One of the biggest question marks heading into Spring Training next week involves Alfredo Silverio, an outfielder that the Miami Marlins took in the Rule 5 Draft. Silverio who was a once promising prospect missed all of 2012 after a horrific car accident but is on the road to recovery. Where he will fit into Miami’s plans remains to be seen but he could wind up being a tremendous addition.
Silverio is expected to start the year on the disabled list allowing Miami to keep him in the organization while he gets back into playing shape. As per the rules of the Rule 5 Draft, Silverio must remain on the Marlins’ big league roster all season or be placed on waivers. The Los Angeles Dodgers would be given a chance to take him back should he not stay on a Major League roster for all of 2013. With the promise Silverio brings and the Marlins’ rebuilding process underway — keeping him on the big league roster for the entire season is not expected to be an issue. Once the year passes, Silverio would become Marlins’ property and he could be assigned to the minor leagues if needed.
There are a number of outfielders who will be competing for spots this Spring but some have minor league options allowing the players to be demoted without risk of losing them to another team which gives Silverio an edge. An open competition is expected in the outfield for Miami with only one spot guaranteed — Giancarlo Stanton in right field. While Justin Ruggiano had a strong 2012 and Juan Pierre brings a veteran presence – they are not being handed everyday jobs. Silverio doesn’t need to be on the field to meet the requirements of the Rule 5 roster stipulation, but chances are he will see a good amount of playing time once active as the Marlins need to see what they have before deciding if he is a part of their future.
In his time as a Dodgers’ minor leaguer, Silverio saw time at all three outfield spots which is something that will increase his chances of lasting in the Majors. Silverio is likely to see the bulk of his playing time in a corner outfield spot. In his last year with the Dodgers, Silverio amassed a .306 average with 16 home runs and 85 runs batted in during the 2011 campaign. That year was spent at AA Chattanooga and was likely going to be Silverio’s last full season in the minors. Without his unfortunate accident, it is likely Silverio would’ve been called up at some point during 2012 to help Los Angeles with their playoff push. The former top prospect also swiped 11 bases and tallied 18 triples to show he has some speed in his game.
The last time the Marlins found a big force in the Rule 5 Draft was a second baseman named Dan Uggla. Finding players via that draft that help your club in a big way is rare but there is a chance Miami has done it again with Silverio. The potential is there, the only question is if the time out of baseball will hinder Silverio from reaching it. If he finds it, the Marlins may have struck gold with their pick of Silverio.