The Miami Marlins have been one of the best surprises during the 2014 Major League Baseball season. At 35-33 in their first 68 games, the Marlins are firmly entrenched as a contender in the National League East, and on Monday, Miami made an “all in” move by promoting their top pitching prospect, left-hander Andrew Heaney.
Welcome to the Big Leagues, Andrew Heaney (@Heandog8)!
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) June 16, 2014
The 23-year-old Heaney has been lights-out in triple-A this season, posting a 2.74 ERA with a strikeout rate of 10.57 per 9 innings against a minuscule walk rate of just 0.78 per 9 innings. Prior to the 2014 campaign, Keith Law of ESPN released his top-100 prospect rankings, and Heaney placed 34th in all of baseball. Here is what Law had to say about the young left-hander:
The Marlins’ first pick (ninth overall) in the 2012 draft, Heaney showed himself to be more than just a “pitchability” lefty, working with a solid-average fastball and two plus secondary pitches as he dominated high Class A and came close to doing the same in Double-A in six August starts.
Heaney comes from an arm slot a little under three-quarters and cuts himself off slightly, but those two points both add to his deception, and the way he can manipulate the ball makes him even harder for hitters to square up. His slider and changeup are both in the upper 70s/low 80s, with the slider showing good tilt and angle and the changeup bringing good arm speed and downward fade, and he commands all three pitches.
If he threw harder and had a somewhat cleaner delivery, he’d be a top 10 or 15 overall prospect, but as is I think he’s a good No. 3 starter trending up toward a No. 2 because of his control and how hard it is for hitters to pick up the ball.
As you can see by Law’s evaluation, there is a great deal of reason to be fired up for the arrival of Heaney to the Major Leagues. The Marlins are still a piece or two away from “real” contention in the National League, but if their last high-profile promotion (Jose Fernandez) is any indication, the sky could be the limit for Andrew Heaney.