Amongst all of the MLB All-Star weekend events, there is the Futures Game, which is intended to highlight prospects from every MLB organization who have had success in the minor leagues this season and are projected to reach the majors in the near future. Two Marlins prospects were selected for the 2023 edition, per Craig Mish of SportsGrid: shortstop Nasim Nuñez and starting pitcher Patrick Monteverde.
Monteverde was drafted in the eighth round of the 2021 MLB Draft. The left-hander has broken out here in 2023. His 0.35 ERA in 26 April innings earned him Fish on the Farm Prospect of the Month and Southern League Pitcher of the Month award honors. This season overall, Monteverde has a 2.13 ERA, 3.11 FIP, 10.51 K/9, and 3.33 BB/9 through 67.2 IP. Although this is his highest BB/9 of his career, he is also sporting the highest K/9 of his career and limiting opponents to only four home runs.
Monteverde has shown a fairly low ground ball rate throughout his career, and this year is no different (36.4 GB%). That batted ball profile could work for him as long as he continues to generate a high rate of infield pop-ups.
Monteverde isn’t viewed as the best pitching prospect in the Marlins organization, but his combination of 2023 production and durability makes him deserving of this selection. As Erik Bremer, voice of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, told Ely and myself on the latest episode of The Offishial Show, a lot of people inside and outside of the organization think highly of Monteverde and have confidence in how his stuff will eventually play at the big league level.
Nasim Nuñez was drafted by the Marlins in the second round of the 2019 draft. This season, Nuñez is slashing .226/.343/.308/.651 with four home runs, 27 RBIs, 33 stolen bases (most in the Marlins org), and a 86 wRC+. The switch-hitter has had a lot more success from the left side (.240/.375/.365/.740) than the right side (.202/.282/.212/.494).
Nasim’s selection has more to do with his elite defense. He has shown the ability to make athletic plays, strong off-balance throws, and react quickly to balls off the bat. The Blue Wahoos have used him occasionally at second base as well, where he has committed only one error in 19 games.
Pensacola teammate Victor Mesa Jr. had a strong case for his own Futures Game selection, though his offensive numbers dipped recently. Utility guy Dane Myers (now at Triple-A Jacksonville) has been phenomenal (.335/.423/.534/.957). However, his unconventional path (minor league Rule 5 Draft pick) and age (27 years old) likely worked against him. There’s still time for other Marlins to make it depending on injuries and MLB promotions.
The Futures Game is set to take place on July 8 in Seattle, Washington at T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners.