That was Then...
It would be tough to find a bigger disappointment from the 2012 season than the Miami Marlins. After changing their geographical name, opening Marlins Park and making a big splash with the additions of shortstop Jose Reyes, starter Mark Buehrle and closer Heath Bell, the Marlins were expected to be one of the teams to watch. They ended up being another cautionary tale.
Ozzie Guillen was brought over from the Chicago White Sox to manage the team and like every other part that was added to the mix, he just didn't fit quite right.
They came out of the gate fine and were in first place in early June before the bottom dropped out of their season and they spiraled out of control.
By the time the calendar hit July, the Marlins were in a free-fall and the "For Sale" sign went up on anyone that could be shipped off the roster.
Before the season was out, superstar shortstop-turned-third baseman Hanley Ramirez, pitcher Anibal Sanchez, veteran infielder Omar Infante and first baseman Gaby Sanchez were all playing for different teams.
After the disastrous 69-93 season was over, Bell was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Reyes, Buehrle, starter Josh Johnson, utility man Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck were packaged and sent to the Toronto Blue Jays in a massive off-season fire sale.
Guillen was also eventually fired with three-years left on his contract.
Welcome to Miami.
...This is Now
Through The Fire
Giancarlo Stanton is known for his violent, tape measure bombs and the Marlins will count on him to drive their young offence.
Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is basically the last man standing from the high promise 2012 Marlins, who have now been morphed into a rebuilding project.
For his part, Stanton was very productive last season, hitting 37 home runs and most of them of the tape-measure, highlight-reel variety.
The Marlins will rely on him and Logan Morrison to provide offence and veteran leadership to all of the youth they acquired in the many trades they swung during and after last season.
No matter how you look at it or break it down, though, this is going to be a very long season in south Florida.
The one bright side for the 2013 Marlins is that, while they don't carry the lofty expectations of their predecessors, there is nowhere to go but up from the bottom of the division.
Every year, we look for players 26-years-old or younger that could make an impact on their team in the upcoming season. The player might have already established himself with a regular role with the team, or he could make their mark later on in the season.
Past Picks: 2012 - Logan Morrison, 2011 - Mike Stanton, 2010 - Chris Coghlan, 2009 - Gaby Sanchez, 2008 - Cameron Maybin, 2007 - Anibal Sanchez, 2006 - Jeremy Hermida, 2005 - Jason Stokes, 2004 - Dontrelle Willis, 2003 - Josh Beckett
After another epic off-season purge, only the Astros prevent Miami from being on the bottom.
OF Giancarlo Stanton is the top-ranked Marlin, at 45th overall.
After the off-season purge, the Marlins will, generally, be awful, so fantasy value will come in rare spots.
RF Giancarlo Stanton is a top-drawer power hitter, though peripheral numbers will suffer due to the lineup around him.
Looking for potential? Try C Rob Brantly or 1B Logan Morrison. Closer Steve Cishek is an okay option, as he might save 30 games for a team that wins 60 games.
Veteran LF Juan Pierre can still provide steals and RHP Ricky Nolasco has had his moments, but with a subpar lineup, taking any Marlins pitchers is a risky game to play.