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Nick Neidert may be the latest in a long line of highly ranked pitching prospects to start for the Marlins.
Currently regarded as the Miami Marlins number 11 overall prospect, according to the MLB Pipeline, Nick Neidert joined the organization from the Seattle Mariners in the Dee Gordon deal after the 2017 season. The Marlins also got Christopher Torres in the deal, and gave the Mariners some additional international slot money.
A native of Suwannee, Georgia, Neidert was born 23 years ago today and initially chosen in the second round of the 2015 Amateur Entry Draft by the Mariners, with the 60th overall choice. For contrasts sake, 36 percent of players chosen at that spot have made the majors, led by Fred Lynn (1970, New York Yankees, 50.2 WAR) and Steve Garvey (1966, Minnesota Twins, 38.1 WAR).
Brewers add right-hander Jesus Castillo as non-roster
Neidert, who goes six-foot-one and 202 lbs., spent the 2018 season at the Double-A level for the Marlins, with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League. For his efforts, he was named the Marlins Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 12-7 with a 3.24 ERA. He collected 154 strikeouts in 152 2/3 innings while holding opponents to a 1.13 WHIP. He did this despite being younger than 97.2 percent of hitters he faced, according to a Fish Stripes article from last year.
This season, Neidert was supposed to join the Marlins at some point around September, but injury slowed him to just 13 starts, including four rehab starts in rookie ball and with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. In nine starts for the New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, he was 3-4 with a disappointing 5.05 ERA and 37 K’s in 41 innings, while his opposing WHIP soared to 1.63.
Despite this underwhelming showing, the Marlins were enticed by Neidert enough to award him a coveted slot in the Arizona Fall League, with the Salt River Rafters. They were rewarded by seeing Neidert post a 0.831 WHIP in 21 2/3 innings of work, along with 19 strikeouts, a 2-0 record, a minuscule 1.25 ERA, and only two walks.
Will Neidert have his chance to join the starting rotation right out of Spring Training? He should have every opportunity to make a good impression and win himself a job. Otherwise he’ll begin the year with the Wichita Wind Surge in Triple-A.
Other Marlins Birthdays
Dave Paulino (40) was a 5-7, 135 lb middle infielder from the Dominican Republic. In three seasons across four levels of the low minors between 1998 and 2000, he hit .212/.311/.228 with 37 stolen bases.
Alex Arias (52) spent five of his 11 major league seasons with the Florida Marlins, from 1993 through 1997. In his best season, 1996, he slashed .277/.335/.384 in 100 games. There’s more on Arias, here.
Rex Rundgren (39) was the Florida Marlins 11th round choice in 2001. In total, he spent seven years in the Marlins minors before appearing in the Dodgers’ and the Rockies’ systems. Although he never made the majors, he did hit .236 in 872 career games from short-season-A up to Triple-A.
Leudy Molina (25) is a Dominican corner infielder who played two seasons of Marlins rookie-ball then two seasons of Padres rookie-ball. He hit .301 for the DSL Padres in 2014, but never made the step to the domestic minors.
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Jo Jo Reyes (35) is a lefty from West Covina, California. The last season of his 14-year professional baseball career would see him spend 38 games with the New Orleans Zephyrs, where he tossed 60 innings and went 3-2 with a 3.43 ERA. He also pitched two innings for the 2016 Marlins, allowing a pair of runs on three hits.
Jeff Locke (32) was a second round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2006, and came up through the Pirates system to make his major league debut in 2011. In 2017, he started seven games for the Marlins, going 0-5 with an 8.16 ERA.
Lake Worth native Shane Sawczak (24) was Miami’s 19th round pick in 2016. In parts of two minor league seasons, he was 4-3 with a 3.18 ERA and 57 whiffs in 61 innings between Greensboro and Batavia.