The Miami Marlins will select the contracts of outfielders Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick on Tuesday, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. The top prospects will replace outfielder Marcell Ozuna and second baseman Derek Dietrich, who were optioned to Double-A Jacksonville. Because Yelich and Marisnick are not currently on the team's 40-man roster, the team will have to clear two spots. While some have speculated that Alex Sanabia and Casey Kotchman could be headed for the 60-day disabled list (which clears 40-man roster space), it is possible that Miami will either trade or designate players for assignment to clear room.
Yelich, 21, was Miami's first round pick (23rd overall) in the 2010 draft and has risen quickly through the organization in his four seasons as a professional. Heading into the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the fifteenth best prospect in baseball, and the second best in the Marlins' system. In 48 games with Double-A Jacksonville this season, he hit .277 with 7 HR and 29 RBI, and represented the Marlins in last week's All-Star Futures Game.
Marisnick, 22, was one of seven players the Marlins acquired in last winter's blockbuster trade that sent Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes to the Toronto Blue Jays. He was ranked by Baseball America as the fourth best prospect in the Marlins' system heading into the year, and the 64th overall in the game. In 66 games with Jacksonville, Marisnick hit .295 with 12 HR and 46 RBI.
While these moves won't cause the Marlins to become instant contenders in 2013, they signify that the organization is recognizing that their bright future is close to coming to fruition. Out of the top seven prospects ranked by Baseball America before the season, five (Jose Fernandez, Yelich, Marisnick, Ozuna and Adeiny Hechavarria) have already reached the majors. Lefties Andrew Heaney and Justin Nicolino round out the top seven, and will be contributors to the major league team in the next few years.