The Miami Marlins had a rough 2016, but the team also saw some players that took a step forward in their development, and remained on the outskirts of the wild card race until the season’s final week.
Today we are taking a look at the Miami Marlins as they sit heading into the offseason, and will offer some suggestions for how they should go about improving to potentially contend in 2017.
Before we get to all of that though, let’s first take a look at where the Marlins sit in some key ranks, and which players are set to hit free agency this winter.
Offensively, the Marlins ranked right in the middle of all teams in terms of offensive WAR with a 19.0, which ranked 7th in the National League. Only the Giants struck out at a lower rate than the Marlins last year, but Miami also didn’t walk at a high clip, ranking 14th in the NL. The team ranked second among NL teams in batting average at .263, but that low walk rate dropped their team OBP rank to 8th with a .322. The Cubs and Cardinals were the only two teams to have a collective wRC+ that was above league average, while the Marlins accumulated a 91, which ranked 10th in the National League.
On the pitching side of things, the Marlins again ranked right in the middle (8th) in terms of WAR in the National League with a 14.2. They ranked 6th in team ERA with a better than league average 4.05, while their FIP of 3.97 ranked 7th, but was closer to the top tier of teams than the lower end of the spectrum.
In the field, the Miami Marlins ranked in the top four in DRS (Defensive Runs Saved), preventing 14 runs in 2016. The bad news is that J.T. Realmuto and Marcell Ozuna were the team’s two worst defenders by the metric, allowing a combined 20 extra runs to score.
With the Marlins set to extend Martin Prado, that should take care of their hole at third base. Prado has been at least league average with the bat since 2012, and provided some good defense at the hot corner for Miami in 2016. With Adeiny Hechavarria and Dee Gordon planted up the middle, Derek Dietrich can continue to play the super-utility role, and he is a solid option to do so.
Now, let’s look at where the Marlins can make some upgrades.