Pitching has been a big part of the success the Miami Marlins' organization have experienced in 2012.
The Miami Marlins -- a combined 101-87 record (five organizational clubs) -- have a lot of pitching depth throughout their organization starting with the parent club. The Marlins (19-17) -- who have won 11 of their 14 May games -- have allowed 47 runs since the calendar turned to May. Overall, Miami has compiled a 3.33 ERA (sixth in the majors) and has made 28 quality starts (first). The Marlins also have posted a 1.26 WHIP (11th) and a .247 batting average against (16th).
The Marlins aren't the only club in their organization having success in the win/loss department as a result of their solid pitching. All four of Miami's minor league teams have ERA's under 3.75 and two of the four squads possess winning records. The two clubs with winning records are single -A (SAL) Greensboro Grasshoppers -- 27-10 -- and triple- A (PCL) New Orleans Zyphers -- 21-17. The Marlins other two minor-league squads single-A (FSL) Jupiter Hammerheads -- 15-22 -- and double-A (Southern) Jacksonville Suns -- 19-21.
The Grasshoppers (3.39 ERA) lead the farm-system in ERA while the Zyphers (3.58 ERA) are second. The Hammerheads (3.62) are just behind the Zyphers and ahead of the Suns (3.71 ERA).
Just as the Marlins' pitchers are experiencing success as a staff, several individuals are enjoying success throughout the organization. Miami -- whose top 20 prospects list includes 10 pitchers -- has already called up three pitchers from New Orleans. The three pitchers that have had a cup coffee with the big league club this year are Sandy Rosario, Chris Hatcher and Dan Jennings. Jennings -- a 25-year old reliever -- is ranked as the Marlins 20th -best prospect.
The rest of the article will look at the Marlins top pitchers throughout the organization.
Miami's starting pitching has been outstanding so far in 2012. The Marlins' starters -- have earned just 10 wins (26th in the majors) -- ranks fifth in the majors in ERA (3.19), fifth in complete games (2), sixth in innings pitched (226) and 13th in batting average against (.253).
Starting pitchers Carlos Zambrano -- 1-2, 1.88 ERA, 1 CG in 48 innings --, Anibal Sanchez -- 2-1, 2.28 ERA, 51 SO in 47. 1 IP -- and Mark Buerhle -- 2-4, 2.81 ERA, 1 CG in 48 innings -- have been among the Marlins best pitchers. Buehrle and Zambrano rank among the top ten NL pitchers in innings and complete games while Sanchez is just outside the top-10 in innings. Sanchez is also among the league leaders in strikeouts while Zambrano is sixth in ERA.
Other top pitchers for Miami has been left-handed specialist Randy Choate -- 0-0, 5 holds, 0.90 ERA-and Steve Cishek -- 4-0, 0-2 saves, 3 holds, 1.56 ERA.
New Orleans has eight pitchers currently on their staff who are expected to make an/multiple appearance(s) with the Marlins in 2012. The eight pitchers -- all who have major league experience -- are 24-year old right-hander Alex Sanabia, 22-year old left-hander Brad Hand, 27-year old lefty Wade LeBlanc, 25-year-old righty Tom Koehler, 26-year old Mike Dunn, Rosario, Hatcher and Jennings. Dunn, Rosario, Jennings and Hatcher have been in the big show this season.
The Marlins' pitching staff looks to be in good hands for years to come with all the top prospects they have in their minor league system. Among the Marlins top prospects are two 2011 draft picks. The two 2011 draft picks are first-rlound selection Jose Fernandez and second round choice Adam Conley. Both Fernandez -- third rated prospect -- and Conley -- seventh rated prospect -- are currently pitching for Greensboro.
The 19-year Fernandez -- a native of Cuba -- is 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in seven starts. In 43 innings, Fernandez has been overpowering as he has recorded 52 strikeouts and allowed just 27 hits. The 21-year old Conley - out of Washington State University -- is 3-0 with a 2.23 ERA in 36.1 innings. Conley has also recorded 43 strikeouts and given up 23 hits.
Other top prospects include 21-year-old left-hander Chad James, 23-year-old Rob Rasmussen, 19-year old Austin Brice, 20-year Jose Urena, 25-year old Jose Ceda, 23-year old Jose Alverez and 24-year old Joe O'Gara.
Daniel Benjamin has followed the Marlins since there inception in 1993.
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