The Marlins system is light. Noble Meyer was their first-round pick last July, and his data looks fantastic, but he’s an 18-year-old pitcher, and so much can go wrong. But if it works, he could pitch at the top of the rotation.
Xavier Edwards is the top positional player, and he might be a middle infielder with some speed and great contact skills. I like Max Meyer and Dax Fulton, but both are rehabbing from elbow surgery. Finally, there are some interesting high-end Latin prospects further down the list.
But it’s weak, and the Marlins need players who can contribute at the Major League level, particularly bats. While I’m sure they liked their second and third-round picks in July – two big college bats. They both have significant swing-and-miss in their game and are high-risk options to become impact players.
It feels like it’s more of the same. They develop pitchers and pray that they can cobble together an offense.
- Top Prospect: Noble Meyer
- Biggest Mover: Ian Lewis
- Biggest Disappointment: Jacob Berry (I’m just not a fan)
- Emerging Prospect: Janero Miller
1. Noble Meyer (RHP, #10)
- Highest Level: Low-A ETA: 2027 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 30 SP with extreme risk
- Tools Summary: He has all the building blocks to pitch at the top of the rotation.
Noble Meyer was the Marlins’ first-round pick last July. Taking a high school arm that early in a draft is risky, but the upside is extremely high. He’s 6-foot-5 with a fastball that’s already touching 97 MPH, according to statcast data. It also has a high spin rate of 2350 to 2400 RPM. Additionally, with his size, you would expect him to add weight and increase velocity.
Usually, 18-year-olds do not have very good secondary pitches, but Meyer appears to buck that trend. His curveball has great shape with a 2800 RPM spin rate and a slider with high spin and great horizontal movement. His change-up doesn’t have a ton of fade, but it has great velo separation, and he can tunnel it well.
There’s a lot to like with Meyer. However, given his age and development path, there’s a lot of risk. But the Marlins are good at this, which is just as important as the talent potential.
2. Xavier Edwards (2B)
- Highest Level: Majors ETA: 2023 Fantasy Ceiling: Middle Infielder
- Tools Summary: Plus speed with excellent contact and 30-grade power.
At one point, Xavier Edwards was a Top prospect. He was an 80 runner who made excellent contact with questions about his power. He’s now 23, on his third team, and he has dropped a grade in speed. Baseballsavant ranked his speed in the 80th percentile, which is still great, but he’s no longer in that 95th percentile.
What he can do is make contact, walking nearly twice as much as he strikes out. Maybe he’s Luis Arraez 2.0 with a bit more speed, but I would not bet on lightning striking twice here.
I’ve gone back and forth with Edwards. At one point, I believed his ceiling was a Waiver Wire pickup. However, in researching him, I think he can be slightly more than that and have put his fantasy ceiling as a Middle Infielder.
3. Max Meyer (RHP)
- Highest Level: DNP ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 SP with risk
- Tools Summary: He spent the entire season rehabbing from TJS.
Max Meyer made it through 2/3 of an inning in his second Major League start in 2022, felt pain in his elbow, and needed TJS shortly afterward. He missed the entire 2023 season.
When healthy, he has three quality pitches in his fastball (94 to 96, spin of 2200), a wipeout slider, and a solid change-up. Time will tell if he returns healthy, but it’s the kind of stuff that should get big-league batters out.
4. Yiddi Cappe (SS)
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2026 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 SS with contact risk
- Tools Summary: There are plenty of tools, but he swings at everything.
Yiddi Cappe was one of the premier international players signed in 2021 for $3.5 million. He’s a plus runner with plenty of bat speed to project future power. Additionally, he should be able to stay up the middle defensively. He’s even making excellent contact. What’s not to like?
He’s one of the most aggressive hitters I’ve ever scouted. He swings at everything and consequently is making a lot of poor contact. His ground ball rate should not be approaching 50% with his swing. If he can learn to be more patient, he has the skills to be a significant fantasy contributor, but owners need to temper their expectations, as aggressive approaches will suppress a player’s ceiling.
5. Thomas White (LHP, #35)
- Highest Level: Low-A ETA: 2027+ Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 SP with extreme risk
- Tools Summary: He has the size and the big fastball for the Marlins to work their magic.
Thomas White was the first left-handed pitcher taken in the 2023 Draft and lasted to pick #35. You couldn’t ask for a better organization to develop the 6-foot-7 lefty, but he has a long way to go.
