Originally posted on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 3/22/12

The transformation from Florida Marlins to Miami Marlins involved much more than a name change. There’s a new stadium. A new manager. A new shortstop. A new left-handed starter. A new closer. New expectations. But in the end the Marlins have assembled a group of talented players but a roster with just as many question marks as sure things. There’s potential there, on paper, but which players from the group are actual keeper candidates?

SS Jose Reyes is an easy choice to leadoff, both this list and the Marlins lineup. Some have questioned the switch-hitter’s motivation in years past, only to see him have a career year in a contract year. Those same people may expect him to return to those poor habits now that he’s gotten his big contract, but Reyes seems determined to prove his critics wrong.

RF Giancarlo Stanton – or Mike, as you may know him better as – has had “Home Run Leader” written all over him since he first arrived in the Majors wearing a Marlins uniform. Two seasons into his career he averages 36 HR and 95 RBI. In any 5X5 league those numbers are beneficial and valuable. And he’s just going to continue getting better.

SP Josh Johnson has started off each of the past two seasons by pitching to a sub-2.00 ERA through the first third of the season. Last year, of course, an injury cut his season short after just 9 starts (and 60.1 innings) but the results were once again there for the right-hander. If he can remain healthy, he’s a worthy addition to any fantasy baseball lineup.

CL Heath Bell is a unique case as the value of a closer, or any reliever for that matter, is entirely dependent on how your league is setup. Saves/holds, K/9, and ERA are the main categories that must be factors if you’re going to consider keeping a closer at any point in time. The position contains just too much volatility for it to be worth focusing on the back end of the bullpen. But if those categories mean something to your league, Bell’s a name worth keeping an eye on.

3B Hanley Ramirez‘s shift to third base lets him take advantage of some positional scarcity (the same exists at shortstop, but the pool of talented third baseman is seemingly shallower) which could boost him into that “keeper quality” player. Much of this is ultimately going to depend on how Ramirez performs at the plate, as his production has slipped the past two seasons in both the power and speed categories.

SP Mark Buehrle was Miami’s big starting pitching acquisition of the winter and the left-hander has been a reliable workhorse his entire career. He’s topped the 200 inning mark 11 seasons in a row, averages 15 wins per season, and holds a career ERA of 3.83.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@BlogFTBleachers) for more of my thoughts on the great game of baseball. You can also follow my coverage of the Washington Nationals at District on Deck and the game as a whole at Blogging From The Bleachers.

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