Explanation of ratings system and other team previews here
Overall – 67 points (27th MLB, 16th NL)
Starting Rotation – 23 points (25th MLB, 14th NL)
Line-Up – 30 points (24th MLB, 13th NL)
Bench/Bullpen/Defense – 14 points (T-22nd MLB, T-13th NL)
Offseason Additions – Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Mark Hendrickson,
Offseason Subtractions – Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Cabrera, Armando Benitez
Biggest Strength– Hanley Ramirez
The Red Sox won the World Series last year with Josh Beckett taking home the Series MVP. Many argued that their 3B Mike Lowell should have gotten substantial votes for the regular season MVP. With that said, it can easily be argued that the Marlins got the best player in the deal when they traded away those two players for Hanley Ramirez. Hanley Ramirez is better than Jose Reyes, by a lot. He is better than Jimmy Rollins, by a little. Here are some fun facts from Hanley’s 2007 season:
Only player in MLB history to .330 with 50 SB and 20 HR.
Had the highest OPS for a SS (.948) since A-Rod moved to 3rd Base.
Joined Ty Cobb (1911), Tris Speaker (1912) and George Sisler (1922) as the only players to have a SLG% over .560 while being fast enough to steal 50+ bases and score 125+. Ramirez, at 23, was the youngest of the 4.
He’s good – real good. And 3 years away from his prime.
Biggest Weakness– Starting Rotation
The Marlins traded away their only recognizable pitcher in Dontrelle Willis this off-season and now, like the Nationals, their rotation is a collection of no-names. Unlike the Nationals though, some of their no-names have a very high ceiling. Andrew Miller, Ricky Nolasco, and Scott Olsen all have good potential, particularly Miller, but I doubt they are ready to break out this year. Former Philadelphia Sixers draft-pick Mark Hendrickson is their #1 starter. Thanks for coming out guys.
Key Player in ’08– Jeremy Hermida
When Jeremy Hermida came up from the minors, the Marlins expected him to be a Justin Morneau type talent. However, a rash of injuries and sub-par play has delayed his growth. But after the all-star break last year, Hermida showed signs of waking up, hitting .340 with a .550 slugging %. He’s only 24, and if he can continue what he started last fall, the Marlins will have a much needed hitter in the 4-spot.
Player to Keep an Eye On– Andrew Miller
Miller was a key piece in the Willis/Cabrera swap. Thought by many to be the best prospect in the 2006 draft, he fell to the Tigers after a couple teams balked at his contract demands. Miller is slightly reminiscent of Randy Johnson. He is a tall lefty with a 94+ fastball and a really good slider. He’s probably not ready for the big time just yet, but it will be interesting to see how he progresses this year.
2008 Outlook: 5th Place, NL East. The Marlins have had 2 World Series titles while I’ve been alive, the Phillies/Sixers/Eagles have 0. Each time they’ve won those World Series, they’ve followed it up by trading every good player on their team, alienating their bandwagon fanbase, and playing in from of empty stadiums. So really, as much as I like Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Miller, I really hope they kind of suck for awhile.
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