First, the raw stuff looks great. His fastball averages 94 MPH with high spin (2512 RPM), a great-looking change-up, and a curveball with good shape and spin (2814 RPM). However, the delivery isn’t great, and he can’t repeat it. While it was a tiny sample size, he did walk six in 4.1 IP in his three outings in his professional debut.
That said, southpaws who can touch the mid-90s (likely more as he fills out) do not grow on trees. Plus, it’s a high-spin stuff. He’s a project for sure, but the Marlins are good at this. If he’s available in the fourth round in my upcoming Supplemental Drafts, I might dip a toe in the water.
6. Victor Mesa Jr. (OF)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024-25 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 60 OF with upside
- Tools Summary: There’s nothing plus offensively in his game, but his defense will get him to the big leagues, and then maybe he’ll continue to develop into a light regular.
When Victor Mesa Jr. and his brother Victor Victor were signed in 2018, VV was supposed to be the better prospect. He’s now 26 and still making poor and weak contact, and Jr. has turned into a legitimate big-league prospect. There’s nothing plus in his offensive game, but he might be able to be a 12-12 player with a .260 batting average. In fact, he hit 18 home runs and stole 15 bases in Double-A last season.
He is a plus defender and will likely fall into a fourth or fifth-outfielder role for the Marlins. However, he’s defied the odds, and I would not be surprised if there is another power gear.
7. Jacob Berry (3B/1B)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Corner Infielder
- Tools Summary: He has not hit since being taken as the sixth pick in the 2022 Draft.
Jacob Berry has had a poor start to his professional career and does not look like a Top 10 drafted player. While he hit in college, he doesn’t have great bat speed, and the exit velocities we saw in statcast in 2022 confirmed that. He’s also very aggressive at the plate, walking 5.3% of the time. Finally, he’s a poor defender at third, and the Marlins have been playing him more at first, and if that’s where he winds up, his value in a Dynasty League plummets. Despite his draft pedigree, he’s not a player that I would be running out to pick up.
8. Dax Fulton (LHP)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2024-25 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 SP with risk
- Tools Summary: His season ended with brace surgery on his UCL in his elbow.
There’s a lot to like about Dax Fulton. At 6-foot-7, he has the size you look for in a starting pitcher and has enough athleticism to suggest he will repeat his delivery and throw strikes. The arsenal can be plus across the board with a mid-90s fastball and plus slider. Unfortunately, he re-injured his elbow in June and had elbow brace surgery on his previously TJ-repaired elbow. That’s two elbow surgeries in four years, and that sends up major red flags. I still think the upside is a number three starter, but the risk has increased substantially.
9. Ian Lewis (2B)
- Highest Level: Low-A ETA: 2026 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 2B with risk
- Tools Summary: An intriguing prospect that should not be ignored.
Ian Lewis is an athletic middle infielder who is a 70-runner with more bat speed than his sub .333 SLG would suggest. He needs to get stronger; once he does, he’ll start developing doubles power. With some loft, he could add 10 to 12 home runs. There are solid contact skills, and he’s walking 9.42 of the time. He’s an interesting player that needs to get on fantasy manager’s radar.
10. Pat Monteverde (LHP)
- Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 75 SP
- Tools Summary: He doesn’t throw hard but has a 70-grade change-up and a solid slider.
Patrick Monteverde was an 8th-round senior sign in 2021 and had a great start to the 2023 season. He started 21 games in Double-A, pitching to a 3.32 ERA. Then the wheels fell off.
He was promoted on July 23rd to Triple-A and, in his second start, gave up 13 earned runs in three innings and was sent back to Double-A. Unfortunately, he never regained the magic of the first half and, in his final six starts, posted a 5.83 ERA.
It’s not great stuff with a fastball that averages 89.3 MPH with average spin. His best secondary pitch is his change-up, which gets a ton of whiffs. His slider also has good shape and gets nearly a 40% whiff rate. He throws strikes, but not at an elite level, so it’s hard to label him a command-and-control lefty. He’s also 25, and I’m left trying to figure out if there is enough for him to be an effective Major Leaguer. For now, I will put a back-of-the-rotation ceiling on him as his secondary pitches will miss bats, and there’s enough athleticism to suggest above-average control.