Dan Marino is trekking through each division in the major leagues and giving you one player he thinks is the: Rookie to Watch, Breakthrough Player, The Party’s Over, Non-Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick, and Just Not Seeing it.
He has already given us his AL East Players to Watch. Now, in part two of six, he brings you the National League East:
New York Mets
Rookie To Watch: Travis d’Arnaud – Should make an immediate impact and be the Mets catcher for quite some time.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Marlon Byrd – He wouldn’t be my choice, but the Mets are a player or four away from having an outfield.
Rookie To Watch: Sean Gilmartin – He could find his way into the rotation later this season, though it would take an injury or two to make it happen. He has very good control which will help his cause.
Breakthrough Player: Eric O’Flaherty – He doesn’t get much publicity, but he has been fantastic in the Braves bullpen. He deserves more recognition.
Just Not Seeing It: Jordan Schafer – There’s no room for Schafer. He will probably earn a bench spot, but the days of him being projected as a star are over.
Rookie To Watch: Zack Cox – Any Marlin minor leaguer has a chance to make the roster. Acquired from the Cardinals, Cox has some pop in his bat. His strikeouts could be a concern.
Breakthrough Player: Jacob Turner – He didn’t impress in Detroit, but he has had minor league success. He doesn’t give up many homeruns and he is capable of a decent WHIP.
The Party’s Over: Ricky Nolasco – I’m not saying he’s done, but his time in Miami should be nearing an end. He has been slumping, and pitching with this team won’t help him.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Matt Downs – He got a raw deal in Houston. He can hit, and he should have an opportunity to prove it in Miami.
Just Not Seeing It: Winning.
Rookie To Watch: Jonathan Pettibone – He keeps the ball down and has hitters pounding the ball into the dirt, which should help in that rinky dink ballpark. It may take an injury to crack the rotation.
Breakthrough Player: John Mayberry – Not sure what happened last year, but he may have pressed given the opportunity to spell Ryan Howard. He has impressive power, and it’s time to put it all together.
The Party’s Over: Domonic Brown – Just not seeing it happen. It appears he was over-rated as a prospect. He appears to be nothing more than a fourth outfielder at best.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Yuniesky Betancourt – A solid player who surprisingly accepted a minor league non-roster invitation rather than getting a one year deal somewhere. He should make an impact for this club. (His agent should have found a deal)
Just Not Seeing It: Kyle Kendrick – He pitched decent in the second half, but chances of him starting the season in the rotation are slim. He just can’t maintain consistency.
Rookie To Watch: Eury Perez – There’s not much power, but he could provide speed and defense for the Nationals. A strong Spring could earn Perez a spot backing up Span in CF.
Breakthrough Player: Jhonatan Solano – He could prove to be a valuable backup catcher with pop.
The Party’s Over: Zach Duke – If her were right-handed he’d have been out of the game long ago. He’s a career 49-74 pitcher with an ERA of 4.52.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Bill Bray – He needs to stay healthy or his career is in jeopardy. If he remains healthy, the Nats will use him as a situational lefty.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Travis d'Arnaud, Frank Francisco, Yuniesky Betancourt, Domonic Brown, Jacob Turner, Marlon Byrd, Brandon Lyon, Zach Duke, Rafael Soriano, Washington Nationals, New York Mets, Sean Gilmartin, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Drew Storen, Kyle Kendrick, Eric O'Flaherty, Tyler Clippard, Christian Bethancourt, Miami Marlins, Jonathan Pettibone, Zack Cox, Wilmer Flores, Reese Havens, Jordany Valdespin, Ricky Nolasco, Daniel Murphy, Blake DeWitt, Eury Perez, Jordan Schafer, Matt Downs, Bill Bray, Jhonatan Solano, John Mayberry, Gerald Laird, Bobby Parnell