131 RBI, and 34 stolen bases over 741 at-bats).
He continues to look overmatched in the majors (.189 over 761 at-bats with 16 home runs, 72 RBI, and eight steals). With Miami, his strikeout rate (29.4) remains too high.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: This candle doesn’t have a flicker at this point in his career. Brinson is nothing more than a desperation option for a fantasy team with an ADP of 624
OF Magneuris Sierra
Sierra made the jump from AA to the majors in 2017, but his game wasn’t ready to make an impact in Miami's starting lineup. He has a Judy-like skill set, but he didn't have separator steals on his minor league resume. His average hit rate (1.408) at AAA in 2019 was a career-best.
Over seven seasons in the minors, he hit .284 with 20 home runs, 222 RBI, and 145 stolen over 2,603 at-bats.
His path paints him as a five HR/30 SB guy with more steals when/if he learns to improve his success rate (70.7). His walk rate (5.7) isn't strong enough to hit at the top of the batting order, while his strikeout rate (17.4) is a bit high for his empty power. His swing will produce a high volume of ground balls with a minuscule HR/FB rate. Sierra is a great defender, while his hitting talents will improve quickly with added bulk and strength.
He now has over a year’s worth of experience at AAA (.265 with eight home runs, 38 RBI, and 40 stolen bases over 682 at-bats), plus 291 at-bats four seasons with the Marlins (.247 with no home runs, 20 RBI, and 12 steals).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Sierra only has a defensive type of replacement at this point in his career. In 2021, he’ll compete for a bench for Miami.
1. SP Sixto Sanchez
Sanchez pitched great in 2019 at AA (8-4 with a 2.53 ERA and 97 strikeouts over 103 innings), which came after two shaky starts at High A (4.91 ERA).
His 2019 season didn’t start until May due to Miami trying to limit his exposure in innings. In his 18 starts at AA, Sanchez allowed three runs or fewer in every start except one disaster showing (eight runs, 10 baserunners, and three home runs over 3.2 innings). His walk rate (1.7) remains elite, with a below-par strikeout rate (7.9).
Over five seasons in the minors, Sanchez has a 2.58 ERA and 294 strikeouts over 335.1 innings.
Miami called him up to start on August 22nd last season, leading to five great games (3-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 29 strikeouts over 32 innings). Sanchez gave back his shining moments over his final two starts (nine runs and 18 baserunners over seven innings) due to fade in his command (six walks and four strikeouts).
His fastball came in at 98.9 MPH. Sanchez had the most success with his changeup (.131 BAA), but his slider (.300 BAA) failed to live up to expectations.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: There is greatness in Sanchez once his slider becomes an impact swing and miss pitch. His ADP (131) puts him in a cheat ace area, but he will be tough to time in drafts as many fantasy owners will be looking to draft and pay a premium. Sanchez throws strikes, and I expect him to have a long career while being drafted in the first two rounds of many leagues over the next decade. Worth the bet at almost any price as a sub 3.00 ERA and an impactful WHIP pays off in spades with 180 innings pitched. The final piece comes in strikeouts that have a range of 175 to 225 in 2021.
2. SP Sandy Alcantara
Alcantara was going to be a good fantasy selection last year, but he lost five weeks of the season due to Covid.
He threw the ball well in his first start (one runs over 6.2 innings with seven strikeouts). His only struggle came in his next game (five runs and eight baserunners over four innings) after his long layoff. Alcantara finished the year with a 2.30 ERA and 30 strikeouts over 31.1 innings in September.
His growth came from a higher strikeout rate (8.4) and fewer walks (3.2 per nine – 3.7 in 2019).
His AFB (97.4) pushed even higher. Batters struggled to hit his sinker (.203 BAA), four-seam fastball (.206 BAA), and changeup (.235 BAA).
Over five seasons in the minors, Alcantara went 23-32 with a 3.94 ERA and 461 strikeouts over 496 innings while pitching better over 53 games for Miami (11-19, 3.71 ERA, and 230 strikeouts over 281.2 innings).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Alcantara is developing into a workhorse arm over the last two seasons based on him averaging 6.1 innings over his 39 starts. He’ll pitch deeper in games with further growth in his command. Alcantara has an ADP of 140, which isn’t a slam dunk. My bar is a 3.50 ERA and 1.200 WHIP with a chance at 175 strikeouts, but wins have been a problem in his whole career.
3. SP Pablo Lopez
There was a lot to like about Lopez in 2020 except two starts (12 runs, 15 baserunners, and two home runs over 5.2 innings. He allowed two runs or fewer in his other nine games, leading to six wins with a 1.91 ERA and 51 strikeouts over 51.2 innings.
