First, RHP Jhan Marinez:
The top relief prospect in the Marlins organization entering the season, Marinez seemed poised to make the leap to Florida in 2011. Instead he spun his wheels in Double-A, though he did earn a berth in the Futures Game in July. The wiry, fast-armed righthander throws an explosive four-seam fastball that sits 92-96 mph and reaches as high as 98. He’ll also show a sinking two-seamer. Marinez flashes a solid-average to plus power slider on occasion, but it comes and goes, disappearing all too often. When it’s there he’s got the stuff to close games out. However tantalizing the stuff, he must exhibit better command and control of both pitches to succeed. Durability has been a concern in the past, though his 56 appearances were a career high this year.
And, SS/2B Ozzie Martinez:
The No. 5 prospect in the Marlins system coming into this season, Martinez broke out in 2010, batting .326 in 43 big league at-bats while filling in for shortstop Hanley Ramirez in September. When he’s right, he sprays line drives from gap to gap with a level swing. He showed strong hands and excellent hand-eye coordination last year, when he looked like a potential No. 2 hitter with doubles power. Martinez’s plate discipline took a hit this year and he never got going offensively and his confidence suffered. At times he fell into a pull mode, getting away from what made him successful earlier. Mentally he wasn’t the same player, both at bat and in the field, where his play at short went from steady to erratic. He has the skills to play second and third and could fill a utility role. The strong arm is still there, as are the rest of his tools, but he showed only occasional glimpses of the all-around game that had Florida so excited a year ago.
Those reports sound better than I hoped they would!