March 2nd, 2012
The Miami Marlins made big waves this offseason by going hard after what it seemed like every free agent and their mother. Offensively, they ended up with one of the best players on the market in SS Jose Reyes.
Reyes should fit nicely into the leadoff spot for the Marlins and if he can stay healthy, be the catalyst for their lineup. Let’s take a look at the rest of the Marlins’ projected lineup come Opening Day.
1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Emilio Bonifacio, CF
3. Hanley Ramirez, 3B
4. Giancarlo Stanton (the artist formally known as Michael Stanton), RF
5. Logan Morrison, LF
6. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
7. John Buck, C
8. Omar Infante, 2B
The Marlins were a middle of the pack offense in the National League last season with a 21.0 WAR. They finished ninth in HR’s, wOBA, and wRC+, and 11th in SB’s. The addition of Reyes should help in all three categories.
With Ramirez moving over to third, Reyes is essentially replacing the production — or lack there of — of the Marlin third basemen in 2011. Marlin third basemen produced a .261/.315/.348 slash line in 2011 with just six HR’s, and just 17 SB’s in 2011. Reyes should be able to do that by June of 2012.
Reyes should make the rest of the offense better and give Ramirez, Stanton, and Morrison plenty of RBI opportunities. Twitter superstar, Morrison might be the key to this entire lineup.
Morrison was a stud in the first half of last season, putting up 12 HR’s and an .832 OPS. But he really slumped in the second half and then had that whole spat with Marlins’ management for missing a meet-and-great with Marlin ticket holders, which resulting in him being demoted to the minors.
If the Marlins’ offense is to reach it’s full potential in 2012, Morrison needs to be the first half Morrison, not the second second half one. Plus, the Marlins’ lineup looks to be a predominantly right-handed hitting lineup. Morrison is their only true power source from the left-side of the plate. If he can’t get it together for a full year, the Marlins might need to think about acquiring a left-handed power hitter off the bench.
I also think Sanchez is one of the more underrated players in the game. They guy is pretty good. Is he Albert Pujols or Adrian Gonzalez? No, he’s not. But Sanchez did have a higher WAR (3.0) than Ryan Howard and Freddie Freeman in 2011.
There is no reason to think that he can’t improve on the 19 HR’s and .266 average in 2012. Sanchez’s .287 BABIP was among the lowest of all first basemen in 2011. If luck is on his side and he can raise that by 20 or 30 points, then he will be all the much better in 2012.
Overall, the Marlins should see offensive improvement in 2012. They added Reyes and they only got 92 games out of Ramirez in 2011. If both of those guys stay healthy and if Morrison, Stanton, and Sanchez continue to improve, the Marlins should have a top-five offense in the NL in 2012.
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