His next step is solving lefties (.269 BAA) and pitching better on the road (4.91 ERA). Lopez did clean his struggles with home runs (0.6 per nine – 1.2 in 2019).
He had growth in his fastball (94.4 MPH). Lopez offered four pitches of value (four-seam fastball – .230 BAA, sinker – .225 BAA, changeup – .195 BAA, and cutter – .222 BAA). His fastball's improved command drove his success in the majors despite walking more batters (2.8 per nine).
Over his six seasons in the minors, Lopez had a 3.14 ERA and 323 strikeouts over 410.1 innings.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: His ADP (132) came in the middle of Sixto Sanchez and Sandy Alcantara. Even with a step forward in his game last year, I’d rank him third of these choices. Lopez throws strikes while offering a plus changeup. His repeated value and growth hinges on his fastball being tough to hit again. Trending toward a 3.25 ERA with a rising strikeout rate (9.3).
4. SP Elieser Hernandez
Hernandez is another Marlins’ arm with minimal innings of experience at AAA (3-1 with 1.95 ERA and 71 strikeouts over 50.2 innings).
Miami called him up on May 28th in 2019, which led to 15 starts and six relief appearances. He looked serviceable over his first eight games (4.11 ERA and 36 strikeouts over 30.2 innings).
Hernandez served up nine home runs over his next seven games over 22.2 innings, leading to a 7.15 ERA. His season ended on the uptick (one run over five innings with nine strikeouts), with a rebound in value in his final six starts (4.34 ERA and 30 strikeouts over 29.0 innings).
In 2020, Hernandez looked sharp over 25.2 innings (3.16 ERA and 34 strikeouts), but his season ended in early September due to a lat injury. Miami never pitched him more than 5.1 innings while allowing him to build up his arm strength. His pitch count had this path (66, 82, 81, 89, and 96).
He lowered his walk rate (1.8), which jumped his strikeout rate (11.9). Hernandez still gave up too many home runs (1.8 per nine innings – 1.9 in his time with the Marlins).
His AFB (91.7) remains short while improving slightly. Hernandez offers a plus slider (.108 BAA) while mixing in a low-value changeup (no hits over 32 pitches – .207 BAA in the majors).
Hernandez went 28-25 with a 3.15 ERA and 470 strikeouts over 451 innings over eight seasons in the minors.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: In 2021, he has a mid-level ADP (240) based on a small amount of data. Hernandez throws enough strikes to increase his innings to six per start. In 2019, he pitched 130.1 innings, his highest total by 20+ innings in his career. The question for me is, can he be trusted to make 30 starts? His ERA and WHIP project well, while his strikeouts hinge on Hernandez's ability to handle a full workload. I don’t predict over 10 wins.
5. SP Trevor Rogers
In the 2017 June Amateur Draft, Miami drafted Rogers with the 13th overall pick. A left forearm injury pushed back his debut in the minors until late May in 2018.
He struggled over 17 starts at A ball (5.82 ERA). His season started with an 8.78 ERA and 1.875 WHIP over 13.1 innings. Rogers settled into a better rhythm over his next 11 starts (4.09 ERA and 58 strikeouts over 50.2 innings) before blowing up in his final two games (11 runs and 19 baserunners over 8.2 innings with 11 strikeouts).
Rogers looked worthy of his high draft selection in 2019 (2.90 ERA and 150 strikeouts over 136.1 innings) while seeing regression after his promotion from High A (2.53 ERA) to AA (4.50 ERA).
Miami gave him seven starts in 2020, leading to a battle of greatness (2.57 ERA, 1.238 WHIP, 28 strikeouts over 21 innings in seven games) and disaster (13 runs and 19 base runners over seven innings in two lousy starts).
His AFB (94.3) came below his expected scouting report coming out of high school. Rogers threw a winning changeup (.189 BAA), but his slider (.346 BAA) didn’t look right.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Rogers has a wide range of outcomes early in his career. He looks to need more time in the minors, but a lost season of developing may lead to him starting the season with the Marlins. A forearm injury added to struggles with a slider could be a red flag of future TJ surgery. Rogers looked the ace part at High A in 2019 while showing strikeout ability in the majors (12.5 per nine). His ADP (503) puts him in the free-agent pool in all redraft leagues. A must follow this spring, but I sense a bumpy ride early in his career.
SP Nick Neidert
In 2019, Neidert pitched poorly over his first three starts at AAA (8.71 ERA) before landing on the injured list for two and half months with a right knee issue. After building up his arm again at rookie ball and High A in July, he looked better but not great over his final six starts at AAA (3.82 ERA, 1.533 WHIP, and 30 strikeouts over 30.2 innings).
