Everybody knows about Hanley Ramirez: 2009 batting champ, five-tool stud and perennial first rounder.

Everybody should know about Josh Johnson: Cy Young contender, career ERA of 3.10, a ton of potential.

But what else, if anything, do the Marlins have to offer fantasy owners?

In spite of the organization’s everlasting dedication to penny pinching, the Marlins have a handful of players that are sure to impact this year’s fantasy season.

Here they are, by order of importance, along with their 2011 projection:


1. Michael Stanton—.265 BA, 36 HR, 93 RBI 

The first thing you notice when you watch Michael Stanton is how hard he hits the ball. He is listed at 6’5″, 235 pounds, and he’s only 21-years-old. The guy is like an athletic version of Adam Dunn. However, his plate discipline is abysmal. He’s going to challenge Mark Reynolds for the major league lead in strikeouts. Nevertheless, his upside is still tremendous. He’s going to hit his fair share of home runs this year, but it’ll just be the tip of the iceberg. If you’re in a keeper league, Stanton is your guy. 


2. Javier Vazquez—15 W, 3.65 ERA, 194 K 

So the guy with a 4.41 ERA in three years with the White Sox wasn’t a success as a Yankee? Big shocker there! Yes, he was coming off of a career year with the Braves, but let’s face it, no one expected much out of him, and the NL is a pitcher’s league. I’m not counting on Javy to replicate his superb 2009 season, but he will be successful as a Marlin. He won’t have to worry about New York City expectations or intense media scrutiny. He will get comfortable in front of embarrassingly small crowds and become the No. 2 starter. 


3. Chris Coghlan—90 R, .283 BA, 11 HR, 62 RBI, 13 SB

The party was over very quickly for the 2009 Rookie of the Year as he hit .195 to start 2010. His 2009 batting average was impressive, .321, but he only hit nine HR and stole eight bases in 128 games. We know that he has the potential to hit for big average, as confirmed by his .377 average last June, but his season ended in July because of a torn meniscus (it’s hard to throw a pie sometimes, you know). His erratic performance makes it hard to predict how he will do long-term, but he is an extremely hard worker, so don’t count him out. He will likely be a top of the order staple, in front of three powerful hitters (Ramirez/Stanton/Sanchez). I’d look to steal him in the mid-to-late rounds because he has the potential to contribute in multiple stat categories. 


4. Gaby Sanchez—.278 BA, 23 HR, 88 RBI

Everybody in South Florida fell in love with Gaby Sanchez when he rushed to Chris Volstad’s defense and violently clothes-lined Nyger Morgan (MLB villain and 2010 fantasy disappointment). Aside from his WWF moves, Sanchez had a productive rookie year (.273/19/85). He likely will bat cleanup or fifth, behind three players with the potential to consistently be on base (Prado/Coghlan/Ramirez). He represents a favorable option for those teams who were unable to secure a top 1B. 


5. Ricky Nolasco—14 W, 4.41 ERA, 182 K

Some people picked Nolasco over Josh Johnson in last year’s draft. That would not be a good idea this year, to say the least. Nolasco is very streaky as he usually puts together a string of good starts, but he will similarly devastate you with a few awful starts here and there. Depending on where he is projected, fantasy owners may pay a high price for a largely over-rated pitcher. I’d steer clear unless you can pick him up late. 

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