Welcome to the annual series that provides both a review of your favorite teams’ 2016 season, as well as a early look toward 2017. It also serves as a helpful guide for keeper and dynasty leagues.
The Graduate: Kyle Barraclough (RHP): The Marlins didn’t debut much in the way of young talent in 2016 but Barraclough came out of nowhere to earn more than 2.0 WAR as a member of Miami’s bullpen. The 26-year-old right-hander was originally a seventh round pick of the Cardinals back in 2012. He showed swing-and-miss stuff in the minors but never consistently found the plate — and much of that was true at the big league level in ’16. Barraclough still walked more than five batters per nine innings but he also whiffed 14 per — in 75 games. It will be interesting to see if the huge workload will come back to haunt the Fish in the form of DL time for the young hurler. He has high-leverage potential if he can ever find the plate on a semi-consistent basis.
The Riser: Luis Castillo (RHP): Originally acquired from the Giants for Casey McGehee, Castillo could turn out to be a steal. He has see his fastball velocity jump into the upper 90s and he has tickled triple digits at times. He also shows a promising slider and has above-average control for such a young player. Castillo, 23, spent most of ’16 in high-A ball but reached double-A and will return to that level in 2017. He just might make his MLB debut in the coming year so keep your eye on this young player — especially given the lack of depth in the Marlins system.
The Tumbler: Brett Lilek (LHP): Lilek opened 2015 as a potential first round pick but didn’t pitch well and slipped to the Marlins in the second round. His pro career has bene curtailed by injuries (just seven appearances in ’16) and command issues (16-13 BB-K this season). When he’s actually on the mound, Lilek shows an above-average fastball for a lefty but he’s now 23 years old and with just 51 innings of pro experience. If he can get healthy for 2017, the Marlins may want to move him to the ‘pen where he can hopefully move more quickly.
The ’16 Draft Pick: Thomas Jones (OF): Top pick Braxton Garrett didn’t make a pro appearance after signing so I’ll focus on third-rounder Jones. A South Carolina high school star, Jones is the raw type of athlete that the Marlins seem to go back to again and again (although they have yet to show they can successfully develop these types of players). Jones, 18, has 40-plus stolen base potential and that speed also makes him a potential star in the outfield with outstanding range. Although he focused on a number of sports in high school and is very raw, this young center-fielder showed a willingness to take free passes in his debut, which would really be a benefit to him if he can keep it up (He walked 11 times in 19 games).
The Lottery Ticket: Isael Soto (OF): Soto, 20, is a very raw outfielder but he has a number of intriguing tools including plus (very) raw power. He will need to make a lot more contact to tap into it on a consistent basis but there is 20-to-30-homer pop to dream on. His swing-and-miss tendencies were evident in ’16 when he whiffed 115 times in 113 games. Along with the bat, Soto could be a better-than-average fielder and possesses a strong arm that could play in right field. He’ll likely move up to high-A ball in 2017 and could still be three-plus years from the Majors.
For reference sake, here is the 2015 Review.
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