Over his first four seasons in the minors, Neidert went 30-12 with a 3.01 ERA and 368 strikeouts over 406.2 innings.
Miami gave him four appearances in 2020. Neidert was bombed in one appearance (five runs and seven base runners over two innings). In his other three games, he didn’t allow a run over 6.1 innings with four strikeouts.
He has a low walk rate (2.0) in the minors, while his strikeout rate (8.1) showed more life in 2017 (9.4) and 2018 (9.1).
His fastball came in at 91.8 MPH, with his changeup offering the most upside. Neidert continues to work on his slider, which will give him more strikeout ability going forward.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: More of a backend starter unless he adds more zip to his fastball and life in his secondary pitches. This season he has a shot wins the fifth starting job out of spring training.
SP Edward Cabrera
Cabrera had a tough time over his first three seasons in the minors. He posted a 4.21 ERA at rookie ball in 2016, followed by weakness at Low A (5.30) and Single-A (4.22 ERA).
In 2019, his arm was much improved (9-4 with a 2.23 ERA and 116 strikeouts over 96.2 innings). Cabrera had about the same success at High A (2.02 ERA) and AA (2.56 ERA).
His walk rate (2.9) is favorable while flashing a rising strikeout rate (8.7).
Cabrera has a mid-90s fastball with triple-digit upside. His growth in 2019 was tied to the development of his changeup while also improving with his slider.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Cabrera has explosive upside, and he would give Miami another exciting piece to their starting rotation. With a year off, his arm could be vastly improved. His ADP (534) is just behind Trevor Rogers (503), with fantasy owners coin flipping on which arm has the most value in 2021. Cabrera should start the year at AAA while being a quick call away from the Marlins rotation.
CL Yimi Garcia
Garcia was a dark horse for saves in Miami in 2020, but he landed on the injured list (Covid) for about five weeks after tossing 1.2 shutout innings. Over his final 12 games, he allowed one run over 12.1 innings with seven hits, two walks, and 17 strikeouts. Garcia picked up three wins while converting one of two save chances.
His arm flashed in 2015 with the Dodgers (3.34 ERA and 68 strikeouts over 56.2 innings), but Garcia missed almost all of 2017 and 2018 with TJ surgery.
Over the last two seasons, he posted a 3.03 ERA and 85 strikeouts over 77.1 innings. His walk rate (1.8) has been elite in the majors, but he has battled home runs (1.6 per nine) at times.
His AFB (94.6) remains above his early seasons with Los Angeles. Batters struggled to hit his four-seam fastball (.122 BAA) last year, while his curveball (.143 BAA) proved to be an edge.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Garcia lines up as the top closing option for the Marlins in early February. His ADP (381) will indeed move up in spring training when Miami gives an update on their bullpen's ninth-inning structure. Garcia has top-12 closing upside with help in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts.
RP Anthony Bass
Over his first seven seasons in the majors, Bass went 5-9 with a 4.60 ERA and 188 strikeouts over 284.0 innings. His strikeout rate (6.0) was extremely weak while also walking too many batters (3.4 per nine).
Bass developed into a reliable late-inning reliever over the past two years (3.54 ERA, 64 strikeouts, and 12 saves over 73.2 innings). He was much tougher to hit (.182 BAA) while picking up some strikeouts (7.8 per nine).
The improved velocity on his sinker (95.1) was key to his development. Bass throws a plus slider (.177 BAA) and a very good show-me split-finger fastball (no hits over 29 pitches in 2020).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Even with some saves over the past two seasons, Bass doesn’t have the command or explosiveness in his strikeout rate to dominate late in games. I view him more as a seventh innings arm, but Miami may be forced to pitch him later in games.
RP Adam Cimber
Cimber went 20-11 with a 3.06 ERA and 212 strikeouts over 306.1 innings over five seasons in the minors. He walked only 1.6 batters per nine innings with a low strikeout rate (6.2).
Over three years in the majors, he went 9-12 with a 3.89 ERA and 104 strikeouts over 136.1 innings. Last year Cimber struggled over his 11.1 innings (3.97 ERA and 1.324 WHIP) while only picking up four strikeouts.
His AFB (86.0) is well below the league average. When at his best, Cimber works over a sinker/slider combination of pitches.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Cimber has no chance of closing other than a game or two. He is a high volume ground ball pitcher (56.2 percent) with questionable value against lefties (.298 BAA).
2021 Fantasy Baseball Team Outlooks