Results tagged ‘ Jim Fleming ’

Stanton, Dominguez eyeing ring

They’ve been on the fast track since reaching pro ball, and now they are trying to win a ring.

Mike Stanton and Matt Dominguez, two of the top prospects in all of baseball, are gaining valuable experience playing for Double-A Jacksonville in the Southern League playoffs.

After winning the first two games in the best-of-five series at Birmingham, the Suns can clinch the Southern League championship on Saturday in Jacksonville.

Stanton and Dominguez are playing big parts in the title run. The two opened the season at Class A Jupiter, but have made the jump in midseason to Double-A.

Once the playoffs are completed, next month Stanton and Dominguez will representing the Marlins in the Arizona Fall League.

“we’re looking at it like it’s extending Double-A a little bit longer for them,” said Jim Fleming, the Marlins vice president of player development and scouting. “It’s more at-bats against the caliber of pitching they’ve seen at Double-A.”

Dominguez and Stanton are two prize picks from the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Dominguez, a third baseman who has been compared to Mike Lowell, was taking in the first round. Stanton, an outfielder who has been mentioned as a Dave Winfield-caliber player, went in the second round.

Predictably, both have struggled a bit at Double-A.

“They’ve had some ups and downs,” Fleming said. “The jump from Jupiter to Double-A is a pretty good one.”
Stanton played in 79 games at Jacksonville and he hit .231 with 16 homers and 53 RBIs.

Counting his Class A numbers, Stanton finished witha .255 average with 24 doubles, five triples, 28 home runs and 92 RBIs.

Dominguez, meanwhile, played in 31 games at Double-A, and he had 97 at-bats, batting .186 with two homers and nine RBIs.

Yet in Friday’s 8-1 win at Birmingham, Stanton was 2-for-4 as the designated hitter, while Dominguez was 2-for-5.

Overall this year, Dominguez hit .247 with 13 homers and 62 RBIs.

Since Stanton is still 19 and Dominguez turned 20 a few weeks ago, the Marlins organization expected both to have some rough stretches.

“That’s what you want to do. You want to challenge them,” Fleming said. “You want them to have some tough spots in the Minor Leagues, and see them get through it. It’s not something you want to have them to have to first experience at the big league level. It’s part of the process, to keep them challenged, and push them a little bit.”

— Joe Frisaro

Dominguez on fast track

Earlier in the season, Mike Stanton was promoted to Double-A Jacksonville. A few days ago, another highly-rated Marlins prospect advanced to a higher level.

Matt Dominguez, the slick-fielding third baseman, recently was promoted from Class A Jupiter to Double-A.

“He was really playing well in Jupiter, and that’s what we were looking for,” said Jim Fleming, the Marlins vice president of player development and scouting. “In the last month and a half, he’s been really, really good offensively and defensively. We thought it was time for him to go. We wanted him to have an extended period of success, which he did. Now, you move him on the way.”

Dominguez, who turns 20 on Aug. 28, was the Marlins’ first-round pick in 2007. Stanton, the power-hitting outfielder, was Florida’s second-round choice in the same Draft. The 6-foot-6 Stanton has drawn comparisons to Dave Winfield.

Always impressive with the glove, Dominguez made great strides at the plate in recent weeks. He worked with Jupiter hitting coach Anthony Iapoce and John Mallee, the organization’s hitting coordinator, on simplifying his swing.

“They came up with a simple plan. We didn’t make any major changes, we just simplified some of the things he did,” Fleming said. “It made him a little more consistent with his approach to each at-bat, and his offensive productions went up.”

Dominguez appeared in 103 games at Jupiter, and he hit .262 with 11 home runs, 53 RBIs and 25 doubles. His on-base percentage was .333, to go along with a .420 slugging percentage.

Dominguez has drawn comparisons to Mike Lowell.

Traditionally, if players perform consistently at Double-A, the Marlins won’t hesitate promoting them to the big leagues. So Dominguez will get a month at a higher level, and odds are he will open 2010 at Double-A. If he shows he can handle the advanced competition, he may be in line to make his Major League debut sometime around June of 2010.

Stanton, 19, is one of the most highly touted prospects in the Major Leagues.

The right fielder enters Friday with 51 games of Double-A under his belt. He’s hitting .242 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs. Stanton appeared in 50 games at Class A Jupiter, batting .294 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs.

Combined, he has 22 home runs and 69 RBIs in 101 games.

“He’s making progress. He’s not tearing the league apart, but he’s holding his own,” Fleming said. “At 19, that’s all we’re really looking for, for him to continue to make progress. That’s what he’s done. He had a little learning curve period. He’s been through that now.

“Everybody’s expectations are big, and he’s doing fine. His average is probably the only thing that wasn’t where it was in Jupiter, but it’s all coming together. We’ve got no worries.”

Because of the expectations, the Marlins are being careful with Stanton and Dominguez.

“Everybody in the world is telling [Stanton] how great he is,” Fleming said. “For a 19-year-old to keep his head straight, and to just keep plugging away, it’s tough. He’s doing a great job at that. The one thing about Mike and Matt is they are very focused on baseball, and they don’t get too caught up in themselves. They go out there and try to get better, and that makes it easier. Probably the hardest thing with any 19-year-old is [staying grounded]. They’re doing a great job with that.”

— Joe Frisaro