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2014 Fantasy Projections: Miami Marlins

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Despite Miami losing 100 games in 2013 and finishing dead last in the NL, the Marlins have a lot more to be excited for in 2014 than you’d think. Strong rookie campaigns from Christian Yelich and Jose Fernandez should continue in 2014, along with a healthy, solidified core of Giancarlo Stanton, Garrett Jones, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. There is a lot of upside potential in the middle of this lineup, especially with Jones and Saltalamacchia not even featured in the ESPN Top 300. Jones is a bit of a gamble, posting OPS+ dating back over his 5 yr career of 99, 126, 110, 94, and 146. Though with an everyday position in Miami, I could see him returning to his glory days of 2012, where he hit 27 HR with a .832 OPS, even despite Miami’s power-deflating confines.

On the subject of power, Giancarlo Stanton is the only true superstar in this lineup, though after a disappointing 2013 his stock might be dropping. Even so, Stanton posted a 131 OPS+ last year, despite playing through injuries and having zero protection in a minor league lineup. With power threats Jones and Saltalamacchia backing him up now, pitchers might actually be forced to pitch to Stanton this year, which could result in a surge in power numbers.

The rotation looks to provide even more excitement for Miami, as Rookie of the Year-winner Jose Fernandez returns to lead a strong group of young arms. Nathan Eovaldi posted a 3.39 ERA in 18 starts in 2013, while Jacob Turner and Henderson Alvarez look to breakout after promising efforts last year. At this point, I’d consider any of the Marlins’ young starters as potential sleeper candidates, as this team will rely heavily on its talented pitching to keep them in games this season.

Miami may not be headed to the playoffs this year, but their rebuilding project is certainly making strides and a winning season may be right around the corner.

Projected Lineup

Rafael Furcal – 2B
Christian Yelich – OF
Giancarlo Stanton – OF
Garrett Jones – 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – C
Marcell Ozuna – OF
Casey McGehee – 3B
Adeiny Hechavarria – SS

Projected Rotation:

Jose Fernandez
Nathan Eovaldi
Henderson Alvarez
Jacob Turner
Tom Koehler

Closer/Setup:

Steve Cishek
Mike Dunn
A.J. Ramos

ESPN Top 300:

Giancarlo Stanton (#35)
Jose Fernandez (#53)
Christian Yelich (#178)
Steve Cishek (#184)
A.J. Ramos (#284)

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